We’ve all heard the saying that money does not bring happiness. But do we actually believe it? Do we live like it? Following Jesus should have a direct impact on how we view wealth. We are called to trust God with every bit of our finances and to be open- handed in our giving.
Two major misconceptions get in the way of our generosity. First, we mistakenly believe that we can find happiness in what we possess. Second, we incorrectly believe that we alone are responsible for our own prosperity. If we have done well, it is because we earned it. Jesus addressed the first misconception when He warned that “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). Paul deals with the second in Philippians 4:19 with this promise: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Material wealth and true riches are not the same. But according to Jesus, the way we handle material blessings is a proving ground for true wealth. Worldly wealth exposes what is in our hearts. “No one can serve two masters,” Jesus warns in Luke 16:13. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
The Bible recognizes the legitimacy of ownership (Acts 5:4). But we must always remember that our possessions, and our bank account, ultimately belong to God. We are God’s stewards. Scripture also warns us not to put our hope in wealth because it is uncertain. Instead, our confidence must be in God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim. 6:17). It is God who makes it possible for us to be generous.
>> Greed thrives on little greeds. We should avoid the misconception that we are owed the things we possess. The spirit of greed is the opposite of grace.
Convict us of greed and materialism. Everything we possess is Yours, given by You. Move us not just to nod in agreement, but to live this way. Teach us to hold loosely to whatever wealth You have given us.