Just mentioning God and money in the same sentence typically draws very impassioned responses from many different belief systems. And that’s really too bad, because if there is one thing that Jesus taught quite a bit about, it was money. If there is one thing that has the ability to move and shape our everyday life (or at least our perceptions of it), it is money. Even Solomon recognized this, in saying, “money answereth all things. (Ecc 10:19)”
It seems like money is mistreated in Christian teachings universally. IF it’s taught on at all, it seems I hear that we should hate it, and accept a life of poverty, because the prosperity people are loonies, and God doesn’t want us to be filthy rich; or I hear that God does indeed want us to be filthy rich. We also should never be sad, have problems, or have to save up over time to buy stuff we want…and if we do, we just don’t have enough faith. These two diametrically opposed viewpoints have led to many Christians having a financially abusive relationship with their checkbooks.
There’s a lot to address on this topic, and I plan on exploring many aspects of wrong thinking in Christendom on money. However, I’d like to just tell a bit about what I think and why in this post, and explore such things are the Giving and Receiving (Sowing and Reaping), the Prosperity Gospel, and poverty in separate posts.
The question at the center of this is, “Does God really want us to prosper?” For which the answer is a resounding, “YES!” Let’s read 3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Now before you go all Calvinist on me, I do admit there are many different ways to prosper BESIDES making lots of money. But we, at least, must all agree that if we are prospering and being in health, as our soul prospers, it is conceivable that one way we prosper will be financial. Not the only way. Not filthy, stinkin’ rich (Although I’m not opposed…so be unto me, my Lord!). But just financially prosperous. Bills paid. We’re able to afford all we need, and at least a moderate amount of what we want occasionally. We’re not worried day to day how make ends meet. And we have the money to make sound financial decisions, such as saving and investing. That’s what I think of when I think of prospering financially. And I think that this is something that we have every reason to believe that God will do for us. I’m very excited about exploring all the reasons why in the weeks to come.