Charlie, Jesus and Giving: A Fictional Conversation Based on Biblical Truths

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Money, Possessions, and Jesus


“Why would money have anything to do with religion?”  Charlie asked with a bit of an attitude.  I could hear in his tone a sense of skepticism with a hint of disgust. Charlie is a new believer in Jesus, but his newfound faith comes with years of misconceptions and false teachings. Sipping my coffee, I carefully placed my mug on the table and leaned in.  “Charlie, Jesus spoke more about money and possessions than any other topic, including Heaven and Hell.”  


His eyebrows raised.  “You’re kidding me?”  


“No, really,” I answered.  “Do you have any idea why Jesus would do that?”


Charlie leaned back in his chair, arms folded, carefully contemplating his answer. “I guess I don’t really know.  I mean, I guess the church needs money to function, right?” 


Not sure if that was a question or a statement, I explained, “Well, true, ministries need money to operate and be effective but that’s not at all why Jesus taught so much on this topic. Jesus knows that money and possessions are directly tied to our hearts. What I mean is, money and possessions are top rivals with God. God’s desire is to be No. 1 in our lives, and He names money as a top competitor. Jesus explained to his followers that you can only serve and love one master, not two.”  Charlie looked at me like I was making this up. I continued, “Jesus himself explains. Here’s what he said: ‘No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.’ “   


Charlie gulped down his coffee and said, “I guess I get that. But just because I don’t give doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t first … or does it?” 


“Great question,” I said, “we would like to think that but if we are to become more like Jesus then we need to believe God’s word and learn to be givers. Our human nature wants to hang on to our money. God wants us to be willing to give and to give cheerfully. Charlie, now that you are a Christian, Jesus wants to develop you into a follower. But not just a follower, He wants us to fully follow him. Jesus names money as the number one thing that tends to get in the way.  When we’re not giving, we’re not fully following Jesus.”


Charlie glanced at the clock looking a bit relieved that the time was up for our Monday morning coffee meeting. “Thanks for meeting with me,” Charlie said. “Let’s meet again next week to continue the conversation. I’m still not sold on this money and Jesus thing but I do want to learn.”  


As we stood up, I pushed my chair in, grabbed my almost empty cup of coffee, and said, “Thanks for your honesty Charlie, your questions are really important and I’m glad to be part of this journey you are on as a new Christian. Keep reading God’s word and pray.  God will teach you as you read his word. See you next week. Same place, same time.”