I’ve had the privilege of attending more than one Bible School and also being in full time ministry. The one thing that I’ve seen most people struggle with is money. We tend to regard money as a topic on its own. We tend to think that the rules in terms of submitting to God applies to every subject in our lives, except our finances. Money is the one place where most people want to have the final say if not all. We find it very counter intuitive to trust anybody with our money. Somehow or another we trust banks, and we trust that if I work a month for my employer, he will give me a month’s salary. But that’s how far it goes.
Here’s the reality. The Bible speaks about money quite a bit. Even Jesus spoke about it because it is so relevant in our lives. Money is actually one of the things we can use as a measuring rod to see where our loyalties and priorities lie. Where you spend most of your money – that’s the thing that is most important to you.
Time equals money, and so does your skills and talents. But who gave it to you? God! You might say, “I studied to be a successful carpenter”. The fact is, if you don’t have a predisposition to be handy, you can study as much as you want, you’re not going to get far doing carpentry. Your talents are a gift from God, so in essence it is God who gives you the ability to acquire wealth.
A lot of people have a problem with tithing, because they think all the money is theirs and they have to give God 10%. But the Bible teaches something else. 100% is His, He gives us all of it and asks only 10% back. In other words, we still score 90%! All our time, energy, talents etc. comes from Above. Once you understand that God is your Provider it is not that difficult to give to Him what is rightfully His. The other 90% you can use as you deem fit. But it should still be God honouring.
Wealth has become scarce. For many of us our standard of living is dropping rather than rising. There seems to be so much month left at the end of our salaries! I like what John Wesley said: Get all you can, save all you can and give all you can. This is an attitude of maximum. Try to maximize your money and make it effective. After tithing, ask God to give you wisdom on how to use your money, how to do a lot with the little you have and also plan for tomorrow. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 God might instruct you to invest somewhere, or buy a house instead of renting it. God’s wisdom is freely available, we only need to ask, to believe and trust that He will guide us well. But God might also ask you to give away everything. Do it! You can never out-give God. You can trust Him because His wisdom is always to your benefit.
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