02 Feb Being Faithful with God’s Resources
Matthew 6:19 tells us not to store up treasures here on earth, which stands in stark contrast to the inclination of our hearts to focus heavily on the things of this world.
When we are making choices with our money, we tend to operate out of our earthly desires for security, status, and comfort. These three dysfunctions in how we handle money can rob of us of joyful giving and take away our ability to worship through our resources.
When we narrow generosity to its rightful source of worship, we recognize that giving is not about a number; it is about the condition of our hearts. Instead of asking ourselves to give a specific amount of money, we need to ask ourselves what it looks like to be faithful with the resources God has provided to us.
As we approach this process and evaluation of what our faithfulness looks like, we need to be aware of our heart’s default desires for earthly comforts. If we constantly think of money as a means to stability, we have been fooled by the lie that this world could ever give us a hint of security. When we see money as a means to status, we enter a mindset of endless dissatisfaction and emptiness. And lastly, if we use money as a means to personal comfort, we will find that our resources come up short on the journey to fulfillment.
“When we narrow generosity to its rightful source of worship, we recognize that giving is not about a number; it is about the condition of our hearts.”
Instead of trying to store up these “treasures” on earth, we need to zero in on storing up treasures in Heaven. While we could easily allow our desires to run alongside our sinful nature, we can instead allow them to drive us to find security, comfort, and status in Him. Although our desires have the potential for corruption, we need to steward them well and hold them before our Provider.
These passions and desires of our heart have the ability to take root and consume us if we do not contain them by giving back to God out of an eager heart. We can disarm them by repositioning our hearts to give in response to what He has given us. If we attempt to live under the authority of both money and God, we will be enslaved by the corrupted desires of our hearts. We cannot have two masters. We have to allow God to examine our hearts to expose the earthly desires fighting against the desires of the Holy Spirit in us.
Once God exposes to us the raw condition of our hearts, we must respond by taking practical steps towards good stewardship of our money. How do we move past being only hearers of these truths and move towards being doers? We can start with understanding these simple truths:
1. Money comes from God.
2. The physical reality of money tips us off to the spiritual reality. The love of money is evil, not money itself.
3. Money is a test for the heart; it is always testing us and always trying us.
4. We are all driven by either security, status, or comfort.
5. What you buy, give, and save are spiritual issues that have to be viewed through a spiritual lens.
6. Money is connected to work. God provides for you and through you by His creation of work.
7. We should spend less than we make.
8. Generosity is a discipleship issue because it’s an act of worship when we give money away.
9. Giving a percentage that is proportional to your income is biblical.
10. Seek guidance from a mentor is wise.
When we give our money away in response to what God has given us, we are acknowledging that we do not trust in or have control over the money we hold, but instead trust in a God who has provided this money for us and has the ultimate authority over it. Through giving, we learn not to trust ourselves, but instead to trust in the efforts of Him who gave the money to us.
This post was adapted from the Decade20 talk on Money by Matt Williams. Decade 20 is a gathering in which we seek to challenge the 20-something cultural narrative with an honest look at Jesus and the Bible. The next Decade20 will be from 7:00-9:00pm on February 7 at our Downtown campus.