To be successful in keeping God in first place in our lives, we have to learn to put money and material things in their proper place, as necessary tools to be used to fulfill physical needs, to facilitate transactions, fund the spread of the gospel, providing for those in need, and part of our daily lives. Money is neither “evil” nor “good”; it simply is. How each of us feel about and use money is about us and our intent, not about the inanimate object of money itself.
From God all things come. When God is first place and holds our heart then money can be in its proper place. People who love or hate money, who deny the need to have it as a transactional medium, have yet to put money in proper perspective in their lives. Furthermore, there is significant disconnect between “need” and “want.” God gives us all that we need when we work.
2 Thessalonians 3:8 (NKJV)
… nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,
Whatever God grants us is sufficient if we have the proper perspective and attitude. Too often we mistake the balance in our bank account for security. We have only to look at the victims of people like Bernie Madoff to know that money is easily stolen. For anyone who has ever lost a home to flood, storm, or fire, you know that things are painful to lose, but the lives of your family and friends are what are most important.
At various times in my life I have had plenty, and I have times when there were only a few cents left in the checking account at the end of the month. In those more difficult times, I have had God and family to turn to. In times when my family and friends struggle, then I get to return the favor. Having the blessing of having “sufficient” needs enables you to tithe (in obedience to God), give alms to the needy, and to lift up family and friends who are struggling.
Philippians 4:11–12 (NKJV)
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
My parents always told us as children, “remember that there will always be people with more than you and less than you. Someone will be smarter, prettier, richer, poorer, shorter, taller … it is what you do with what God gives you that matters.” You have enough for today; tomorrow is in God’s hands.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved