In a recent interview on Fox News – Fox & Friends, Dave Ramsey took this question head on. He lamented the fact that this topic has become highly politicized and that there is this idea out there that a person’s “Life worth” the accumulation of any wealth or monetary success needs to have a bulk of it taken away and given to the government for the good of the people. The conversation was fueled after the website; Bible Money Matters highlighted the purchase of Dave Ramsey’s 13,000 square foot home – in which he paid cash for. Many of their readers lashed out at the author for not following the teachings of Christ. See the interview here.
What does God have to say about our wealth?
Many who believe this notion reference 1Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” NLV
Money is neither good or bad. It can be used in ways that foster both evil and good. It is the LOVE of money that is evil. As Christians, we are mere stewards of all that the Lord has entrusted to us. Anytime we place something in our lives above the Lord we have in turn created an idol of it. This is true of our money as well as people in our lives (including our spouse and children). God calls us to be content with what he has given to us. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 NLV. We have many examples of extremely wealthy biblical characters in whom God was well pleased. Job, for example, whom the Lord described as: blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Soloman, Jacob, and Abraham were also very wealthy, and although they sinned at times and fell short of the Lord’s commands, God blessed them and used them to carry out his purposes. There were also wealthy women surrounding Jesus in his ministry years that provided for him and the disciples.
The best way to make sure your relationship with money is in line with scripture is through an understanding of Stewardship. Stewardship, although commonly described in a church setting as what you give to the Lord (through a tithe or other offering) really is about what you do with what you keep. If you are a steward of a resource it means you are not the owner. You are simply carrying out the wishes of the owner.
If the Lord has given you wealth to be a steward of, and then instructs for his money to be given to another, they are now the steward of that resource. You were never the owner…you were simply managing God’s money according to his wishes for a time.
There are three questions you can ask that are very revealing about your relationship to money. Read the following questions and determine which is the best question to ask.
1. What do I want to do with my wealth?
2. What do I want to do with God’s wealth?
3. What does God want me to do with His wealth?
Most of us understand that it is all God’s, and when seeing the three choices above we usually determine number three as the correct question. However, in my experience and what most other people have revealed to me is they are living like #2.
The only way we can be living by #3 is to be in constant communion with the Father, asking him for direction. If this language about wealth is not something you can relate to because wealth isn’t a comfortable or even remotely practical description of where you feel your financial situation is right now, a great tool to compare yourself globally is: http://www.globalrichlist.com Use their simple calculator to see where you stand. I was very surprised with my results.
The owner knows where his money is… and we will all be accountable one day. Keeping our focus on question #3 will help us get that much closer to hearing one day: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Free Download: Contentment Tensions Map
Are you content? Use this contentment map by Kingdom Advisors as the beginning of a bigger conversation that you have with your spouse or with the Lord about where you stand in light of the opportunity to experience greater contentment. This tool is not designed to be an assessment, but rather a conversation starter and a tool that begins to open doors to greater levels of contentment in your roles, relationships, and financial decisions.