Loving It is the Root
To Say The Least
I recently saw a disturbing image on Facebook that was shared by a good friend. It was the visage of the Grim Reaper holding his hand out with the caption "If Money Is The Root of All Evil, Why Do They Ask For It At Church?"
I am not saying that my friend is ignorant, not in the least. She just shared a meme that asked a valid question that is asked by many that are uninformed. The correct passage from 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the "love of money is the root of all evil". Money is a blessing from God, but only if we are good stewards with how we use it.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the Parable of The Ten Talents, about a rich and powerful man that trusted his stewards with various sums of money, and then went away for a fair length of time. His expectations upon his return was to see how well his stewards handled the funds or "talents" that were left in their care. Two of the men invested wisely and doubled their money. One of the men, however, was only given one talent and did nothing with it. Rather, he buried it in the ground until his master's return.
Upon the return of the wealthy man, the two wise stewards were blessed even more by their employer who was very pleased with the way they handled his money. But the third one told his master "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours."
But his master answered him, "You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
What Jesus is basically saying here is that money is the least of His blessings. If we cannot be good stewards with the least of what He gives us, how can He trust us with more? If we squander our blessings, we probably won't be blessed again.
But to answer the question "Why do we give it to the church?" In the Old Testament we were instructed to give our tithes, or ten percent of the first fruits of our labors to God. This was not designed to make the churches rich, but was to show obedience to God. Again if we could show faithfulness and obedience to God in this small corner of our lives, then God will find favor with us, and our blessings will increase abundantly. But He won't punish us if we don't. Our lives will still go on the same, we just won't receive some of the blessings that we could've had. We will never know what we could have had until we trust God.
Hebrews 13:5-6 says "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
Churches depend on the tithes and offerings of their church members. Most churches thrive only on what is "cheerfully given" (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) by the people at each service. Keep in mind that churches have bills to pay as well. Many churches depend on the tithes they receive to pay the salaries of the church staff and to supply food and financial resources to the needy. The churches that you see that are thriving the most are generally the ones that are good stewards with the financial blessings they receive from the attendees. They bless others with ministries for the poor and have various outreach programs. Other churches that have dried up and lost their congregation quite possibly had poor stewardship skills in their church management. God may have taken His blessings away. Trust is the key.
1 Peter 4:10 says: "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another , as good stewards of God's varied grace."
Peter's words here are timely. Keep in mind that we, as God's children, own nothing. God owns everything. He created everything, so therefore he owns it, right? What we have, our cars, our homes, tools, food, even our money, is God's. By His Grace, He is letting us use it. He is blessing us with it, and he can take it away any time He wants. So as Peter says, "as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied Grace".
Putting your faith and trust in Jesus with the least of God's blessings, money, will only result in good things happening in your life. Who doesn't want more good things happening in their lives?
And..."God helps those that help themselves" is also not in the bible. Benjamin Franklin said that.
Thank you for taking the time to read. God Bless you all.