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Pointers along the way #374

To make more money?
- Jacob Ninan

One of the things we are strongly tempted with in this world is to want to have more money, more things, more comfort and more pleasure for ourselves. Luxury, glamour, prestige and honour entice us, and we want more money for them. But God tells us plainly that if we run after these things we will be ultimately destroying ourselves--spiritually (1Ti.6:9,10). It is sad that many preachers, instead of warning people about such snares and trying to pull back those who are going in that direction (Jude.23), push them forward--to their destruction. There is nothing wrong with money itself, which is only a means for buying and selling things, but the love of money can cause all kinds of problems. It is necessary to work hard to earn enough money for our needs and to be able to help others, and to be faithful in spending it the way God wants. Money is really His and He has entrusted it to us as stewards. But it is quite another thing to crave for more money and run after it. God actually tests our hearts regarding our attitude to money and the way we use it, before He decides to entrust us with spiritual riches (Lk.16:10-12).

Some people quote from 2Cor.8:9 to say that Jesus became poor so that we could become rich and from 9:6 to say how we can become rich--by giving abundantly! It is as if these chapters are there to tell us how to give in order to get back more and get rich! On the contrary, both those chapters were actually written to teach us how to give more to others, and to help us to become more considerate of others' needs and gracious and sacrificial in our giving! We can read them ourselves and see!

Some other preachers hold up threats before people to make them give, usually for the preachers' own benefit. When people respond to these threats by giving, or they give because they want to receive more in return, they fail God's test. They are giving not because they want to give, from their heart, but merely as an insurance against calamity or for making a great business deal.

God loves a cheerful giver--one who gives because he wants to give, and because he loves and wants to bless the one he gives to (2Co.9:7). These are the ones who will receive a blessing in return, and not those who try to bargain with God, or think that they can make an investment that gives hundredfold returns.

One day we are all going to leave all our money and wealth behind, and take with us only things that have value in eternity. That is why Jesus tells us not to labour for things that will perish but for eternal things (Jn.6:27). What would happen to us if we focused so much on acquiring more wealth, comfort, pleasure, fame, applause, etc., and missed eternal riches (Mk.8:36)? There is no virtue in poverty or wealth, but there is great value in the sight of God in being content. Paul was good at learning that, whether he had little or much (Php.4:11,12).


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