Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.
Money Myth #5: If I Give, I Can’t Have Nice Things
Having nice things isn’t a bad thing. When Jesus reminds us that our hearts are tied to our treasure, he is giving us a warning. It’s easy for the things we own to own us. Anything we treasure above Christ, anything that keeps us from obeying his commands, that thing is an idol in our lives. Jesus wants to crush our idols. He wants to give us freedom. Sometimes that freedom is simply letting go of things we think we need to be happy.
Can followers of Jesus still have nice things? Yes. You can drive a nice car, have a nice house, and the latest technology. Before we acquire these things, we should ask some questions:
- “Why do I want ______________?” If we are thoughtlessly purchasing, we are being reckless, and will never feel like we have enough. We should evaluate every purchase.
- “Can I afford this?” Do you have money to buy this? Credit is an easy way to get things so we can keep up with the Joneses. Abusing credit is also an easy way to destroy your future. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Trust me, you will be ok using an old phone, or wearing the same outfit, or driving an old car.
- “Does this purchase help me honor God?” If you are purchasing something that will lead you to sinful behavior, the answer is no. If you are purchasing something that is neutral and you have the money to purchase it, great, enjoy. If this purchase is to build your own status, then you are trying to honor yourself. If you are buying something nice as a celebration of God’s provision, and you are being a good steward then that’s wonderful. For example, if you are buying a gift for your spouse for your anniversary, you might spend a significant amount on something that would celebrate God’s grace and provision in your relationship.