Money, money, money was a smash hit in the ’70s.
After being an international smash in 1976, “Money, Money, Money” entered the Billboard Hot 100 on October 22, 1977.
But today, money is a questionable topic in the church. The church of the 21st century has contentions with a variety of issues, money being one of them. It is not uncommon when talking to everyday people about the church to hear “All the church wants is my money”, but the truth is that this cliche lacks substance.
There are a few other topics that Christians like to skip. Many believers resist the subject of sex talks in church, which is ironic because people love the pleasure of money and having sex. Why are sex and money taboo inside the church walls? Money and sex were not exempt from the Bible. In order to understand the Biblical response to “All the Church Wants is My Money,” we first have to understand the subject of money is all through the scriptures.
Here are a few statistics on money and the scriptures.
- Two hundred eighty-eight verses in the Gospels are about money.
- One in ten verses discusses money metrics.
- The Bible has 500 verses about prayer but more than 2,000 verses about money.
Most people understand that money is a necessary tool for life and living. We also know that every business needs finances and resources to build their organizations and make a difference.
Why do Christians fail to see the church needs resources to fund operations and pay expenses? Despite the money controversy, mature believers are rarely concerned about church finances. The spiritually mature obey the scriptures in every area, including the willingness to share their wealth.
We often hear the church is all about money. Are McDonald’s, Best Buy, and Amazon money-focused? Yes. Amazon, McDonald’s, and Facebook are all trying to sell you something. Do we see that as controversial? No.
Do you see churches with billboards (like Amazon) offering items on sale? I don’t.
Churches and money
Most churches are not selling their inventory or services. A high percentage of churches offer their programs for free. These free services include free counseling, free courses, free training, and benevolent programs to help those with crisis needs.
The healthiest churches also steward their money well and focus on reaching and serving people.
Jesus dove into the topic of money with no shame. Jesus watched as people presented their offerings in the church service. Unusual, for sure.
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1–4, ESV)
So yes, Jesus was watching. Does Jesus watch now? If so, what intention does Jesus have? His purpose is to teach us to trust Him for our needs.
Notice, the rich gave but still had excess. The widow gave all she had remaining was her trust in God for her future needs.
So the widow gave everything she had. Is that our commission? Not necessarily. We are to support the church and others as the Spirit of God leads us. Just like the believers in the Acts of the Apostles.
Now the multitude of those who believed was of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the sold things, and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 4:32–35, NKJV)
No one coerced these believers to sell their homes and give away their money, and it was a deliberate choice of Jesus’ followers.
OK. So how should we share our wealth?
Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:7, NKJV)
Mature believers need no compulsion to share their blessings and freely give. Donors to the church are called tithers (10% givers of income.)
The word tithe represents the volitional giver of 10% (or more) of a person’s income. Tithers are rare, and only 5% of churchgoers consistently support their church by tithing. The old saying is true, 20% does 80% of the work.
The church has accomplished great things with fewer donors versus attendees.
Again, mature believers know how to handle their money, and most are generous. These are everyday people who see the importance of sharing their time, talent, and treasure.
These donors and tithers are the primary funding sources for the local church. The local church is funded by those with a heart of generosity for God’s Kingdom and God’s people.
Sowing and reaping
Some say “give,” and life will give back. This is what the Bible calls sowing and reaping. Another way to say it is; that what goes around comes around, and that’s true.
Donald DeMarco said, “nothing, therefore, is more costly than greed; nothing is more rewarding than generosity.”
The mature Christian has learned the value of sowing into the Kingdom of God and discovered the benefits of reaping blessings that money cannot buy.
Yes, we can pay it forward … a smile, a hello, a Godly hug, and our financial generosity.
Generosity is an act of direct obedience to God and spiritual maturity. Money is not about wealth; it’s about trust.
We can grow into trusting God with our money matters.
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This post first appeared here.