Thursday, March 30, 2023

The God of Money (Proverbs 30)

"Give me neither poverty nor riches …" (Prov. 30:8).

The golden calf of our culture comprises a deadly mix of sexual promiscuity, intemperance, and materialism. Materialism is driven by greed, covetousness, and discontent. Countless families spend more money than they make; they save little or none for the future; they hoard their money for themselves and have little, if any, left for God’s work. Instead of giving God the firstfruits of their labor, they quickly throw their money away on frivolous goods. Many find themselves burdened with debt because they have exercised no self-control in budgeting their finances. They have allowed the tyranny of the immediate to control their actions, rather than deliberately and wisely ordering their finances, all the while giving little thought that their lack of self-control dishonors God.

Many people outside and inside the church bow to the god of materialism, thinking clothes, cars, vacations, houses, the accumulation of things will fill the gnawing void in their hearts. Someone once said you can discover a person’s true treasure by looking at his checkbook (or credit card bill). Where is your treasure? Have you turned from God in pursuit of material things? Do you find that you have little self-control in spending money? Have you become overwhelmed by debt because you have not been responsible in organizing your finances in a way that will glorify God? Do you try to find comfort in things instead of God? Do you run to the mall or flip through a catalog when you feel confused, down, alone, or empty?

In Proverbs 30 Agur prayed that God give him neither poverty nor wealth. He knew that if he had too much he would be tempted to forget God. He also knew the dangers of poverty. He wisely prayed, then, for moderation according to his needs. Even if you are not wealthy, have you forgotten God by allowing material things to occupy your thoughts and satisfy your desires? Do you handle your finances in a godly way, giving to God the best of what He has given you? How would you respond if God took away all your material goods today? Could you humbly submit and worship God despite your loss? Could you say with Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21)?

What practical steps can you take to control your spending? What is the root problem with which you need to deal? If you need help, go to your minister, or a Christian friend who knows finances, who can help you deal with this very serious sin.