by: FCC Staff
he simple truth of this proverb can be a touchstone for our daily lives as we pursue Christ. How we live our lives not only reflects Christ's love for others through us, but affects how we relate to God ourselves.
This idea of steadfast love and faithfulness is key to a relationship with Jesus. It is what He offers us, and in order for our relationship to grow and flourish we need to reciprocate as well. It's important in any relationship to have things in common, and having this trait in common with Jesus is a defining trait of a Christian.
Paul understood this very well and encouraged Timothy to pursue this steadfast love:
"godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
We can get ourselves into all sorts of predicaments trying to figure out how to hold on to money, to manipulate and cajole scripture and our interactions with others in order to get what we want.
Jesus' detractors knew this very well, and We see them trying to catch Jesus in a financial paradox in Mark chapter 12.. Should a faithful believer pay taxes to the Roman government? If Jesus said yes, well then he's just a puppet of Rome. If he says no, well then, he'd face the ire of the Roman authorities. Money works like that a lot, it becomes a lose-lose situation trying to figure out who is entitled to what.
We know that Jesus outsmarted this trap by replying “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's” (v17) It was a brilliant answer that turned the tables back on those who ask the question. However it is before this response that we see another small clue about Jesus' attitude towards money that often gets overlooked: " But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” (v12)
Jesus had to be brought a coin so he could comment on it. He wasn't carrying any money himself. True his ministry required funds but he trusted others with that detail of daily life. He wasn't interested in having a stash of his own.
Jesus and Paul both show us how being content with what we have is a step in the path towards peace with God. Money, in and of itself is just a thing, a tool, an asset. But desiring more and more of it, loving it, that's harmful to our walk with God. And our proverb for today affirms that it's better to be poor, than to lie to get more for ourselves.
So today let's be honest and forthright in our dealing with others, and have a generous heart that looks to the betterment and joy of all, not just our own interests. A steadfast and trusting heart towards God, knowing He will provide our daily needs, helps us focus on what is truly important in life, and not on all the distractions of this world.
Prayer for Today
Father thank you for providing me with all I need. Grant me the wisdom to be content with what I have and avoid the temptation to be dishonest to acquire more for myself. Jesus, grow me in my steadfast love for you today, and show me by your example how I can be free of the love of money. By your Holy Spirit open my eyes to the true blessings of my faith in you, that I may rejoice in the riches of peace, joy, mercy and grace. Amen.