2 Corinthians 9; 2 Kings 22:1-23:35; Nahum 3
Have you ever noticed how some people use money to keep score? Professional athletes compare their salaries to others at their position. It doesn’t matter that they already make more money than the GNP of some small countries – if another player has a higher contract, they aren’t happy. In business we see CEOs getting outrageous salaries and benefits that they see to be a symbol of their worth as a leader. Then, when they’re fired, they get an even more outrageous severance package. Lest this be seen as an attack on these individuals, some of them are diligent in finding ways to help others with their money. God has a plan to provide for us and for how we should use our money: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) First, we should have sufficiency in all things. This doesn’t mean we have to live in a cave on bread and water – it means we should have enough to meet our needs. For most of us, that isn’t a problem. After that, we should have an abundance for good works. As a pastor recently pointed out, followers of Christ should have a two-handed approach to the people we deal with. With one hand we bring the good news of Jesus Christ. With the other we reach out in acts of compassion, or, to use Paul’s words, good works. When we have met our needs, do we indulge in luxuries for ourselves or do we find ways to do good works. People must determine for themselves in obedience to God what that means to them – no one should presume to take the place of God and tell others how to spend the money that God has blessed them with. That being said, if you are spending more for a night out at a restaurant than you spend to help others, you may need to seek God’s direction. If you spend more going to a one day sporting event than you spend all year in supporting good works to further God’s kingdom, you may need to get with God and readjust your priorities. Enjoy life, but make sure you seek God so that you might have financial abundance for good works.
Lord, while You have not called on me to take a vow of poverty, too often I think of my own wants without considering the needs of others. May I always seek Your guidance to balance how I spend the money You have provided. Let me be humble and let me be obedient with an abundance for good works.