Living Generously: Defense
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Mathew 6:24
1. Living Generously includes our money
We’ve all heard the expression “Money Talks.” The Bible clearly teaches that money has a voice.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. (James 5:3)
Money can cry out against us, testify against us. Frank saw this clearly in his dream. But there is another way that money talks. Frank’s money kept repeating something that sounds good to us – and is a dangerous lie. “Frank is the boss.” How often are we seduced by the soothing voice of money with its artificial empowerment? “I’m the boss”, we think. It’s my money and I will decide what to do with it.
We seek financial advice from many sources but rarely from God. Many of us look on and think, “I seek God all the time about money.” But “God give me more money!” doesn’t count.
This comes back to a proper perspective. Where does our income flow from? God gives to us that we may meet our basic needs and bless others. Living generously acknowledges that how we use the money God has given to us matters to God.
2. Living Generously requires good management
23 O king, Araunah gives all this to the king." Araunah also said to him, "May the LORD your God accept you." 24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. (2 Samuel 24:18-24)
When the Holy Spirit begins to convict us of a lack of generosity, our first defense is to point to our giving just as Frank did. We would all agree that you can’t show up to church once a week, sing the songs, and say “Amen”, but then live the rest of the week as if we didn’t know who God was. But so many of us do that in our finances every day! We give our offerings, or even our tithe, and then use the rest as if we didn’t know who God was.
We are on this journey of generous living. We need a life change; a heart change. The point here is not to live a poverty gospel or to villainize the wealthy. It is not about how much you have, but it is about how we respond to God with what we do have.
If we can grasp this one principle, that God owns it all, we will take an enormous step on this journey. Living generously is about godly money management of all we have, not just the 10% tithe that God commands.
3. Living Generously chooses the right master
Mismanagement of the financial resources that God gives to us is idolatry. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Mathew 6:24. Christ is clear: there is room for only one master of our life. The issue for Frank is not his money, but his heart. Frank is guilty of idolatry.
Generosity is not on a list of rules handed down from on high, and it isn’t just a financial principle. It is a response to the love of God. When our hearts are aligned with the Father’s, we respond by loving others, and living generous lives. Our money is the most obvious indicator of our hearts in this area. It has been said time and time again – if you want to see someone’s priorities, look at how they spend their money.
Take time this week to bring these areas before the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you of areas that need to be realigned with God’s will. Frank had a literal wake up call. I pray that we would have one too.
This week spend time asking God what your money would testify about you. Are you serving two masters? Pray that God would help you rid yourself of this idolatry.