Did you know that Jesus spoke more about money than any other topic? That’s right. In fact, sixteen of Christ’s thirty-eight parables reference our handling of earthly treasure. In the Gospels, one out of every ten verses when Jesus is speaking addresses money. As John Piper observed, “Jesus spoke more about money than he did about sex, heaven, and hell. Money is a big deal to Jesus.”
I learned long ago that what is important to Jesus ought to be important to me. If this principle is true, then we must think intentionally about money, just as he did. If Jesus died to redeem every aspect of us—as we mentioned before—then the gospel affects our pocketbooks. As his gospel transforms our life, he transforms our view of money—and its use.
So, why did Jesus focus on money? Because money is a gauge, an indicator that reveals a thousand data points about our hearts. Our view of money uncovers our motives, our ambitions, our insecurities, our greed, and our internal value system. Few things reveal our hearts like our money does.
Money can also be corrosive—at least the love of money can be. The love of money will decay our hearts, pollute our ambitions, and stain our Christian lives. Yet, money is also a tool, when rightly utilized, that can bring about much good. Money rightly stewarded can provide for our families, support our churches, bless Christian ministries, care for the needy, and generate a host of other biblical and practical goods.
How then, should we view money? How should we evaluate earthly wealth? What does it mean for the gospel to redeem our pocket books? How can you honor God with your earthly resources? As we consider these questions, know the stakes are high. Remember Billy Graham’s observation: “If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.”
Don’t Love the Provision, Love the Provider
One of the reassuring realities of the Christian life is God’s scrupulous care and lavish generosity on his children. Not only is he able to care for us; he is committed to doing so. Not only is he willing to bless us; he delights in it. As Jesus taught:
“Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his lifespan by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matt. 6:26–33)
The sparkling reality of the Christian life is that God not only meets our needs but often far surpasses them. As he provides, we must worship the Provider. As he gives, sure, we can enjoy the gift, but we should delight in the Giver most of all.
Pursue Contentment More Than Gain
This is key, as the apostle Paul teaches us: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). The reality is, discontentment is like a leaking basin that can never be filled regardless of how much water you put into it. Conversely, contentment is like an artesian well, never running dry regardless of how much you take out.
I love how Paul David Tripp frames this reality. He writes, “Love of money is really about contentment. Love of money is about humility. Love of money is about identity. Love of money is about worship that really roots at deep issues. Maybe the most subtle of the indications of love of money is an ongoing, chronic discontentment in me that, no matter what I have, I am still not content.”
Realize that in Christ, you have all you need. Be content in him.
View All That You Have through the Prism of Stewardship
Stewardship is a concept we are all familiar with, but perhaps not as much as we should be. To be a steward is to recognize that we are not the owners of our possessions—just temporary overseers. We will be judged by rightly stewarding—storing up for ourselves treasure in heaven.
As we conclude, ask yourself: How are you doing with the love of money? Are you content in Christ? How are you stewarding your resources? How you answer these questions will reveal a lot about what you actually think of the gospel.
This article originally appeared on jasonkallen.com on March 14, 2018