My first job was a French teacher at a Primary
School near my Alma Mater. The schedule was friendly so it did not clash with
my campus studies. I was earning 12,000 KES a month. This was a lot of money for
me at that time, being a student. Considering my pocket money for upkeep was
less than half that amount, I figured I was doing really well. I worked as a
French teacher for two years and then I resigned in order to focus on my last
academic year in university. I looked back at the months that I worked and I
learned several lessons concerning money as a follower of Christ. I later began
my internship, got two other jobs and earned more than I did back then. And
even when I was earning more, I realised that the issues about money have never
changed. The following are myths that many people embrace concerning money that
they should do away with- especially if they are Christians.
I always figured that if I got enough zeros
behind the first digit of my salary I would be content. I wasn’t. Money can buy
you things to entertain you but it can never buy you happiness. The
accumulation of things does not equate to an increase in peace and happiness.
Jesus talked about money several times. In all his expositions, he always
revealed that people are more important than things. A rich young man
approached Jesus and wanted to find purpose and eternal life. When he realised
it meant losing his wealth, he walked away. Even the richest men and women are
still seeking for a satisfaction that their money does not ascertain. There is
a false belief in many of us that the extra coin will keep us content. Our
souls will never be content to the brim by seeking to store up treasures on
earth. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says “Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is
meaningless.” A poor man didn’t write that. A very rich man did! Solomon’s
wealth was so grand that it influenced the economy of the country- silver was
as common as stones in his day. In the words of Christ himself, “a man’s
life does not consist in the abundance of things.”(Luke 12:15)
Money is the root of all evil
That is another myth often quoted by many. The
idea is a misread, misquoted and misinterpreted portion of Biblical scripture
found in 1st Timothy 6:10. Paul the apostle categorically states
that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil- not money in
itself. Your bank account is not filled with evil; your heart is. Money is a
good thing. Money pays my bills, fuels my car, gives me brownie points on
Valentines and helps me entertain my friends. However, when I fall in love with
it and adore it, I begin an endless thirst that can never be quenched. Our
hearts are deceitful above all. Even when we deem our motives to be pure, it is
possible that we have wrong intentions. Proverbs 14:12 says There is a way
that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. A perfect
example is from Luke 12. When Jesus was speaking to a crowd, a man cried out to
Him saying, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus’ answer is very shocking. Here is a man who is claiming what is legally
his! What he deserves- his share of money. Yet what does Jesus say in response
to this? “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.”
You read that and you feel like saying, “Oh, come on, give the guy a break! It’s
his property.” From our vantage point, the man’s petition is just. From God’s,
greed is at work. From the hearts of men flow all sorts of evil. For Jesus to
say to watch out for greed it must mean something important - that greed and
the love of money is something so subtle that we may not see it in our lives,
hence the need to watch out. For Jesus to say “all kinds of greed” it should
mean that we can never really tell how greed looks like unless we are keen.
Greed today may appear as a ravenous monster wanting everything to himself.
Tomorrow, greed with be an innocent man wanting his share of the property. The
love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. The love of money is greed and
Jesus said they are all kinds of greed. These all kinds of greed produce all
kinds of evil.
Every follower of Jesus ought to know Psalm
24:1. It says “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and
all who live in it.” God never loses possession of anything he gives. We
are brokers on earth, not owners. Our real possession will be granted to us in
eternity. All the bank accounts on earth will never translate to riches in
heaven. If the poorest man in heaven sleeps on streets, they are streets of
gold- and that is infinitely richer that the richest man on earth. At the end
of our time on this planet, we will account for all we possessed. We will stand
before God and account for what we did with HIS money, HIS time, HIS body, HIS
opportunities and HIS ideas. One way to keep reminding ourselves that our money
is not our own is by giving it away. Giving is the trademark sign of our
Christianity, not preaching or anything else. Giving! Why? Because giving is love.
You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving. Money reveals character. When we find it hard to give, it speaks a lot about our hearts. Deuteronomy
15:10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then
because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in
everything you put your hand to.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Remember this: Whoever
sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also
reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your
heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful
giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all
times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
This is another idea that must be scraped. Poverty
is a bad thing. See what the Bible says about poverty:
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
A little sleep, a little slumber, A little
folding of the hands to rest "-- Your poverty will come in like a
vagabond And your need like an armed man.
The poor are shunned by all their relatives-- how
much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with
pleading, they are nowhere to be found
While many caught in poverty had no choice, the
believer should realize that the gift of work is an antidote against poverty.
It would be wrong to believe that every poor person is poor because they did
not work. Far from it! Poverty is far complex than that. Misfortune in the
physical, economical, political, spiritual and social circles contribute to
poverty. However, despite it, realize that we may fall into a pit we did not
see but God gives us wings to get out. God has gifted our minds with infinite ideas.
