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Money Matters. (1 Tim 6:10)

Over this past year, my job responsibilities changed to include assisting with daily finance operations. I don’t manage the finances, but I see the impact of decisions, and do much of the ledger entries, data entry, bill pay, payroll, and miscellaneous tasks. Whether we are in business or ministry, the love of money can corrupt even the people around us we consider the best kind. In the fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he says, “godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life, and also for the life to come.” Later on in that same letter, he says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” These words set up one of the most misunderstood verses in the new testament. In 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. We have all heard people misquote this verse by saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”

Paul later says, ”I press toward the mark”, and we can see he was constantly looking to Jesus as his example of endurance. (Hebrews 12) Our behavior will always be influenced by our values, and our values are directly influenced by our beliefs. Therefore, if our beliefs come from our God/god, then our God/god shapes our behaviors and practices. Whether its personal management of finances or business management, we can wander away from the right focus of godliness in all we do. When it comes to money, our encouragement from scripture is to reach for godliness with contentment, because that is great gain. Many of our personal lives and business lives are defined by what we have gained. The stuff that will one day live in a land fill controls our behaviors on the daily, because money can become our God. As a pastor, I am not surprised when people get offended by the “offering”. After all, you are talking about their God, and they are not yet content with what all they have gained. Paul says we can achieve the greatest gain, by always being thankful for what we have. I am not endorsing a life of poverty. I am saying that we can’t love money. We must love God, and be thankful for the money that comes to us as a result of loving the Lord, working with our hands, and walking in His ways by obeying the Scripture. Whether in our personal lives, or in managing a business, we need to go after godliness, which is truly a great gain. Proverbs 16:8 says, “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.”

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