Biblical Values – Money
Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24). This is saying that it is not easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, then is it really easy for the poor to enter? Jesus is NOT saying it is easy for the poor to enter the kingdom of God. Sometimes people automatically interpret this verse to say that rich people are bad and the poor have already paid their dues because of the sufferings they have in this world and thus easier to enter into heaven. However, Jesus’ focus is not on how much money you have, but He is speaking about the heart, posture of faith, and greed or the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).
The Bible is warning us that it comes with temptation, a snare, and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9). It is not saying money is the root of evil, but the “love of money” is the root of evil. Likewise, Jesus did not say that the poor will inherit the kingdom of God, but the “poor in spirit” are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In fact, there can also be poor people with sinful love for money and financially rich people who are poor in spirit. The Bible is not cursing the rich, nor is it teaching that we Christians must not become rich. A true blessing would be to have faith that will not stumble over material possessions. But without that kind of faith, it may be a gain for the spirit not to have many possessions (Hebrews 13:5).
The important focus lies on the purpose and motivation of the money. Outwardly, people may be doing the same thing, but the purpose and motivation behind it may be different. That’s why in the end, two will be grinding at the mill together (doing the same thing), but only one will be taken.
None of us is safe from greed, seeking more power, comfort, and money. When we love and prioritize it more than God, we spend more time, or our heart is enslaved by it then this shows that it has become our idol.
God’s commandments taught us that believers of God must not worship other gods and love God with all our hearts, soul, and might. We must not worship idols. An idol is what promises you strength, prosperity, and abundance. In the Ancient Near East, gentile gods like Baal and Asherah were the idols that promised those things.
If we hold Christian biblical values, we need to ask if money really gives us power, prosperity and abundance? The Bible tells us that it is God who gives it to His people. God uses money and wealth as a means, but there are people who believe that those blessings are in the money and bow their heads to it.
The power of money is that it causes people to voluntarily become enslaved. Jesus died on the cross to liberate us from the bondage of sin, but Satan uses different things to lure us back to slavery. He uses money (greed), adultery, and idolatry (Galatians 5:1).
We need to honestly ask ourselves what is the true purpose of us earning money. Who is it for? Me or God? And we need to ask ourselves if we are able to earn and spend money without being enslaved by it or are we using it as an instrument to commit sin in the process of earning and spending it? (1 Timothy 6:6–8; Matthew 6:30–33; 1 Timothy 6:17)
We all say that we live for the glory of God and we believe our work, business or job is for God’s glory but is this really true? As God’s covenanted people, rather than seek the blessings, we must become the blessing. This is the blessing that God gave to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:2-3). We are his spiritual descendants who can inherit this same blessing. This blessing carries the same two parts as the Ten Commandments, which is to love God and our neighbours.
Our spiritual life isn’t only when we come to church or pray, but it spans over our business and everyday life. In all that we do, especially in business, the first criterion for Christians is to glorify God and do it according to His ways. We need to understand why God is blessing us with wealth. We need to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first.
The second criterion is to be a blessing to the neighbours. Do business in a way that it can evangelize and become a benefit to others, so as to love our neighbours.
True Christians can teach about God through their good examples and others can benefit and become believers too. However, many “Christians” are not doing this, they don’t live to become the salt and the light of the world. They forget that success comes when God is glorified and people are blessed. The blessing of money/wealth is what comes as a result if God allows it. Thus, our work/business cannot be an excuse to skip worship services.
If we want to glorify God, remember that practice makes perfect and that not anyone is qualified to glorify God. So, let us not only use our leftover time for God and treat God as a beggar who is happy to accept it but at all times we must glorify Him.