Just Enough.

On Tuesday I posted about money, and if how much we have is a relevant concern to God. There were several salient comments, and I found myself thinking on them today. I think my mind traveled to a logical destination, however the path may be a little winding. I’ll try to explain the journey as directly as I can.

The focal point of my last post was on money and whether or not God wants us to have a little or have a lot. Honestly, I don’t believe God has a default preference on the matter. Money is inert. It’s just a thing. What makes it significant is its ability to act as a magnifying glass that emblazons the details of your character for the rest of the world to see. Because of this, money comes with an amount of responsibility. If we’re lucky smart, we’re able to handle that responsibility. If we’re not, well… We’ve all seen VH1 “Behind the Music” enough to know that it doesn’t often go well for those people.

To combat this, throughout scripture there are numerous warnings and cautionary tales of how the love of money can easily lead to more problems than it solves. In fact, it goes a step beyond warning us and tries to convince us that our hard earned money is actually ours at all, but rather money God saw fit to let us hang on to for a while. I know, this concept raises our American hackles.

“What do you mean my money isn’t mine? What are you, some kind of democrat?”

Calm down, God is actually trying to do us a favor. How much easier would life be if money wasn’t a concern, not because it was so abundant but because of faith? What would your life look like if you  believed that God would do what he said and would take care of you? (I’m talking as much to myself right now as I am to anyone else.) Yeah, I don’t know either. Fortunately, I think God is willing to meet us where we’re at on that one.  We may never be rich, but God will make sure we’re taken care of. Does this mean you can quit your job and continue to live indoors? Maybe, maybe not… God also gave you a brain and the capability to provide labor or services for money. Regardless, the bottom line is that our money is really God’s money.

And he would like us to be shockingly generous with it. God asks us to give to the church, to give to our neighbors, to give to the widows and the needy. And why shouldn’t we? It’s his money, not ours. What do we care where it goes?

Alright, I’ll be honest. There’s more to this post. I thought this would be another 500-worder, but words got away from me. Instead of inflicting a massive essay upon you, I will post the second half next week. Until then, be pondering… If God calls us to give freely of our money, what about our talents? What does that mean/look like?

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2 responses to “Just Enough.

  1. I know there are places in the Bible where God promises to take care of our needs (e.g. Matthew 6: 31-33, Luke 12:22-24), and I myself have not infrequently experienced His care in situations that looked desperate. However, I think it’s easy to oversimplify this. According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die every day due to hunger or hunger-related causes, and certainly at least some of those were trusting God to meet their needs. A lot of that problem stems from wars and misuse of resources by people in positions of power, and it could be at least very significantly helped if those who follow God elsewhere were more obedient and generous. In many cases of near starvation, God does intervene by means of circumstances, other people, or even sometimes supernaturally. But the fact remains that, in the experience of those who starve to death or see their children starve to death, God failed to meet even the most basic needs necessary to sustain life. I believe that God is sovereign and good, that this life is not all there is, and that God does not abandon his children in their suffering, but the only way I can reconcile what I see in the world with the scriptural promises to take care of our needs is to believe that God’s understanding of our needs can be very different from our own (even when it comes to the need to stay alive). From a human perspective, it looks like He takes care of our physical needs until, in His sovereignty, He decides not to anymore (Matthew 10:29 promises that not even a sparrow can fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father, but it doesn’t promise that sparrows will never fall to the ground).

    (Sorry for the rather depressing tangent, but this is an issue I’ve been struggling with and HfG seems like a place where sharing such struggles is welcome.)

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