January 26 I Thursday
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” —Hebrews 13:5
Everyone has it. We may have very little or we may have a lot, but regardless of the amount; money is an essential part of life. We cannot get by without it. We need homes to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear and vehicles to get around that are only possible with money. The Bible has a surprising amount to say about money. In fact, from about 38 parables that Jesus told, 16 of them have to do with the use or abuse of wealth.
Scripture does not discourage us from possessing money. Proverbs 6:6-8 tells us, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” The ant stores its provisions, so that when the day comes and it needs extra resources, it has them readily available. If provision is like money, having wealth is not discouraged.
While having wealth is legitimate, like most things, we need to get into its right perspective. Probably the biggest lie of our day is the belief that, “A man’s life consists in the abundance of things he possesses.” To many people, it does consist of the abundance of things they possess: their status in society, their sense of importance and their measure of success. These things are almost directly related to their material prosperity so their goal in life is to accumulate. Yet, what we find in Scripture is contrary, as Jesus teaches, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).
In Godfrey Davies’s biography of the Duke of Wellington, Wellington and His Army, he writes, “I found an old account ledger that showed how the Duke spent his money. It was a far better clue to what he thought was really important than the reading of his letters or speeches.” How the Duke spent his money was a better indication of the real man. In other words, how we spend our money is a clear indication of ourselves.
How should we handle our money? May our prayers on a right perspective of wealth echo that of Agur, son of Jakeh: “Two things I ask of You, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).
Prayer: Lord God, please give me a right perspective on wealth. Do not give me poverty nor riches that I stray from You, only my daily bread. Thank You, Lord.