I struggled a lot writing this post.
See, I’m really passionate about the intersection of faith and finances, and I had this idea to talk about how I don’t believe so many Christians should shy away from accumulating wealth.
I scoured the Bible for what God says about money.
And God’s Word reminded me that money is tricky.
There are so many stories, parables, and teachings that seem contradictory.
What are we Christians supposed to believe about money? Is it good or is it bad?
Money just is.
There are so many factors that come into play, and money is both a wonderful thing and a horrible thing depending on those factors. (Kind of like the Internet or sex, right? They can glorify God, or totally not.)
So why do many of the things I come across related to Christianity and money try to convince me of only one mind-set or the other?
Take, for example, the variety of books available on this subject.
On the one hand, I’ve read books that encourage me to not be scared of money and to pursue wealth so I can be super generous. These books emphasize the parable of the talents and remind me that the Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil but, rather, the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).
Then I’ve read books that take an opposite approach—that do view money as evil (or at least highly dangerous) and that point to the many things Jesus said that make it sound like I can’t possibly be a true Christian if I don’t sell everything I own and become homeless. These types of books point to the story of the rich young ruler and how Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (Luke 18:18-30).
Friends, we can’t narrow in on just the Bible verses we like, the ones that best support our cause. We must take the Bible as a whole. Are we doing this? If we do, I think we’ll find that there is a lot of freedom when it comes to money. There’s a lot of space to roam inside the fence of obedience. It’s not super black and white.
Dig into the Scriptures and you’ll see that God calls you to be willing to give up everything for his name, but that he doesn’t actually demand each person do this. You’ll see that God prizes both hard work and rest/contentment. You’ll see that Jesus himself was homeless and broke, but he also had God-fearing friends who were wealthy.
It’s hard to wrap your head around, isn’t it?
It’s hard to say for sure what God wants from us, or maybe it’s not. The truth is that God isn’t overly nitpicky about the details—things like how much you need to give, what size of house is appropriate, whether you should work a low-paying job in ministry or run a profitable business, etc. He just wants your whole heart—the number-one spot on the throne in your life.
How about instead of narrowing in on just one or the other approach to money, we keep a healthy balance? What if we could steward our money well (without fear or without demonizing wealth), while also recognizing that we need to keep our heads on straight and practice caution?
And no matter what your version of stewardship looks like, no matter what it looks like in your life to glorify God with your finances, just remember to keep him number one.
Diana Kerr is a certified professional life coach for go-getter Christian women. She is thankful for God’s financial provision because she has a new baby who goes through a LOT of diapers. If you want to see a photo of a cute baby, or if you want to read some good tidbits about what Diana has to say about the intersection of faith + everyday life, come find her on Instagram.)