The Story Money Tells

December 26th, 2010

Money is a litmus test of our true character. It is an index of our spiritual life. Our stewardship of money tells a deep and consequential story. It forms our biography. In a sense, how we relate to money and possessions is the story of our lives.

If this is true of all men in all ages, does it not have special application to us who live in a time and place of unparalleled affluence? Take a man or woman who works from age twenty-five to sixty-five and makes $15,000 a year. In his lifetime this person of modest income by our standards will handle well over half a million dollars. He will manage a fortune. And if Scripture is true, and men must give an account of their lives to God (Rom. 14:12), then one day this man must answer these questions:

  • Where did it all go?
  • What did I spend it on?
  • What has been accomplished for eternity through my use of all this wealth?

In the account of the poor widow, Mark wrote, "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury" (Mark 12:41). Notice we are not told, "Jesus happened to see...." No, it seems he deliberately watched to observe what people were giving.

Jesus was interested enough in who was giving what to make an immediate object lesson to the disciples about the true nature of trusting God as demonstrated in sacrificial financial giving.

If we stop to think about it, this passage makes all of us who suppose that what we do with our money is our business and only our business feel terribly uncomfortable. On the contrary, it is painfully apparent that it is God's business-that God makes it his business. He does not apologize for watching with intense interest what we do with the money he has entrusted to us. If we use our imaginations, we might even peer into the invisible realm to see him gathering some of his subjects together this very moment. Perhaps you can hear him using your handling of finances as an object lesson. The question is this: what kind of lesson?

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