God gives us everything we have. There is nothing we have without him. This includes our money. In the last few posts, we have looked at different ways we use the money God gives to us. We share it, we save it, and we spend it on our needs. And the fourth use is that we spend it on our wants. In other words, we buy things that we don’t need.
If you are reading this, you have almost certainly spent money on things you don’t need. You probably don’t “need” the device you are reading this on. Maybe there is a bit of guilt that you have for having purchased some of those things you don’t need. There is a tendency to think that wealth is evil. One of the most misquoted Bible verses 1 Timothy 6:10.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10, ESV)
But look closely at that verse. It does not say that money is the root of all evil. It says that the love of it is the root of evil. It is not about the amount of money I have; it is about the attitude of my heart towards it. God does not condemn people for having wealth; he condemns them for how they used their wealth.
God will use wealthy people to accomplish great things. God called Abraham who was well-to-do. He had livestock and servants. Then there was David who was a King. The scriptures describe David as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). David stored up treasure that led to the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. As a pastor, I have been blessed by having church members with a moderate amount of wealth to be able to contribute generously to kingdom-minded projects. I am thankful for wealthy believers who use what God has blessed them with to further the reach of the gospel.
If you have the means, you can spend on your wants. It’s ok! But examine your motives and your intentions. Some will spend on their wants as a way of bringing attention to themselves. Wealth becomes about pride. That is not a good thing.
It is a tricky thing to have wealth. It is nice to have wealth, but there also comes more responsibility with wealth. Many people think that wealth will solve their problems, but wealth will often introduce more problems. Wealth can easily become a snare and trap us. If wealth were the answer, then America would be free of problems. Many of us might do well to thank God that we don’t have more worldly abundance.
There is something to be said about living simply. Some people have a motto that they will live simply so that others can simply live. They see their wealth as a responsibility that God has entrusted to them to be a blessing to others. In all this, we ask that God would give us wisdom and a right attitude towards wealth. I may be able to afford the brand new BMW (I can wish) and buy it without guilt. But there may be a much greater and eternal investment I can make by choosing a more affordable car.
- Do you see wealth as a blessing or a curse? Why or why not?
- How can you use your wealth in a responsible and God-honoring way?
Lord, thank you for the wealth you have given me. Thank you for money to buy things I both need and want. I pray that you would guard my heart that I would not be trapped and ensnared by the love of money. Set my sights on the things that are of the highest value in life and that I would live each day for your glory. Amen.