God loves poor people. Therefore it’s good to be poor: that means God loves you!”
“God promised to bless His people if they follow Him. Therefore you can expect to be wealthy if you are following God rightly.”
These are some of the sometimes conflicting messages that have often developed on the topic of Christianity and money.
There are few topics on which the Bible has more to say than the topic of money. And there are plenty of distortions of Biblical truths on the subject. Those on the political right and political left have found plenty of Biblical proof texts for their positions. And sadly someone’s position on what the Bible says can often be determined by their net worth.
But for those who are in need of material things, here are some specific things that the Bible makes clear:
- Your spirituality is not measured by your level of wealth.Some of God’s friends were very wealthy: Job, Abraham, David. Some of God’s friends had very little material goods. In the Faith Hall of Fame, some “went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated.” (Heb 11:37) Your bank account is not a reflection of how much God loves you, or how much faith you have.
- To whatever degree you are able, work for what you need. Idleness is not a form of godliness. Expecting others, or even God, to drop things in your lap without your effort is not God’s plan. Paul said, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thes 3:10) God values, and expects, you to be industrious.
- Don’t become anxious about your material needs. Don’t worry? That’s a tall order! When you’re not sure where your next meal will come from, who wouldn’t worry? But Jesus made it very clear: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matt 6:32,32) So really, don’t worry!
- Jesus knows what it feels like to be “poor.” As the Son of God, Jesus had all of heaven. Yet He came to this earth and was born to poor human parents. He lived humbly while bringing us the greatest riches in the universe. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9) He knows your struggles.
- God is the One to look to for your needs. God does enjoy giving good things to His children, just as human parents do. Read some of the Psalms: David frequently calls on God to remember him for being “poor and needy.” God is a Giver: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever;” (Psalm 112:9) It’s OK to pray for things you need: God wants you to do so.
- You can make a difference for God’s Kingdom. You have something to give, whether materially or not. Whatever you DO have to give, do so generously, and God will bless you. (See Luke 6:38) Remember the widow who put two coins into the temple treasury? Jesus commended her: “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” (Luke 21:3) Don’t ever believe you have nothing of value to contribute.
- Don’t ever stop praying for and expecting God to bring you good things. God wants to be number 1 to you always; don’t allow your desire for money to take the first place. (See Matt 6:24) But Jesus also promised that those who followed Him would receive blessings: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matt 19:29) Whether now or later, you will have more than you can imagine.
God has a very special place in His heart for you. He sees you. He knows your needs, and He will never leave you.
And for my part, I pray He bless you richly!
Your Turn: What does the Bible say to YOU about money? Leave a comment below.
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