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       Money Worries   

 

All the passages below are taken from Philip Yancey’s book “Grace Notes---Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim,” published in 2009.

 

Jesus has more to say on money than almost any other topic. Yet two thousand years later Christians have trouble agreeing on exactly what he does say. One reason is that he rarely gives "practical" advice. He avoids comment on specific economic systems and, as in Luke 12, refuses to get involved in personal disputes about finances. Jesus sees money primarily as a spiritual force.

One pastor boils down money issues into three questions:

1. How did you get it? (Did it involve injustice, cheating, oppression of the poor?)

2. What are you doing with it? (Are you hoarding it? Exploiting others? Wasting it on needless luxuries?)

3. What is it doing to you?

 

Although Jesus speaks to all three of these issues, he concentrates on the last one. As he explains it, money operates much like idolatry. It can catch hold and dominate a person's life, diverting attention away from God. Jesus challenges people to break free of money's power---even if it means giving it all away.

Luke 12 offers a good summary of Jesus' attitude toward money. He does not condemn all possessions ("your Father knows that you need [food, drink, and clothes]"). But he strongly warns against putting faith in money to secure the future. As his story of the rich man shows, money will ultimately fail to solve life's biggest problems.

Jesus urges his listeners to seek treasure in the kingdom of God, for such treasure can benefit them in this life and the next one too. "Do not worry," he says. Rather, trust God to provide your basic needs. To emphasize his point, he brings up the example of King Solomon, the richest man in the Old Testament. To most nationalistic Jews, Solomon is a hero, but Jesus sees him in a different light: Solomon's wealth has long since vanished---and even in his prime he was no more impressive than a common wildflower. Better to trust in the God who lavishes care on the whole earth than to spend your life worrying about money and possessions. [56]

 

Meet the Bible (455-56) 

 

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