Here’s what has been on my mind lately.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world– the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions– is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” -1 John 2:15-17
We studied this in Bible study a few weeks ago, and boy did it hit home for me. In case you hadn’t guessed, we aren’t exactly living in luxury here in seminary with a baby on the way. And I don’t see luxury being a part of our lives anytime soon. So I’ve got a lot of reconfiguring to do in the way I view money, possessions, the world in general.
Let me rephrase that. I am a follower of Jesus, and I want to love Him more than anything else in this world. I want to follow Him, not the world. So that is why I’ve got a lot of reconfiguring to do. Not just because it seems like my life won’t be one filled with money and nice things. I don’t want my life to be filled with nice things. That’s not how I want to live my life, it’s not what makes me happy, things don’t and will never fulfill me.
I’ve never been much of a budgeter. I’ve always just sort of watched my money, making sure I didn’t overspend but not doing much past that. My husband, on the other hand, is a big budgeter. He keeps a close eye on our money, knows where it goes, and wants it to go to the right places. I am so thankful that I married a man like this. I’d be lost without him.
But I am realizing now that I don’t need to just let him deal with the money, and hope that when I pull out my wallet we have enough money to fund my latest shopping adventure. I want to be a part of our budget, I want to be a team with our money, and I want to spend it wisely, the way that God wants us to.
One of my favorite pastors, Andy Stanley, has some amazing sermons and great wisdom on money. I remember a sermon of his that I heard a few years ago in which he asserted that God doesn’t just expect you to give 10% of your money to Him and go out and do whatever you want with the rest of it. We have no right to say “Oh no God, I gave you your 10%, the rest is mine. Get outta here.” God has dominion over all of our money, and we should honor Him with every cent we spend. Ugh. That’s a tough pill to swallow!
I feel like that’s a common theme with God. We think, well I’ll just give part of (fill in the blank) to God, and the rest I’ll keep to myself and go on living the way I always did. But eventually we find, either the easy way or the hard way, that no, God wants it all. When we get to the end we realize that it’s all for our own personal best, but it can be rough going in the meantime.
And so I will work to store up for myself treasures in Heaven. It may be rough going for a while, but I know it will be worth it in the long run.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor dust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
Amen and amen.