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.
Economist Frans Doorman writes: “The acceptance of money is based on the faith that others will accept the coins or bills at some point in the future, in exchange for a good or service… Confidence or faith in money is crucial, because by itself, money has no real value… The intrinsic value of paper money (bank notes or bills) is even less than that of coins… Now, the value of currencies depends more than ever on the faith people put in it… today money can be created at will… Today, governments can, and do (produce money out of thin air and have it maintain its value)… Underlying this principle is a deep faith in the infallibility of the market…” Global Development: Problems, Solutions, Strategy,
How you view and use money shapes your faith. That’s why Jesus said a lot about money, roughly 15% of his teachings that were recorded have to do with money –more than he devoted to both heaven and hell combined. Listen to what Jesus says here about money, follow along in your bible, or on the message outline. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?