I don't believe that Jesus has a problem with money. I believe that he has a problem when we allow money a larger place in our lives than we should. In Luke 16:13 he says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
How can you tell when money is king in your life?
- We place value on temporary things. Remember the story of the rich, young ruler (Luke 18)? He snubbed eternal treasures for temporary wealth. Ask yourself: do I give too much value to temporary things?
- We get more of a thrill out of money-making opportunities than people-building opportunities. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I have found that when we become money-focused, we set ourselves to a "receive" mode. We become caught up with wanting to receive more. But we are meant to live with an outside focus! To give is to be blessed! Ask yourself: Is receiving or giving more exciting for me?
- We find tithing very difficult. Jesus said in Mark 12:17, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." Yet I know many people that struggle with the tithe (giving 10% of our income to God), even if they believe the it is still relevant for Christians today. This one is probably one of the clearest indications to me that money is king over that person's life.
Remember that money brings no ultimate satisfaction. The Bible is VERY clear about this.
Ecclesiates 5:10 - He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.
Recognising the place that you give money is an important first step in correcting it. My pray is that you challenge yourself in this area as the life that God has got for you cannot become reality as long as money is king. Remember: there cannot be growth without discomfort!