Saturday, December 15, 2012

Money Talks

by Tim Howard

I started the Christmas season like many others by visiting some of the local stores in hopes of purchasing a few gifts for those I love and care about.  I’m glad to say I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. As I made my way through various places, I was reminded of that familiar phrase “Money talks!”

I heard its voice: It shouted, “Spend me!” and whispered, “Save me!”
Someone said, “Money talks: mine is always saying, ‘Good-bye!’”
That phrase means money has power and influence. Money talks…and one of the things it says is: “love me.” This is the most dangerous!

1 Timothy 6:6-10 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. …We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and created for themselves many problems.” Money is intrinsically neutral but loving money opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.

I recently saw a presentation of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ which is an 1843 novella by English author Charles Dickens. Many have seen or read this great fictional and prose narrative and if you haven’t you should. The story tells of a sour and stingy man named Ebenezer Scrooge and his ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits from Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Before the radical change, Mr. Scrooge LOVED money and USED people when he should have loved people and used money. When anyone confuses these two priorities, life is altered for the worse.

Jesus summed up the two greatest commands this way:  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ When a passion for God and a compassion for people become your top two priorities, you experience what Scrooge missed. Life and True Love!

Money talks, but God also talks and says: Don’t love money but rather love people and use money!  It’s a tool for helping others. In this season of giving, remember the greatest gifts can’t be purchased. You don’t need to go into debt to prove you love someone. Don’t spend more than you earn and you will be a lot happier. Loving people doesn’t require a great deal of money.

Money’s important if you want to eat but God says one thing very clearly in his Word: Money is not the most important thing!

Churches talk about giving money and businesses talk about making money. Frugal people talk about saving money while extravagant people talk about spending money. Penny Pinchers talk about wasting money, Financial Consultants talk about investing money but God talks about Stewarding His money. The Bible has over 2000 verses that specifically address these issues and we would do well to check out some of them as we walk through this season and hear the voice that shouts:  Spend, spend, spend!

Money talks but God talks as well. What voice are you going to listen to?

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