Summary: We handle it, exchange it, spend it, invest it, need it and give our life away for it. Does money stain us, change us, make us do things we don’t want to do? We can make money clean!
Pt. 1 - Funny Money
Money seems to constantly be on everyone's mind. It is such a central part of our daily life. Whether we are spending it, earning it, investing it there seems to be this constant flow and at times grab for money. About one in four Americans said that money is the thing they think about most on a daily basis. We should know money invades our thoughts because the great culture commentator of our day (Snoop Dog) told us this was true when he said "my mind on money and my money on my mind." Money even invades our prayers . . .
A preacher went into his church and he was praying to God. While he was praying, he asked God, "How long is 10 million years to you?" God replied, "1 second." The next day the preacher asked God, "God, how much is 10 million dollars to you?" And God replied, "A penny." Then finally the next day the preacher asked God, "God, can I have one of your pennies?" And God replied, "Just wait a sec."
The issue most of us face isn't that money invades our minds or even prayers it is the fact that it invades our heart. You may ask what the big deal about that is but that is what makes money funny. Notice what Paul tells Timothy.
Text: 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (TLB)
Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Money is funny because as we handle it it handles us!
As we exchange it, spend it, invest it, give our life away for it if we are not on guard it stains us, changes us, makes us do things we don’t want to do. We touch it and it seems to touch us.
Because of that it would be easy to conclude that money is dirty! But I think in order to get to the place where we handle our finances in a godly and productive manner we must first understand that although ... Money is funny. . .
Money is not dirty, but how we view it can be!
Paul's statement to Timothy makes it clear that money only becomes dirty when we come to the place that we love money! In fact, he makes a very strong statement that when we begin to love money that is the first step to all kinds of evil.
The truth is money is neutral. It is neither clean or dirty. The hands that hold the money determine which one it becomes. The same dollar that buys illegal drugs could also be used to buy a meal of the homeless. The same dollar that buys porn could be used to send someone on a medical missions trip. The issue isn't the money, it is how the money is handled and how it is viewed. When we give our heart to it, it becomes tainted.
Paul makes it clear that if you are not diligent, then you can begin to love, have affection for, lust after money to the point that it become consuming.
Money is funny because money will persistently seek to capture a bigger and bigger portion of my heart and my life.
Take a piece of paper and write down how much money would be enough.
We all think "If I just had ___________." The truth is that would never satisfy. That would never be enough. Money doesn't have the ability to be enough. It will always come up short and leave you needing more. Which then in turn captures your thoughts, heart and life.
Jesus tells a story about a rich man who found this out. Jesus gives the harvest report and says the rich man's fields yield an abundant harvest. In other words, prior to any new harvest he already has more than an ample amount. But out of this never satisfying, all consuming drive for more he decides to build bigger barns and stock pile and then relax. His fortune captures his heart. His fortune captures his dependence on God. It captures his trust. But Jesus calls him a fool. In fact Jesus summarizes the struggle when He says in Luke 12:15 - Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And then He goes on and says . . . And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.