The Role of Money in Ministry

Lately, I have been struck by the diversity in thought within the Christian Community regarding the use and possession of money.  In some communities, large homes, luxury cars, and extravagance are considered signs of God's special favor or annointing.  In other communities, wearing jewelry is a sign of sinful indulgence.  In both communities, there are God-fearing people who deeply desire to please God, but which is more accurate. 

Jesus was clear that our possessions are "on-loan" from God and are to be used for building up the kingdom by blessing others.  It is interesting to me that Jesus could have been born into a wealthy family or a noble family, but specifically chose to identify with the poor and needy.  The Apostles, the foundation of the early Church, also chose to identify with the poor.  The Early church, according to I Corinthians, was also relatively poor.  The Law of Moses, in the Old testament, prevented the accumulation of wealth by particular families through insisting on returning to familial land boundaries every 50 years and limiting slavery and debt. 

When we read scripture honestly and openly, I believe we are commanded to use our wealth as a blessing for others.  This is why Jesus said it is more difficult for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to go to heaven.  The bible speaks of greed as a form of idolatry.  I believe that the hoarding mentality is a manifestation of a cultural spirit of idolatry.

Last week, I overheard a co-worker speak about "claiming" a mansion she was invited to several years ago.  She stated that although she could not even afford a meager home of her own currently, that she is trusting God that He will show favor by giving her this $800,000 lakefront home.  She stated that she constantly prays about it and drives by the home regularly to decide what type of furniture that she will purchase for it.  This home is a 7 bedroom home.  She is a single mother with one child.  Now, I am not suggesting that God, who is incredibly generous, could not or will not grant her this home, but I struggle with the mentality.  She does not want the home so that she can give others shelter as an act of love.  She is simply breaking the 10th commandment and coveting.

Do we have the courage to speak against Greed and take back the name of Jesus from those who would co-opt as a means to hoarding and extravagance?  Its time that we recognize that God will judge us on how we used the resources (Matt 25, James 5), not on how much or how little we had.

Take time to look at your resources and consider being a blessing to someone today.

God bless,

Pastor M Traylor