One of the verses we often misquote, is “Money is the root of all evil” where as the actual verse says “The Love of Money is the root of all evil” which is different, it is actually about our attitude to it. We can have a wrong attitude to Money and not have any cash at all, or we can be millionaires and have a bad attitude to money, or somewhere in the middle.
I think much of the Christian life is about having the right attitude to things.
Mike Pilivachi said “a bad attitude is like a car with a flat tyre, until you change it you’re not going to get very far!”
Paul urges us that “Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”.
Yet how, and on what, we spend our money reveals a lot about where our hearts are (as does how we spend our time), it is something of a litmus test for our hearts.
Jesus says “where our hearts are there our treasure is too”… A true reveal of the state of our hearts.
I remember being challenged when I was much younger about whether my bank manager could tell I was a Christian from my bank statements, or did how I spend my cash look exactly like everyone my age?
Another verse Jesus said was “You cannot serve both God and Money” -pretty clear, if money is your God then quite clearly Jesus isn’t.
In fact actually Jesus said “you cannot serve both God and Mammon” -which was a pagan God with a pigs head, pig’s are insatiable, they are never satisfied, they just consume and consume and consume… Serving Mammon will take everything from you and yet will give you nothing back. Donald Trump once was asked “How much is enough” and his answer was “just a little more” -in other words, never satisfied.
Jesus clearly means what he said about not serving God and money, Levi leaves his cash desk and goes and follows Jesus, and the Rich Young Ruler is told to first go and sell all he has and give the money to the poor before he comes and follows Jesus.
Jesus said: “It is easier for a Camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of heaven”.
I think that Shane Claiborne is right, it isn’t a sin to be rich, but I do think it is a sin to stay rich, with great wealth also comes great responsibility.
How do we use our time, energy, gifts, talents, resources and money to “Seek First the Kingdom of God”?
It’s about whole life discipleship.
Following Jesus is something than requires us to be “all in” and “with everything” holding nothing back…
Sometimes we simply like to throw a bit of cash at a problem or a person, as a way of placating our consciences and making us feel better.
Yet Jesus wants our hearts, when he has our hearts everything else follows, it’s not about fobbing off the Vicar or doing our bit for Church. It’s the call to be a living sacrifices, service God not as a dead body plonked on the altar, but living as a sacrifice, living sacrificially for him, 24-7, 365 for the rest of our lives or until Christ comes again.
I’ll end with a quote from Dick Turpin “Your money or your life”…Jesus doesn’t give us a choice,when e give him our life our money and every other god in our lives has to bow the knee before him.