Do you ever wonder, what you would want….
If you didn’t know what everyone else had?
Do you ever wonder how much money you would give to others…
If you weren’t comparing what you were giving with how much the person beside you were giving?
Awareness can breed discontent. And comparison is the thief of contentment.
If I know what you have, I want it. Greed.
If I know what I could have, but can’t, I’m unhappy. Coveting.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
In this age of social media, instant gratification is just a click away on the most popular shopping sites.
I can see not only what the inside of my neighbor’s house looks like, filled with decor from the priciest home stores, but I can also see friends and acquaintances strolling the newest restaurants, wearing the latest fashions, and taking vacations to places I wish I could go, spending funds I wish I had.
It breeds discontentment, and we’re not bound to slow down any time soon.
It feeds my already insatiable appetite for more and better STUFF.
Importance of Guardrails
As mentioned in previous posts, guardrails are meant to minimize damage in areas of our life, be it professional… relational… or in this case, financial.
They are designed to direct and protect.
And society, our culture, does not encourage nor celebrate these boundaries.
Guardrails are personal and I have mine, you have yours, and I have no right to force my personal rules and standards on you.
I know how far I can drift, how far I’ll allow my own heart, and my soul, to wander, and only you can decide for you.
You can agree with mine, or disagree, but regardless, you are encouraged to set some up, whether they’re the same as mine or not.
These guardrails light up our conscience BEFORE we hurt ourselves, or others. They’re in the “safe” zone.
But back to the specifics.
If you’re a Christian, a Jesus follower, then He has authority over your life, you’ve made that choice. So it’s all the more important that you be aware of his teachings, his guidance, in the area of finances. Aren’t you curious what He has to say on the matter?
You should be.
So what does the Bible say about money?
The two areas that people often tie in with their greatest failures, mistakes, and what have you, are sex and money. But when it comes to these two areas and the teachings of Christ in the New Testament, they are probably the areas Christians are most likely to disregard.
Many people think, well the church wants my money, and God’s against sex– and both of those assumptions couldn’t be farther from the truth! And yet, that’s the church’s reputation, isn’t it?
Let’s embrace the teachings of Jesus, and continue.
In the words of Andy Stanley,
“The church doesn’t want your money.”
And you’ll say, “It doesn’t?”
The church doesn’t need your money. God doesn’t need your money.
But what God does want, is something for you.
And this isn’t about staying out of debt, or avoiding bankruptcy, although both of those are excellent things. And according to this latest Guardrail teaching by Andy Stanley, you can actually be golden financially, and still veer that financial “car” off the road.
What Does the Bible say about Money
Cutting to the chase, what does Jesus say about your finances?
” No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one, and love the other, or be devoted to one, and despise the other.”
To which you would say, “I don’t have a master.”
Master in this sense has to do with possession. Ownership.
What owns you?
Who owns you
To which you would again say,” Nobody and nothing owns me.”
Where Is Your Heart
What Jesus is talking about is MONEY.
You cannot serve God and Money.
God and STUFF cannot be your masters- only one or the other. Not both.
You may have your college tuition paid for, no educational debt, car paid off, house paid off, and STILL… you may not be golden in terms of your finances.
No one can serve two masters.
Either you will hate the one and love the other.
Or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You can’t serve God and wealth.
It’s not even the money that’s the priority here.
It’s your HEART.
God wants to know, Where is your heart? Because where you lay your treasure, there your heart will be also.
Are you laying up for yourself treasure here? Hoarding?
Because ownership of our heart? God is in competition for it.
Competition with money. And what money promises.
Do we have money? Or does money have us?
Because GREED can wreck your financial future.
But what if I don’t have enough? What if we don’t have enough? The Bible tells us repeatedly that God will provide. He will sustain us. And anything beyond meeting our needs? Is excess.
Greed is the assumption that it’s all for my consumption.
Everything that comes into my bank account, everything that comes into my house, everything that gets sent my way, given to me.
If it goes in my 401K, it must be for me.
If I win the lottery, it must all be for….. me.
It’s the assumption that it’s all for me that gets us in trouble.
And in the off chance I feel generous and decide to give some of what’s mine away to someone less fortunate? Greed is the attitude deep down that, ‘I sure hope God’s looking.’
Consume now, spending.
Consume later, hoarding.
If you’re living this way, you’re living as if there is no God.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon says that if you’re living as if this life is all there is, then eat, drink, and be merry. It makes sense.
Who cares about your legacy? You’ll be gone.
Who cares about tomorrow? You’re going to die.
But if anything, anything in you, has even the slightest suspicion that there just HAS to be more to this life than today… don’t allow yourself to be driven by consumption.
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