The love of money

1 Timothy 6:10   For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (NKJV)

In a recent blog, I wrote on tithing.  For those of us who survived the Pentecostal “name and claim it” era, that can be a sensitive topic.  Many pastors, prophets, evangelist, teachers, and apostles turned the sanctuary into a house of merchandise.  Tables of books and tapes lined the back of the auditorium or just outside and the people were compelled to give in order to be blessed.  This created a god of conditions: if you give, then I will bless you.  I know of one family who gave into bankruptcy.  Where was the church when they were losing their house?  Nowhere to be found.  The faith movement forgot to operate in Love thus the money flowed in the wrong direction.  Jesus was a giver, not a taker.  The church would also use the tithe as a means of obtaining money from the congregation although they did not want to adhere to any other laws or statutes of the Old Testament, a cafeteria-style gospel.

One function of tithing is to test your heart.  Obviously Our Heavenly Father does not need the money.  The question is this, can you be a cheerful giver?  If not, don’t give until you can.  If you can’t give cheerfully then you probably have a problem with “scarcity mentality” and don’t really believe that Our Heavenly Father will meet your needs so you must take on that responsibility yourself.

In March of 1995, my financial wilderness adventure began.  Our Heavenly Father dried up the cash flow while I was studying the revelation of the feast of Tabernacles and all its facets.  Three months into study is when I realized that I had entered the wilderness.  In the past, being self-employed meant our revenue would cycle up and down.  This time it just cycled down.  THE LORD had always provided for us but this time the well was running dry.  I asked Our Heavenly Father what was going on???  HE said, “You are in the wilderness.”  I said, “Get me out!”  HE said, “There is an appointed time to be in the wilderness.”  At that point I knew that I would spend eighteen months in this down cycle.  I had to console my wife many times and remind her that Our Heavenly Father would sustain us.  Our finances were in a nosedive and bankruptcy was now in view.  Each morning from 6 to 7 AM I would spend time in prayer.  Often it was spent simply getting the fear out that was gripping my heart.  I had a new appreciation for the Book of Psalms for I was living it.  Finally the wilderness adventure was over and the revenue flowed once again.  This time of testing was to give me an opportunity to learn about myself and whether I really believed that Our Heavenly Father would sustain my family.  This wilderness adventure was certainly a test of the heart.

Any windfall whether it be the lottery, inheritance, or other source will test our hearts.  Even the expectation of an imminent windfall can cause the greed to surface and make the individual totally unproductive.  The promise of the substantial sum of money often causes the individual to become focused on the money and not on his or her calling.  It is almost a paralyzing effect.  Energy is expended planning for the arrival of the funds rather than walking out your gifts and calling.  I will do this, I will buy that, I must start looking for land to buy, let’s see, I need a new car…  All of a sudden you are no longer satisfied with your current state.  You have now consumed days, weeks, or months preoccupied with unfulfilled plans.  You look back and see that you wasted all that time when you could have been productive.  This is when you become “pierced with many sorrows”.  The greed found in your heart was so subtle that you were unable to recognize its existence until it destroyed time, energy, and possibly relationships.

Money isn’t the issue, greed in the heart is.

Comments are closed.