Money isn’t everything, so it is said, but it is way ahead of whatever comes second.
Why is it that in order to justify wealth as a believer in God, one needs to go to promises under the Old Covenant or to prophecies regarding the Kingdom of Heaven? As far as living a godly life now, there seems to be an elephant in the room for Christians, and he ain’t made of gold.
Our family has begun the wind-down of our study of the New Covenant through the book Wineskins and the recent chapter on “Other Views” takes a brief look at one of the most popular aberrations, the gospel-of-glitter often identified as the Prosperity Gospel.
I am often reminded of that well done movie from when I was a kid called “Fiddler on the Roof”. Tevye sang from the heart of each one of us as he appealed to God in the iconic prayer: “If I were a Rich Man”. It has been years, since I last saw that film, but I still remember his question of how could it be that wrong if he were blessed with a little extra.
I’ve had my Tevye moments as well. That is, I have wrestled with the same desires, not that I tried to sing them to God—that would have guarantee a NO WAY on account of my terrible singing voice. Perhaps my Tevye still holds out hope for a little extra.
But then I come face-to-face with the Living Word and I recognize my desire for what it is—contrary to the will of God as a pole-barer of the Cross. When Scripture flat out commands that I resist the temptation “to get rich”, I find no alternative but to accept the way of sacrifice set out before Christians.
That is not popular. In fact, those who want support for their living standard and retirement accounts are very likely to lash out at those of us who choose to live according to the pattern defined under the New Covenant.
How one approaches money in this life directly impacts the extent of their maturity in Christ; and, eventually it can even reveal the absolute incompatibility between God and Mammon. We are only allowed one Lord. What we do with our resources and how we deal with even accumulating material possessions will show who that lord is of our lives.
Embracing a gospel of wealth, health, and good times for those who get it right in this life is a wicked message of deception. We are not Israelites offered temporary promises of earthly success—that Covenant was nailed to the Cross and it did not get raised from the dead. According the the apostles and prophets and Christ the chief cornerstone:
Ruthless men only gain wealth; those who desire such only pierce themselves through with sorrows; and those who have it will experience how it eats their flesh like fire.
Much like the old Law, the problem was with the people not the Law; so it is with money. The common unit of commercial value is amoral. It is how money corrupts the Christian that tips the scales.
And so I hum my Tevye with an eye on glorification, at the return of our Lord and Savior, when he says he will share his glory and extend his inheritance. That is my prayer…for a little extra such that I will not have room enough to contain it.
Where is the full measure of your treasure, here or there?