If you’re not a Christian, you might get a chuckle out of this list because you’ve seen your Christian friends struggle with these. If you are a Christian, this list may or may not resonate with you. You might find yourself sharing one or two of these confusions but not all of them. This is not a comprehensive list but just a few to get our money conversation going, because the topic can be confusing.
1) Money is evil
The biggest misconception Christians seem to have is this statement. You can’t go through life without hearing someone say that money is evil. It’s interesting for people to say that money is evil, because money is an inanimate object. How can money be evil on its own accord? It would need someone to make it do evil things, right? That is why Paul wrote to Timothy and said: “The love of money is a root of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money, on its own, is not evil. The love of money is a root of evil, just one of the many roots of evil in our world. Money and wealth are not the problem, greed is. Contentment and not greed is our goal as a follower of Jesus.
2) I have to tithe
Did you know that nowhere in the New Testament is tithing commanded for a believer? The New Testament does talk about generous giving (read 2 Corinthians 9:7). The church in Corinth was encouraged to be generous and cheerful in their giving. It’s like the person who pulls out a $20 but has a hard time letting it go into the offering plate. This is called tipping, not tithing.
To provide some clarity, tithing originated in the Old Testament and refers to giving ten percent of what you have. In fact, if you study the Old Testament, you will find out the Israelites were really giving around 22%-27% of their goods to the Lord. Their giving wasn’t typically done with money but with goods they had harvested. Their giving was grain, oil or an animal from the herd. Many of us aren’t bringing chickens as an offering, so our focus will be on money we give.
3) Possession of money equals God’s blessing
This is one we have to fight, especially in our culture. This is also a statement that is plaguing the global church. Many great people have thought that their bank account total equals their value to God. This is a complete lie. To some He’s given a lot, and to others not as much, but He has made Himself available to all. It’s not about how much money you have but how much of you God has. If you’re confused on this point, start praying Proverbs 30:8-9. Agur, the writer of this proverb, understood this. How much we possess is not equal to God’s love for us.
4) It’s mine
Some Christians act like the seagulls from Finding Nemo when it comes to matters with money. They’re sitting around saying, “Mine, mine, mine.” Let me give you a little secret to being happy in life: money is not ours to possess. Money is ours to steward, but we do not own it and cannot let it own us. In fact the U.S. Government has given each of us a daily reminder that money is not ours. Each U.S. bill has an eagle on it to remind us it will fly away! We can’t keep a grip on it. Listen to what Corrie Ten Boom said: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”
These are just a few areas of confusion Christians have about money, and there are probably more. Maybe one, or more, of these four areas have brought confusion in your life at one point. Maybe you are even confused on one of these areas right now.
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