“For the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10)
When Simon sought to purchase God’s power for money, Peter’s response was – “May your money perish with you…” (Acts 8:20) Then, when Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and kept back part of the price of the land which they sold, their lives were immediately taken from them (see Acts 5:1-11)!
Money is a powerful tool which has often been used against us by our enemy. Frequently, it has unwisely been – loved. Money has even been the object of man’s worship. This form of idolatry was referred to by Paul as “…the root of all evil.” Humans have been tempted to steal, kill, lie, forsake their ethics, and even sell their own bodies for one sinful reason – their strong “…love of money…!”
Biblically, God has never endorsed any nation’s monetary system. However, He has clearly provided guiding financial principles for Christians to live by. Concerning our work, the Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” (Colossians 3:23)
From the earliest days of our faith, the Scriptures have said to, “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
As our example, the godly woman described in the book of Proverbs presents the character qualities which our Lord wants us to emulate. The Bible says, “She makes linen garments and sells them… She considers a field and buys it… She also rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household…” (Proverbs 31:24,16,15) We are to adopt and model her positive work ethic as our lifestyle.
Sadly, wars have been fought and entire economic systems have been established primarily to claim the resources that have been honestly earned and frugally saved by hard working people. In contrast to man’s enduring greed, the Bible teaches that “each one should carry their own load.” (Galatians 6:5) Historically, the joy of rewarding work, self-discipline, and personal giving have been sacrificed whenever a national form of legalized confiscation has been experienced.
The Bible’s guiding principal during our current New Testament era of grace is both wise and highly practical – “… If a man will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) The key words in this verse are – will not work – which condemns a lifestyle of laziness! In this regard, the little ant is applauded by King Solomon who wrote,
“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.”
The Bible speaks with compassion about those who cannot work. This is why the early Christian deacons had to continually make wise and balanced financial decisions. The issue at that time was determining which widows, orphans, and other believers actually needed the resources that were available because of the hard work and generosity of their fellow Christians.
In summary, God’s system for financial support has always been closely associated with the members of His church, rather than the world’s general population or through a government’s secular programs. The Apostle Paul reassuringly wrote, “… my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) We are to look to God as we share His resources with our brothers and sisters in Christ!
By Billie Hanks Jr.