Wednesday, October 31, 2007 at 8:49PM
Most people are unaware how much hold their money has over them. We live as if we are truly free, yet for so many of us our decisions and lives are shaped by the decisions we make about money:
- what career will I follow?
- where do I choose to live?
- will I make it to the end of the month before the end of the money?
If you want to see how powerful money is, simply ask someone to tell you how much they earn... If they're silenced by your question, it is likely that they, like most of us, have been overpowered by money.
I am quite skeptical of pastors and churches that 'force' their members to tithe on their income (i.e., give a 10% of their earnings) by promising them that this sacrifice will bring blessing. However, there is a faith principle contained in this practice... The principle is not that God will bless you for giving God (the one who has no need for money) 10% of your income... Sadly most of those Churches and Pastors are not using the money they get for the work of God!
However, the value of the principle of generous giving is that it forces me give away something that has a hold over me, without the hope of receiving anything in return. Each time I give I find a bit more freedom.
And, of course, anything that has that much power over me must be subjected to the rule and authority of Christ - after all, he is not only my Saviour, he is my Lord!
As a minister I have had to make many choices that would seem counterintuitive in a consumer society... Today I was faced with a choice to earn more money to do something different to what I am doing now... When my first thoughts turned to what I could get out of it I realised that this choice could not be made without prayer, and careful discernment. Today I was reminded that I am controlled by money. I don't want to be - I want only to be controlled by what will help to achieve God's mission of healing and transformation in the world.
Please pray for me.