It’s easy to consider the money that I worked so hard for to be “my money,” but it is important to understand that everything is the Lord’s and we are simply in a managerial role of how to disperse the money we are given. Psalm 24:1 tells us that, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” The thought that God owns everything including our money can be a sobering one; it forces us to keep an eternal perspective on our decision-making. We are simply stewards, or servants, with what we are entrusted.
The problems with money arise when we have mixed loyalty. We try to serve two masters. Jesus warns about this in Matthew 6:24. With Jesus as our focus, we will be less likely to chase the possessions. Real wealth and happiness are about our attitudes and knowing who we serve, not dollars in a bank account.
Jesus pointed out the offering of the poor widow in Mark 12, telling the disciples that she “‘put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on’” (v. 43-44). This brings up the need to use discernment in our motivations with giving. If we curse under our breath as we give because “our spouses are making us,” for example, we are missing the entire point. Our love for God should overflow in us to the point that we gladly give in abundance to the needs of the church, to the needs of our neighbors in our community and abroad.
If we rely on ourselves or “things” to drive us, we will never find contentment. A part of having discernment with our finances is understanding our needs vs. our wants and, ultimately, letting God be in control of our money. We need to control our lust, longing, and desires for what we don’t have, cannot obtain, or cannot afford. Our strength, hope, and true riches are found in Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2).
Does God have your heart when it comes to finances? How do you ensure that the love of money does not overtake you?