Right now I’m reading a really good book called The (Don’t have) To Do List by Anthony Delaney. It’s all about the things you no longer have to do if you’re a Christian. Like: you don’t have to please everyone, you don’t have to be afraid. I highly recommend it. Here is an extract from the chapter called I Don’t Have To Be Fearful Over Finances:
Many people say that ‘money is the root of all evil’. Look again:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)
The Bible says money is neither good nor bad, God sees it as a minor thing. Jesus called it a small thing. What you do with the small thing is the big thing.
Think about what’s in your pocket or your purse right now. You can’t determine where the money in your hands has come from. It could have been in a very rich man’s wallet. It could have been someone’s last bit of change. It could have been stolen, or funded a crime. You don’t know its history, but now you have the power and responsibility to decide its future.
Most people would be shocked to discover that Jesus talked more about money than heaven or hell. In fact he said that what you do with your money would be the acid test of your faith! So, is it genuine – or counterfeit?
What will you use it for? How much have you wasted so far? Will you spend it on yourself, give it away or put it in a bank?
Faithful administration vs. frantic acquisition
There’s no such thing as a self-made man. Everything you have came to you because God gives it.
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1)
That means nothing truly belongs to us, it actually belongs to God, and he’s watching how we handle it. We think of wages as what we’ve earned. On the contrary, whenever we receive money and material things, we’re not getting what we deserve (otherwise poor beggars in poverty right now are just getting what they deserve aren’t they?)
The truth is we should cultivate the attitude of gratitude. We are recipients of the grace of God. According to many passages, including for example the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we’re like managers of a trust fund and will be held to account for what we’ve been given. There’ll be no money in heaven, and the streets are paved with gold. Right now God gives us time, talents and treasure to teach us and test us. The key attitude to it should be faithful administration rather than frantic acquisition. Ultimately God wants you to care more about giving than getting.
God especially uses money to teach us to be generous like him. I read in the paper the other day that the average teenager in the West will easily have a million pounds go through his or her hands before they retire. An awful lot of money comes to many of us, if we added it up over a lifetime – and how many of us when we are eventually called to account by God will shake our heads in disbelief that we squandered an incredible amount?
The problem is money doesn’t pass through our hands does it? Instead it gets stuck in our grubby mitts, or doesn’t get passed on the way he’d want it to.
[The (Don’t have) To Do List by Anthony Delaney pp.76-77]
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk