- 6月 15, 20236月 17, 2023
- by Tong, Peter
Listen for 7 min
Why make more money?
Scripture: “But godliness and contentment are great gains, for we have not brought anything into the world, nor can we bring anything with us, but be content as long as we have food and clothing.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
A phenomenon, anxiety:
A common anxiety among pastors in urban churches is that young brothers and sisters are so busy with their careers that they do not have the time or energy to pursue spirituality as Christians of previous generations did. It’s not that they don’t want to draw near to God and serve the Lord, but there are great challenges. It is necessary to face the high cost of living in big cities, as well as buying a house, getting married, raising children, supporting the elderly, and necessary personal expenses.
Seeing the huge gap between the real needs and the current economic situation, I was anxious in my heart and blurted out a voice: “I want to make money!” I’m going to make more money! This voice has been echoing in people’s hearts throughout history, “The world is bustling, all for profit; The world is crowded, all for the good. “The Chronicle”
Up to now, when we go to university, study for a Ph.D., enter a large company and become civil servants, we have a clear goal, that is, to make more money, and we must get ahead. The moral integrity that the former scholar still adhered to has long been gone. Professor Qian said: “Some of our universities, including Peking University, are training some refined egoists. They are highly intelligent, worldly, sophisticated, good at acting, know how to cooperate, and are better at using the system to achieve their own goals. Although this statement is harsh, is it not true?
Because of the penetration of secular culture and the brainwashing of utilitarianism, young people in the church value money too much and are busy with careers, which we can understand, but do not approve of. For it is clearly said, “Do not be anxious and say: What to eat? What to drink? What to wear? This is what the Gentiles want. Your heavenly Father knows all these things you need. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and these things will be given to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has its own worries about tomorrow; One day of difficulty is enough. Matthew 6:31-34
The meaning of the text is very clear, and to demand God’s kingdom and righteousness, you need to make the necessary choices. Either heaven or earth or on oneself or in God.
Man’s natural choice is to rely on himself. In a way, this is true, because people need to do their part. The apostle also said, “When we were with you, we commanded you that if anyone refuses to work, he shall not eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. But do we really need to know in whose hands lives are? Who decides the path of life? Are we seeking to have equivalent exchange goods or create ourselves (e.g. food, water, air, tall buildings, electronics, etc.)? If you really think carefully and have considerable life experience (that is, you have experienced suffering, faced the threat of death, been betrayed and hurt, etc.), I am afraid that life is really a void.
So, at the end of the day, we still have to trust God Almighty, and Christians certainly believe that. The apostles tell us, “God created all nations from one (bloodline) and dwelled on all earth, and predetermined their years and the boundaries of their dwelling, so that they might seek God, or they might figure it out, but he is not far from each of us, and we care about him in our lives, actions, and existence.” Acts 17:26-28a
One game, one dream:
If we only see our own needs and unknown fears (such as serious illness, accidents, etc.), it is not easy to see the God who provides for our needs; If Christians lose a heart of gratitude and praise, their spiritual condition is even more pitiful. It’s like falling into quicksand, the harder you struggle, the deeper you fall; Drinking to quench thirst, the disaster is not far away. When our main focus is on making more money, mammon (money) actually becomes our inner idol.
The Lord said, “One man cannot serve two Lords. It’s either evil and love that, or it’s heavy on that and over that. You cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. Matthew 6:24. What if you become Asia’s richest man? Isn’t it dead? “What good is it for a man to earn the whole world and lose his life? What else can people take in exchange for life? “Matthew 16:26. Life and death are big things, and we need to make the right choices.
Of course, our young body will say, “I don’t want to be Li Ka-Shing or Bill Gates, I just want to start a family.” For basic needs, you have to work hard. Trust that Jesus will be considerate of me! ”
This may seem reasonable, but there are three problems:
1. Whether our current demands are what we really need. For example, do you have to buy an expensive house in Beishangguang? Do I have to send my child to a bilingual kindergarten? Is it that the status of not driving a luxury car is reduced?
2. If we do our part, won’t God provide for all our needs? You know, there is a social law: the busy lose themselves, and the greedy eat themselves. Those who fear God are truly wise, and those who follow the Lord lack nothing. Wouldn’t it be a great loss if we succeed in our business but turn away from God? King David said, “Those who replace the Lord with other gods will increase their sorrows.” Psalm 16:4a, Aren’t blessings and curses all from the Lord? Deuteronomy 28. There are only a few ways for people to help others, but God can help us in countless ways. In fact, unbelief in God’s grace and power is a sin. “Since God has not spared his Son and laid down for all of us, has not he also given us all things freely with him?” Romans 8:32
3. What is effort? Does it count as not having the energy to read the Bible due to frequent overtime work, and traveling frequently so that you cannot attend meetings on Sundays? Are we considerate of the Lord’s heart in this matter? Is there a heart in the heart of Christ Jesus? In terms of merit, Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great surpassed us mortals, but their efforts were worthless in God’s eyes. Yes, what else can a man do when he leaves the Lord? John 15:5b. If everything is done for the glory of God, it is truly worthwhile, otherwise, it is a waste of time.
