Summary: A look at how money "colors" or shapes our interior lives and why Jesus has so much to say about its use.
This represents the first in a 5-part focus on how money affects our interior (heart)life, and is derived from a 3-part series given by Brad Powell of Northridge Church, Plymouth, MI. With Brad Powell’s permission, I adapted his material to its present format.
Message #1: Color-blind, The Color Of Money
April 15, 2007
Kevin McCarthy, Discover Church
I’m going to talk about money –an appropriate topic for Tax Day, April 15th . You know what they say: nothing’s certain except death and taxes! I’m kicking off a 5 message series: The Color of Money with a story Jesus told about a guy who was going to lose his job: The Story of the Shrewd Manager, job loss –now that’s a topic that’s relevant to a lot of us metro-Detroiters; Anyone here worried about your job or your company? Follow along with me: Turn to Luke chapter 16: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ’What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ "The manager said to himself, ’What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ "So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ’How much do you owe my master?’ " ’Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. "The manager told him, ’Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’ "Then he asked the second, ’And how much do you owe?’ " ’A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. "He told him, ’Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
This guy sized up his job situation, planned bold and decisive strategy to would benefit others in the short-run and himself in the long-run, and executed that plan. He made short-term monetary sacrifices (his commission) to invest in relationships that had promising long-term potential –a brighter future for these vendors, and hopefully, for himself.
Jesus’ assessment: "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Thesis: Most people are color-blind when it comes to money. We view money as a morally neutral resource, intended for short-term benefits here on earth: to provide for ourselves and our families. But money is far from that. Money is not a neutral, amoral commodity. Money is faith-charged and How you view and use money “colors” or shapes your life, because using money requires faith. Money has no inherent value, only that which we all agree upon –all over this planet. Every time you touch money, you exercise faith –faith in it, faith in our economic system.
Webster’s defines Money as: something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment…” Money is only a symbol or promise of deferred goods and services. To use money, we must trust others, a whole lot of other people.