Let's talk about money. It's a big subject. Jesus did plenty of talking about it. He said that it was the pseudo-god; the primary competitor of the True God in the affections of people. He said that it was impossible to serve God and money. He said that those who used money to lay up treasure in this world were unmitigated fools. He also said that the only valid use of money was the active promotion of genuinely loving behavior. And He said that life did not consist of having money and the things it could buy. So, we could say that Jesus said a mouthful when He talked about money. That lays a foundation for us to talk about it too.
Since it is a pseudo-god, it usually is surrounded by god talk. Such things as, the Lord has really blessed me. This usually follows the reception of a significant amount of material prosperity. It is true? Is material abundance a blessing from God?
It could be a curse. For example, Jesus said that there was a day coming in which every individual would be judged for every word ever uttered by that individual. In the money-realm, we can extend Jesus' judgment talk to cover every penny spent. In other words, Jesus is going to hold us accountable for every word spoken and every penny spent. To what is He going to hold us accountable? What is His standard?
In speech, Jesus' standard was given by the apostle Paul when he said that our words should always be true and always be capable of ministering grace to the hearers. Every word we speak will be held up to that standard, and we shall pay a heavy price for every word that doesn't measure up.
In money, Jesus' standard was given when He gave us His agenda for our lives: the discipling of every nation to obedience to the Word of God. Every penny that we spend will be held up to that standard. If we spend our pennies on other agendas, we shall pay a heavy price for our spending.
Therefore, a bountiful supply of money may very well be a curse because we shall answer for every penny. Lots of pennies means lots of responsibility. Lots of responsibility means lots of accountability. Lots of accountability means lots of potential judgment.
What is the biggest item in your budget? Why is that the largest item? It reveals your heart. What you spend your money on reveals what is important to you. How much of your budget is spent pursuing Jesus' agenda? It had all better be--because we shall all give an account for every penny spent.
Now some, being ignorant of the Word of God, will have all kinds of objections to what I have written. But their objections won't amount to much in the day of judgment. They can object and reject in this world--and spend their money any way they please. But the day is coming when we shall give an account. To whom much is given, much is going to be required. Jesus said when He left that He would return and require an accounting of the stewardship He left us with. What will you have to say about your money in that day?