Read: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
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. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
After living in Florida, I moved back to my home state of New York several years ago . While living in the South I attended a church that struggled financially to have a church “home”. They had land, but not the funds to build on it. They rented a local high school and had services in the auditorium every week. They were a loving church, led by a loving pastor. That church had a special place in my heart because it was the first church I attended after a long time away from God.
A year later I completed my tax return and happily discovered I had quite a bit of money coming back. I would be able to pay off debt, still having a thousand dollars left. The first thought that came to my mind was to donate that money to the church that was such a pivotal part of my return to faith. Unfortunately, I let greed trump that decision. I thought about all I could do with that money. The things I could buy, the money I could save for an emergency – yet never saving a dime. At that time in my life I was selfish and only thought about myself and my needs (or wants), not giving thought to what God wanted, much less having faith He had all my needs taken care of.
I have never forgotten that decision and how disappointed I was in myself. What I thought I needed couldn’t compare to what the money could have done for that church and their mission. In fact, what I thought I needed was only a band-aid to fill an empty void and make me happy. Today I can’t even tell you what I spent that money on, but I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned.
Since then I opened my heart to learning and being obedient when it comes to giving, trusting that God had better plans for my money than I did. In the process I found that I no longer needed money to fill the void inside of me or to protect me from the unknowns. Additionally, without expecting it, I have seen the blessings that have returned to me in ways I never would have imagined. Ways that have exceeded the happiness I was seeking and replaced it with something far better: joy.
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.” – Billy Graham