This is what God gave me today in his word:
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)
If you have money and someone else doesn’t, it’s important to give. If you have two coats while your neighbor has none, and all that. – Basically, John’s telling us not to be stingy. Because if we are (stingy, that is), God’s love cannot abide in us. Which is never a good thing.
3You ask and do not receive, because you ask(B) wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4(C) You adulterous people![c] Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?(D) Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:1-4)
In fact, not only does being ‘stingy’ separate us from God, it brings us closer to money. Specifically, to the love of money; or the love of whatever else it is that we’re being stingy about.
The Devil never tries to do anything if doesn’t think he has a chance of succeeding; he always plans his attack, always maps out places he must take in order to make head way (pardon the pun about the head). Remember what was said in Genesis: The serpent was the craftiest of all animals. He is the same way with ‘earthly possessions’. – I’m not saying you need to go bankrupt in order to help someone else; if you have the means, give. For example, if you have 5 million dollars in debt, it may not be the best time to try to help someone else get out of debt. Instead, it would be better to concentrate on getting out of your own debt first, followed by helping others. Help Yourself → Help Others → We’re All Happy.
But how is it exactly we can keep our lives free from the love of money? As the picture (to the right) states, money is part of life. So is income, debt, spending and the rest. We’re surrounded by the stuff! How can anyone keep from loving it?
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
Godliness with contentment is great gain. Rather than love money, we should be content (like Paul was) with what we have. The only way to be content though, is by having “Godliness”. Which basically means having Jesus live in us. How does Jesus come to live in us? Does he just waltz in one day and say, “Oh hey there, I was wondering if you could rent me a room in your heart?” Does he try to (pardon this pun to please) buy us off? No and no. Rather: He died for us, followed by us being saved (by the latter) and his coming to live in the temple of our hearts.
The Gospel of Jesus, is that he came, died, and rose again. This is what magically makes me not love money? That is what makes me not always hope to see, “Amount of Funds: 73,505,274” when I look at my bank account (not that I have one)?
If you remember my post about “Characteristics of the Effective and Fruitful Christian” You’ll remember that Godliness, by extension, resulted from faith in Jesus. So no, there is no magic involved; there is faith, though. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, that he died and rose again for us, God makes us more and more into the image of his son; more and more Godly. Which leads to being content in every situation, no matter how hard it may be. – When we’re like Paul in that we learn how to be content in every situation, we no longer love money. In fact, we can even give some of it to others.
You are Loved!