The apostle Paul said: “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for if have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:10). When you look at our world today, an unhealthy attitude toward money has caused us many challenges. Some of those who have pursued wealth at all costs, have cut corners and in some cases engaged in illegal behavior for one’s personal benefit. Yet, even for those who have not found themselves in prison because of theft or robbery, can still find themselves living with the wrong attitude toward wealth and finding ourselves hoarding it up instead of blessing others.
Do we realize that money has spiritual dimensions? Money is not intrinsically evil nor inherently good. Paul said that it was the love of money, not money itself, that was the source of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Therefore, our attitude toward money makes all the difference in the world. Our use of money serves as a good barometer of our spiritual health. When we use money for God’s purposes it can accomplish great good. When we use it solely for ourselves, then we have failed to grasp our purpose here on earth. Unfortunately, too many people in our world think only of themselves when it comes to money. Others may want to give but find themselves unable to do so because we live according to the American dream. Because of indebtedness for this world’s goods, we may have short changed our ability to give.
A prior generation of our society who lived through the Great Depression were usually savers. Their descendants, the Baby Boomers (those born after WWII and up until 1964), have a reputation as spenders. Debt is normal to them. Boomers (speaking generally) accepted debt and spent a huge amount of their income on their personal satisfaction.
Those of us who are accustomed to spending more than we make by using credit cards have passed this practice on down to our children. According to ABC News, 70% of undergraduate college students now have at least one personal credit card. About 20% of these card holders have a credit card debt of 10,000 or more. Where did we go wrong? Unfortunately, we have bought the lie that money and possessions will make us happy. We want the possessions and we want them now. Credit cards have created a way for us to have today what our parents accumulated by saving for over 30 years. Our nation is consumer oriented. This ridiculous amount of debt that we carry has significantly hindered our ability to generously give.
Today, I can see this reflected in our residents. We have some residents who are fiscally responsible. They save their money and they are also willing to share when needed. I aslo see those who as soon as they land a job, they are ordering every item imaginable from Amazon.
Listen to the words from Hebrews. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you nor forsake you” (13:5). When we lose sight of what is important, we need to remember these words. We think that possessions will make us happy but giving things away will make us happier. Consider the example of the Macedonians. They gave because they were happy instead of purchasing items to make them happy. And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that was given to the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. . . but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us (2 Cor. 8:1-5).