Abundant Life: Finances
The question of what God thinks about finances is such a challenging issue for me. In the last 10 years I feel like I've swung all over the place on the theological pendulum. I've spent seasons where I spent as absolutely little as possible and gave away almost everything I had to friends and strangers. I've been to conferences and retreats where the prosperity gospel was preached and truly wondered whether or not having a lot of material possessions might be a way in which God demonstrates his abundant love. And along that pendulum I've found myself stuck in the middle wondering if all of my heart was truly God's or if I was just dwelling in the land of mediocrity. In all my wonderings, God faithfully reminds me of Matthew 6:21:
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
What I do with my material possessions is really more of a fruit of where my heart is than a root of my faithfulness or selfishness. So when I begin to ask the question of whether or not I should have a certain thing, should I give more or make more or should I drop everything and move to living in the dirt in some foreign mission field, God graciously guides my gaze back to his chief concern, whether my heart is truly his or not.
Now, let me make myself clear. God does care about our finances. He promises to provide everything that we need, and he cares about the way in which we steward the things he's given us. But he cares about our finances to the level that they demonstrate where our hearts are. Are we sold out to a lifestyle more than sold out to him? Are we giving ourselves to the pursuit of status rather than the pursuit of wholehearted devotion to God? What are we hoping people will see and notice more: something we've just purchased or the love of God within us? Those are the questions God cares about.
At the end of this life everything will pass away apart from the measure to which we loved God. That's it. How foolish will we feel having been so concerned with those things that last as long as a blink of an eye in the scope of eternity. May we not judge one another based on what we have or don't have. But may we spur one another on to investing our treasure and therefore hearts in the faithful, worthy One. And may we rise above what this world offers us or takes away from us as our hearts find their dwelling place in the shelter of the Most High.
By Craig Denison
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