"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Luke 16:13)
In this second installment of "Money Possessions and Eternity" we will look at a little more of what Mr. Randy Alcorn has to say. Today I ask these questions:
What spiritual effect does money have on your life?
What impact does your money have on your day-to-day living?
"Jesus clearly said that we can and should use money for good purposes, both for this life and the next. Human hearts can be redeemed by Christ, and in the hands of the redeemed, money can serve redemptive purposes." (Money Possessions and Eternity pg. 18)
Just as the only saying goes, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people", we could also posit that "Money does not cause sin/selfishness etc, people cause those things." Yes, it doesn't help, but in the end it is a matter of our heart and what we choose to do.
"To regard money as evil, and therefore useless for purposes of righteousness, is foolish. To regard it as good and therefore overlook its potential for spiritual disaster is equally foolish. Use it, Jesus said, but don't serve it." (pg. 19)
The Bible also consistently warns us to not be foolish. Proverbs urges us many times to consider this:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Prov 1:7)
"Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (Prov 26:12)
"The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult." (Prov 12:16)
Foolishness is greatly discouraged by Solomon and (obviously) by God. As Mr. Alcorn puts it to say dealing with money is a black and white issue is foolish. Money has the potential to be dangerous, but only if we allow that to happen. Money has equally great potential to be incredibly helpful to God's kingdom and to our lives.
"Once we allow money to have lordship over our lives, it becomes Money with a capital M, a god that jealously dethrones all else. Money makes a terrible master, yet it makes a good servant to those who have the right master - God." (pg. 19)
Exodus 20 very plainly states that we are to have no other gods before the truth God. We can turn money into our god and this is very, very dangerous.
Furthermore Mr. Alcorn takes the idea of material wealth not being inherently evil a step further:
"Do we imagine Jesus using his bare hands to cut wood, or can we assume he used the best affordable tools in his carpentry? And if our Lord were living in today's society, wouldn't he take advantage of the current technology in his trade? Would he abstain from using power saws, believing that handsaws are more spiritual? would he hesitate to travel in a car any more than he did a boat? would he avoid using a microphone even if it would allow the crowds to hear him better? It would be disastrous if every believer dropped out of society's mainstream and stopped making money." (pg. 26)
I encourage you to consider these words very carefully. Examine your heart and ask yourself these questions:
Do I think about my money incessantly?
Do I worry about how much or how little money I have every day?
I think it wise to consider materialism and make sure that we aren't obsessed with wealth or possessions. There is SO much more to life. Yes, wealth is not a bad thing if used correctly, but wealth should not be our only goal. We must allow wealth (or lack of wealth) to be a slave to us, and us its master. We must not be a slave to wealth.