“Come all of you who are thirsty, come to the waters, and you who have no money – come and buy and eat; yes, come and buy wine and milk without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” – Isaiah 55:1-2
One of the great mistakes of both atheists and religionists is their attitude toward money. Money is the number one cause of divorce in America. There are well-oiled machines designed to extract money from you and me. Some religious groups feel they must beg and coerce for money to do their work. Some secularists think that being rich is the only way to happiness. The fact is that the financially wealthiest people among us have not been the happiest. Here are a few biblical warnings about money.
1) MONEY CAN’T BUY EVERYTHING. The passage from Isaiah refers to what brings real happiness and satisfaction. Having a purpose in life and knowing you are fulfilling that purpose brings incredible joy. Regardless of your attitude toward money, and no matter how much you have, all the money in the world will not help when death comes.
2) MONEY CAN BE USED FOR GOOD. Luke 16:9-13 finds Jesus telling His followers that through the proper use of money, they can make friends by improving their future, helping others find their purpose in life, and building up the Church (not a human institution) to be an agent of good. Matthew 25:34-40 shows explicitly how Christians can use money. Not only does feeding the hungry, providing water for the thirsty, clothing those who are cold, taking care of the sick, taking in those who need shelter, and helping those in prison meet the needs of hurting people, but it also brings true satisfaction to those who provide it.
3) MONEY MAKES A GOOD SERVANT BUT A BAD MASTER. First Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.” Notice it is not money that is evil, but the love of money. Our attitude toward money can lead us astray. Second Corinthians 9:6-8 talks about sowing generously and tells us God loves those who give cheerfully. A casino is near our meeting place, and people have come to us in tears because they lost what money they had there. We must ask, “Who or what is your master?”
It has always been a practice of the “Does God Exist?” ministry to not ask anyone for money. If God wants this work to be successful, He will fund it, and He does that through people who love Him and cheerfully wish to use the money God has provided them to support causes that make a difference.
— John N. Clayton © 2023