“The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland.” 2 Chronicles 9:27
The king was Solomon, the wisest and richest man that ever lived! He had houses and horses and gold and silver and precious stones without number. He had spices and cities and an ivory throne overlaid with gold with lions on either side and lions on the steps leading up to the throne. He was a rich man. And it all came from the hand of God! (See 2 Chronicles 1:10-11)
Money. It’s a tricky subject for the Christian. Is it a sin to have too much? Is it a sign of displeasure or lack of faith to not have enough? Solomon wrote about this balance in Proverbs 30:7-10 asking God to give him enough that he would not be in want and steal and that he would not have too much and deny God. He says give me neither riches nor poverty. God has given much to some and little to others. As New Testament believers we must understand that our financial situation is not an indication of our faith or our favor with God. We are not more holy with little or more holy with much. I have met people on both extremes and both are obsessed with their finances and its supposed reflection on their holiness.
Money, like trials, can be used by God to draw us to Him, or we may choose to allow it to draw us away. It is not the money; it is our heart attitude. Do you own your possessions or do they own you? Are your possessions a means to serving God or a means to serving yourself? Are you a steward of that which God has entrusted you for the kingdom or are you a user, demanding more and more? Are you grateful or resentful? These questions apply whether you have much or little. What ever you have, be faithful to God with it. Yes, God did promise Solomon and the nation of Israel blessings of wealth if they followed after Him, but we are of the new covenant and our reward is not here on earth but we await for a better reward in heaven.
So, what should we do about money? Work hard (“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for menColossians 3:23), be thankful (“.”…with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6b), be content (“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…” Hebrews 13:5), and be a good steward of what you have (Matthew 25:14-29).
Hint for the Day: Teach your children the value of money. We did this not with real money or allowances, but rather with “tokens”. Our tokens were poker chips and each child had their own color or color with stickers. They earned the tokens by doing a job with a good attitude or getting caught doing something nice. They could also lose their tokens with bad attitudes or sloppy jobs. We had a chart that spelled out the rewards and consequences. Then they could redeem their tokens with things from the Dollar Tree store, a date with dad, getting to let a friend spend the night, etc… The older boys bought their roller blades with tokens. They learned to save!
When the boys got older they also started a business called “Any Odd Jobs”. With the money they earned, they were taught to put 10% away for tithe, 10% away for long-term saving, 10% away for short term saving, and then they could have the other 70%. They usually chose to put even more away in savings and spent very little. By the time they were older teenagers, they had “real” jobs and continued with the savings plan as well as buying their own clothes, buying gas, paying car insurance, paying for car maintainance, and putting themselves through college.
Through it all, they learned gratefulness, trusting God, working hard, saving, and stewardship. Don’t deny your children these life lessons by giving them everything. A little hard work never hurt anyone!