Let Love Lead
… In Our Money – Part IV
Scripture Reading: Luke 12:15-21
Key Verse: Luke 12:15
Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
As I promised in yesterday’s devotional, I want to look at a safeguard or two that helps us keep greed out of our daily lifestyles.
The first, and I think the best way to safeguard our lives against greed is to develop a financial plan that puts God first.
For me, I know I could easily allow myself to gather too much “stuff”. To fight against this, I give God the first 10% of my income, as well as other monthly donations to mission opportunities. I also put 10% of my income into savings.
Once we have put into action a plan to give God His share of our money (which He owns anyway) and put another share into our savings, then we can feel at peace about our finances.
Certainly, it is possible to still allow greed to slip into our thinking, but that is less likely. When we put God first in our finances, we surrender to God’s way of thinking.
I have had people challenge me that giving 10% to God is not a New Testament concept. I usually do not argue, and simply point out Jesus’s words in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 23.
In Matthew 23:23 Jesus reminded the Pharisees that they were tithing but neglecting justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Jesus scolded them for their mixed-up priorities telling them to keep these three virtues at the top of their list but continue to tithe as well.
If you have decided against 10% giving and say the New Testament only teaches generous giving, what metric do you use to determine what is “generous”?
The biblical idea of tithing or giving 10% of your income does give us a starting point. Tithing looks generous when compared to American’s 2.5% national average of charitable giving.
One more suggestion that can help us fight off greed in our lives is to discipline yourself to pray about any extraordinary spending.
I do not pray about my spending on the normal things like groceries and fuel. But when it comes to bigger “fun” activities and possessions that go way beyond my needs for survival, I make them a matter of prayer.
God loves to give good things to His people, but there may be times when He knows that you are heading toward greed and would slow down your spending. Give God a chance to speak into your life before spending more money on “stuff”.
We can trust God’s judgment on our finances far more than we can trust our own. Take Jesus’s warning serious: “Watch out! Be on guard against greed…”.
Father, I do want to keep greed out of my heart. Grant me Your wisdom and strength to fight this battle in my life today. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.