The poor man does not need to be taught how to fish, he needs to be given
access to the pond. We ought to eradicate poverty in our capacity. I know you
are probably thinking of malnourished African children with no homes, but there
is more. There is you. If you remain average and complacent with your status,
you are poor beloved. Are you focused on just getting by and settling yourself
or are you passionate to give to those in need as well? Being content is not
being complacent. Paul asked us to be godly and content in 1st
Timothy 6:6 with regards to money. He did not ask us to be complacent. Contentedness
seeks to keep giving while not desiring more than one needs. Complacency seeks
to accumulate and benefit self to the point of a mediocre self satisfaction.
To help those children, you need to give. You
cannot give if you don’t have. You cannot have if you are poor. Look at your
financial life. Are you responsible with the end month salary? Could you wake
up earlier and save time in traffic and consequently save fuel? Could the money
you save help someone in need? It could. If your personal discipline escalates,
your money will too. A lack of discipline will result in poverty. Proverbs 13:18
says Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever
heeds correction is honoured.
Do not allow poverty to cripple your
choices. We have infinite wealth ideas. Take time to read financial books. Look
for Christian ones from accomplished financially rich men and women such as Spirit
by Dani Johnson and Total Money Management
by Dave Ramsey.
They are both Christians and teach about money from a biblical point of view.
When you get the ideas, Beloved ...remember the Lord your God, for
it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore
to your ancestors as it is today.
(Deuteronomy 8:18). As you make money,
always remember that God does not give us money to accumulate it; He gives us
money to glorify His name and His kingdom. Spend wisely on yourself but remember
that you will account for every coin, Beloved. And when we have made wealth,
always remember Deuteronomy 8:10-20:
When you have eaten
and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he
has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your
God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving
you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you
build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks
grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,14 then
your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your
God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He
led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and
waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you
water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the
wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you
so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to
yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth
for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is
he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his
covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.19 If you
ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship
and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be
destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed
before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your
This one is a difficult myth to reject. The
idea that God does not condone poverty would make us believe that God wants us
to have money to be secure. Wrong, beloved. If we ever put our security in money, it means money has become our protection and hence our God. God’s view
of money is to stay away from poverty but at the same time not to be owned by
wealth. There is an obsession with many Christians today about wealth, God’s
ultimate purpose for us on earth is not to make money but to become like Christ
Jesus (Romans 8:29). If we place our hope in money and panic the day it begins
to disappear, then we reveal that our wicked hearts have placed our security
not in the Creator but in His things. The concept is akin to idolatry and God shall
have no other gods before him. Look at what Job said about trusting money as
Job 31:24,25 and 28: If I have put my trust in
gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’ if I have rejoiced over my
great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained ...then these also would be sins
to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
All of Job’s money couldn’t save him from the
calamity he faced. All the money aboard the Titanic could not stop it from
sinking. Our true treasure should be in heaven where moths or rust cannot
I need to work smart not hard
Another myth about money is that work is a
curse. These are people who believe that a shortcut away from work must be
divine. That is far from the truth, Beloved. In Genesis, God gave Adam the mandate
to work before the fall happened, even before Eve came. Beloved, you not only
need to work smart, you also need to work hard. It’s not either or, it’s both
and. God will not bless your hands; he will bless the work of your hands. Read
the following verses:
The LORD will open
the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season
and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will
borrow from none.
May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands
for us-yes, establish the work of our hands. (NIV)
You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase
fantasies have no sense. (NIV)
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (NIV)
One who is slack in his work is brother to one who
Pursuing to be rich is not a bad thing!
This myth will probably make you angry with me
so I will begin with two scriptures.
Proverbs 28:22 The
stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them.
1 Timothy 6:9 Those
who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and
harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
Pursuing being rich is dangerous for the soul
of a believer. Why? That pursuit poisons the hearts and draws the believer away
from the love of God. That is why Jesus said you cannot serve God and money. The
love of money has a very powerful influence that we can never easily accept.
How many people go to the altar to confess greed? Few or none. Why? Nobody
thinks it’s their problem. But God sees how deceitful our hearts can be and
asks us to seek first his kingdom and all these other things shall be added
unto us. Abraham walked with God and in no time, he had abundant wealth. He did
not pursue wealth but God. And when the wealth came, his focus remained on God
to the extent that he even gave off lots of good land and property to his
May our focus on God be so passionate and
Like Paul the Apostle we will make money
through our vocations to finance the gospel.
Like the early church, we will give our
properties to house the poor and needy.
Like Solomon, our wealth will be for God’s
Like Job, we shall own wealth but it shall
never possess us.
Like the writer in Proverbs 30, we shall be
content with enough but never entertain poverty.
Labels: Christian Living, Money, Myths, Stewardship