"The most disturbing thing about the fact that greed is idolatry is that hardly anyone owns up to being a worshipper." Brian Rosser
Money is an interesting topic in life. We'll talk about almost anything OTHER than our money. We hold that information very closely. It's ours and it's no one else's business. Jesus blows that up in Luke 12 when he makes two statements: 1. "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed" and 2. "To whom much is given, much will be required." We've been given the incredible privilege of serving as the stewards of God's good gifts – an incredible privilege and yet a daunting responsibility. He knows what we are doing with His things, and He asks us to be both faithful and wise. Our temptation, however, as Rosser suggests above, is to worship at the altar of greed: using the Master's things for OUR pleasure. I have certainly bowed down there many times. The antidote to that temptation is generosity. God leaves no ambiguity in regard to how we steward His things: if He gives us a lot, He has higher expectations - and make no mistake, if you are reading this, you most likely have more income and education than 99% of the rest of the world. He expects us to do what He asks, and to do so wisely. I pray we'll ENJOY God's good gifts while recognizing the responsibility they carry.
"Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." - 1 Timothy 6:11
Right about this time of year, the materialism of our culture becomes almost overwhelming. It is not a stretch to say we are a money-obsessed society, and unfortunately, that easily bleeds over into dependence. We give our earthly treasures the power to make us feel secure, worthy or safe. In Matthew 6:19, Jesus is pretty clear that our earthly treasures don't last, and if we depend on them to give us what we hope for in life, that will be a fruitless, unsatisfying strategy. We wind up "piercing" ourselves with our own idolatry. Spiritual maturity happens when we get our hearts and desires aligned with God's. We want what He wants, and that's what Jesus says. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." When our hearts want what God wants, then our treasure follows and we are freed from the earthly obsessions that get us pierced. As we get blasted for the next six weeks with all the items we should want, let's invest our treasures in the things that last: God's people and His Kingdom.