Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spending Money On What You Value

Photo by debaird
What you risk reveals what you value. - Jeanette Winterson

The Value of a Thing

We all value many things. When I speak of value, I'm talking about the importance we place on certain people or certain material possessions. We have assigned usefulness and worth to them.

For example, some place a high value on their relationships. They invest time and money into people because of the worthiness they have placed on others.

Some place a high value on their walk with the Lord. Their schedule and finances reflect that they love God and that He is a high priority in their life.

And, some place a high value on their stuff. They gotta have the big house, expensive cars, nice clothes, and the latest and greatest in technology. So, they invest a great deal of energy, time, and money acquiring all of these things because of the worth they have assigned to stuff in their lives. Do you remember the former first lady of the Philippine's, Imelda Marcos? She valued shoes so much, that while her husband was president, she built up her collection to over 2,700 pairs of shoes! If she only wore one pair of those shoes each day, it would take her over 7 years and 4 months to cycle through them all. Redonkulous!

The Value of Stuff

Is stuff really that great of a place to put a lot of value in? Stuff breaks. Stuff depreciates. Stuff wears out. Stuff clutters up our homes. And you know what? Unfortunately, a lot of Christians have placed a lot of value in stuff, too. They've bought into the mantra of the world that we all need to go out and get us some nice stuff.

I'm afraid that if we were to do a financial audit on the majority of Christians, we would find that the most believers value their stuff above all else. Their checkbooks, debit and credit card receipts, and bank statements could be offered up as evidence to support this fact. All of us spend money on what we truly value here in this world.

The Value of God's Kingdom

While Jesus was living here on earth, He addressed this problem of our tendency to pile up stuff here. In Matthew 6:19-21, 24 we read:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
As Christians, have we really absorbed the truth of Jesus' own words about money and stuff? He tells us that storing up treasure here on earth is essentially a waste of time and a bad investment, because it's not going to last. We should be focusing our resources on God's Kingdom through laying up our treasure in heaven, because our treasure is safe and secure there. Our treasure is going to last forever up there!

In this passage, the Lord also reminds His followers that we can't serve both God and money at the same time. It just doesn't work. If we're consumed with money and laying up treasure here on earth, then God and His Kingdom are going to be edged out. We have to make a choice on what we truly value most - stuff or the Kingdom of God.

We Value What We Spend Money On

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also...

Our heart follows where we place our money. If we're buying a bunch of possessions here on earth, then we are going to be concerned about our stuff. If we're investing large portions of money into the stock market, then we're going to watch the market like a hawk and be concerned with our gains and losses.

But, if we're giving our money for God's Kingdom purposes, then our heart will naturally be concerned with the things of God. If we will just step out in faith and give financially to God's Kingdom, then we will begin to value what God is accomplishing in His Kingdom.

So, how about you, Christian? Have you been investing too much time, energy, and money into stuff? Is this all you think about? Has your focused shifted off of God and on to the things of this world? Start somewhere by giving something, anything to God's Kingdom. Re-prioritize your finances so that a portion of it is consistently being invested into God's work instead of piling up more junk here on earth. Then watch how you will begin to value eternal concerns over stuff.

Also, check out these related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment