We are a culture and nation that revolves around money. Obviously, money is necessary for the essential things like food and shelter, but it goes far beyond that. Our lives are driven forward by the desire, the need, to create our own little financial empire. Instead of being the means to the end, money has become the end in and of itself. We are not considered successful unless we have reached financial milestones that are set by ourselves, our peers, and our culture. So, how are we, individually and as a church, to function in this context?
To begin with, as a follower of Jesus, I need to check my focus. My eyes should be fixed, not on myself, but on the end goal of glorifying the name of Jesus with everything that I have. For those of us who exist in the midst of affluence and excess, this includes how we manage our financial resources. We need to remember that everyone has been given a certain measure of resources by their Master. We tend to view the money that we work for as ours. However, is it really? A more accurate way of understanding would be that we are managers of God’s resources. As a manager, I am accountable for how I use and manage what I have been given. When I get audited, I want to be able to balance the books.
After realizing that our money is not our own, but rather has been entrusted to us, we then need to figure out what the end game is. If I want to be faithful with my resources, then I need to get on track with God’s program. It should not be too hard to figure it out, as His purpose has never changed. The kingdom of God presses forward in every nation and context. The advance of the kingdom does not stop until the whole earth is filled with His glory. As people of God, we need to figure out what ways our finances can glorify God and push forward to that goal.
Quite honestly, we tend to do a terrible job with our money. We dump incredible amounts of money on impulse purchases that we “just have to have” and then just sit around the house collecting dust. We see the plight of people in need and shake our heads and say something about how if we had money we would do something about it, but then we just carry on with our endless pursuit of more. If we just cut back on the skinny soy lattes and going out for dinner once a month we could channel an incredible amount of money to help those in need. We delude ourselves into thinking that we have nothing to give when we could be an incredible blessing to those around us. We believe the delusion because we want to. We feel better about ourselves that way.
Many Christians of this nation are going to be in for a surprise when the books are balanced and they are called into account for how they managed their Master’s resources. There will be no delusion in the light of eternity. As the truth blazes bright, all of our excuses will fade away into nothing as everything is laid bare. Will we shrink back in shame, or will we be commended as responsible servants?