This might sound a little strange to you, but I hate money. I know, the fact that I do makes me kind of weird. When I say things like that to people they look at me kind of strange. The reality is though, that money to me is nothing but trouble. It is the one thing that you can have too little of, but never have enough. It seems that money is the center of our life. We go to work to make money, the things that we do in life are dictated my the financial restrictions we have based on our income, and we allow money to play such an important role in our existence that it can sometimes ruin our lives. The reality is, that our reliance on money is not determined on a personal level, but society as a whole has made it virtually impossible to do anything without it. The biggest reason I dislike money so much, is because it has gotten in the way of the Church.
Remember high school? When I was a junior in high school I can remember being asked what career I wanted to work towards when I went to college. My friends and I would talk to each other about our goals and ambitions for our lives. We would discuss what colleges we wanted to go to because of the different programs they were best known for. Okay you caught me! Maybe I wasn’t talking about that stuff, but most of you were. Think back to those days, why did you choose what you did as a career choice. I am willing to bet that the main reason for doing so was because it was a well-paying job. Unfortunately the reason we choose to do certain jobs is because of the pay we can receive for doing it, no matter how much we hate it. Even when you ask little children what they want to do, they will answer things like Doctor, or lawyer, because we as parents dream these things for our children because of the financial security.
Our manner of living is widely determined by the condition of or bank accounts. If we have a lot of money we vacation in remote and exotic places. If we are on the lower end of the pay scale, we may never even get to go away for vacation (if we get one at all). The house we live in; the car we drive; the activities our children participate in; the schools our children go to; even the supermarkets we shop at are determined by the amount of money we have. Who our friends are has a lot to do with our tax bracket.
As if that wasn’t enough, we allow money to affect our lives to the point where people all around the world are ending their own lives because of the stress and life change that comes with it. Some have none, and because of that feel that they have no value and end their lives. Some end up with too much and feel lonely no matter how much “stuff” they have. I’ll bet you all know that money is one of the top reasons (if not the top) for problems among couples often leading to divorce.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, money has found a way to cripple the Church. You don’t think so? Well, let me convince you. I have seen congregations of believers waste money on things like; fellowship halls, or sanctuaries that are the size of stadiums. At the same time I have seen congregations with small attendance do no ministry because of their lack of money. This makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t figure out why the church feels that they need money to “do ministry”. You hear things like “we can’t start a program for this cause if we don’t have room in the budget.”, or “we need a new stove so we can cook meals for the homeless.” What?! Does the average home not have a stove in it?
Bottom line is this. Since when did it cost money to love someone? Since when did it cost money to proclaim the Gospel? Jesus sent out His disciples without an extra tunic, or money sack. He sent them out with nothing, and still they went. In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus sends out His disciples and these were His instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.“
Do you see where Jesus tells them how important it is to put money in a benevolence fund? Of course not! Jesus has made it very clear that all we need to do effective ministry is what we have been by the grace of God been freely given. You say nothing is free in this world. I will agree to that, and to be honest you’re a little right. What we got wasn’t free. The price was paid though with something far more valuable than money. The Church has been given the Holy Spirit, to empower and supply with the tools necessary to do great kingdom work, and all of the money in the world couldn’t buy it (Acts 8:18-24). It was paid for with the one thing that holds real value in this world, and that is the Blood of Christ.
It is not money that we should use to identify our lives with, but He who is above all others. It is not money that should dictate our lives and the things we do, it is Christ and the desires of the Father. It is not money that can determine the outcome of our lives, but the blood of Christ that has given it meaning and value above all else.
The reason I hate money, is because even in the Church it has become more popular than my King.