What if you don’t have much income? If we go to a prestigious school and get a master’s degree, but we don’t make a lot of money, will it be fatal? The answer, of course, is no. Is the fear of God necessarily impossible to make money? Again, the answer is no. Is a poor income necessarily unhappy? Common sense tells us, of course, not necessarily. Therefore, many times we are worried and troubled. Unwillingness to accept God’s leading, not believing in God’s blessings, and relying on oneself to grasp it often result in a void.
Less money has many benefits:
1. Avoid many temptations. Let us not underestimate the magic of money, for the rich young man thinks he keeps the law well. But one of the Lord’s commands revealed that there was greed in him. The Scripture says, “When he heard this, he was very troubled, for he was rich. Luke 18:23. So there is a famous prayer that says: “I ask you to do two things, before I die, do not fail to give me: keep falsehoods and lies away from me; So that I am neither poor nor rich, and give me the bread I need. I am afraid that I am full of confession to you, who is the Lord? I am afraid that I will steal when I am poor, and I will blaspheme the name of God. Prov. 30:7-9
2. It can help reduce the desire for your own flesh. Because human nature tends to be considerate of the flesh, we tend to spend too much energy and too much money on satisfying all kinds of luxuries. The city is called: or fashion or petty bourgeois or gold-collar life. If the family does not have a lot of savings and income, it can help us with fewer expenses. In that way, the joy of life increases a lot. Regal House is tired of the food, and the taste buds have been numb for a long time; One banana in the preacher’s house can bring a lot of warmth and gratitude to two people (the above is the real reference). Occasionally roasted braised pork is like the old rural New Year.
3. Help us dig and discover higher-level enjoyment that doesn’t cost more money (the highest level of enjoyment is the opposite of what we originally thought, but it doesn’t cost more): such as running a library card to read good books, listen to good music, spend more time communicating with limbs, talk more with relatives, and accompany children to play games. Even if you buy something, you can have extra waiting time (saving), and the fun in it can be understood by non-rich people.
4. You can concentrate your time and energy on worshiping and serving the Lord. In general, more income comes with greater responsibility and effort. Vice versa. If we do our part and don’t earn much, then what’s the harm? Wouldn’t it be more beautiful to spend more time reading the Bible and praying for meetings? The apostle said, “But what I thought was good for me before is now detrimental because of Christ.” Not only that, but I also treat all things as detrimental, for I am precious in knowing Christ Jesus of our Lord. I have cast away all things for him as dung, in order to receive Christ. Philippians 3:7-8
5. Can’t afford a house and car? It doesn’t matter, living like renting a house, walking is more healthy. The Bible says, “Be content if you have food and clothing,” not if you have food and clothing, a house, or a car. Am A. 6:8. Fancy that you have a house, a car, and money to marry you, most of them are a wrong choice. Brothers who do not have a house or a car, but who truly fear God and are willing to do their duty on earth, should be cherished by sisters. Modern people rush to achieve results, which often backfired. In marriage and family, the best choice is for the two to work together, slowly buy a house, experience life, and walk with the Lord.
How to calm your heart?
This is never an external problem, but a problem within ourselves. Abraham lived in a tent and Paul served God in the dungeon, but now we can’t serve the Lord without living in a big house? Conscience tells us otherwise.
We recommend a few ways to have a “godly and contented heart”:
1. Read the Bible more and let the Word renew our hearts and minds. It is to adjust our brainwashed worldview, values, and outlook on life. Romans 12:2. God’s Word has the power to revive dry bones and restore our strength. Ezekiel 37:1-14
2. Commit to the church and participate in more services. This can effectively help us reduce our natural desires.
3. Actively donate. It is a willing donation beyond one-tenth of it. The apostle said, “It is true that he who sows less reaps less, and he who reaps more from many.” Everyone should do as his heart decides, and do not embarrass or force it, for those who give willingly are God’s favor. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. This is a very rewarding spiritual challenge that helps us deal with the greed within. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35b, this is true.
4. Ask Christian friends and church pastors around us who pray with pure hearts to pray for their hearts, and ask the Lord to give us a contented and thankful heart.
5. Cultivate beneficial and noble hobbies, such as reading good books, exercising, practicing words, learning musical instruments, cooking vegetables, learning more foreign languages, and telling stories to children. It can help us to increase our knowledge and do our part on Earth. And by walking for the Lord, one will be doubly blessed, that is, blessed on earth and rewarded when he sees the Lord.
Having money is not a bad thing if it is entrusted by the Lord. But also imitate Christ, be generous to others, and gladly give alms; Be restrained and willing to live a simple life. If God doesn’t make us stewards of the church’s money, our hearts should be obedient. No matter how much money you have, you need to be grateful. Understand what is really important and choose the heavenly path.
For the sake of the Lord, let us not be ashamed of poverty, but of unholiness. The Lord Jesus is calling us to lead us down the narrow path of the cross, and we need not align ourselves with the standards of the world.
“Therefore, if you are truly raised with Christ, ask for things above where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Mind the things above, not the things of the earth. Because you are dead, your lives are hidden in God with Christ. Col. 3:1-3