I often think of C.S. Lewis’s book The Screwtape Letters. If you’ve not read it, I strongly encourage you to do so. In this book, Lewis presents a premise: the devil doesn’t want you in the middle of the road (representing truth), regardless of which road you choose. He wants you in the ditch. The road called Money has been a provider of ditches to Christians and non-Christians alike.
I Timothy 6:10 AMPC: “For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.” This scripture has been used as a weapon against the Christian church for far too long.
The idea of poverty being godly was born hundreds of years ago. This thought was derived when people feared treasuring their worldly possessions more than God alone. Therefore, rather than simply being cognizant of the One True Source, the giver of wealth, they gave up all worldly means and made it “sinful” so they, and their congregants, wouldn’t be tempted. Fear leads people right off the road and into this ditch.
Let’s study the other one; Christians call it “prosperity gospel.” It’s regarded as hideous and heinous in evangelical circles. Televangelists, posing as great, God-fearing men, have been discovered keeping the donations of their followers for personal gain. Though I don’t believe all televangelists are guilty, a few rotten apples have spoiled the barrel for most. Greed is this path.
What’s my point? My point is that we’ve all been taught a viewpoint regarding money, and I bet (no pun intended) it’s not God’s. Likely it is riddled with the viewpoints Satan has interjected into our culture and religion. Therefore, we are not living in God’s will regarding money and His economy. Imagine if the economy revolved in the hands of God’s children, those who aren’t swayed by the temptation to run off the road, those who are secure in Him alone.
The Old and New Testament provide a picture of what this could look like. Jesus, the disciples, and Paul all lived off of the provision of the church. The Jews were instructed to care for widows and orphans. And even today, are they fearful of wealth? No! Deuteronomy 28 discusses clearly blessings and curses, and poverty is a curse! The rest of the world knew the Jews were God’s chosen people because of their wealth.
And let’s travel down this road, if you will: Do you think all of our government programs such as welfare, WIC, and others would be necessary if the church was doing its job just as the Jews did theirs? No. And how much more could the church speak to the world if the funds to provide for others were limitless? When one follows God’s agenda regarding money, knowing it’s a tool in His hands, taking care of others becomes a natural means to evangelize and win others to Christ. Ask God to teach you so you won’t fall into the ditch on the road called Money.