April 8, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from April 3-9 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason. 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

“Our Attitude towards Money”

1 Cor. 16:2

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

Have you ever thought about what factors have shaped your attitude towards finances? If you are an eager saver, where did you pick up those habits? If you are a generous giver, do you think it’s just your personality? If you are a carefree spender, have you ever paused to consider why you spend as much as you do?

As a pastor, I don’t ignore this topic during pre-marital counseling, since some studies indicate that couples argue about finances more than any other topic, no matter how much or how little they own. Some say that frequent financial arguments early in marriages may actually serve as a predictor of divorces. So, why would people who love each other deeply argue so much when it comes to finances?

Early on in our marriage, we, too, had our share of disagreements over this. We realized that joining of two people entailed joining two totally different orientations towards money. Money operates as a metaphor representing status or security or enjoyment opportunity among other things. At the times I wanted security, my wife wanted enjoyment; and at the times she wanted security, I wanted status, and so forth. Eventually, we had to sit down together and talk about why we viewed finances so differently and how we would move forward. We had to figure out who or what would shape our view of finances.

Here, Paul instructs the Corinthian believers how to handle a portion of their income at the beginning of each week. They are to set aside a sum of money as a collection that will provide relief for other believers. “But Paul isn’t just interested in raising money to help those who don’t have very much. He wants this to be a sign of something more, something bigger: to signal to the Gentile Christians that they are part of the same family as the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem; and, more importantly still, to signal to the Jewish Christians that those Gentiles out there are part of the same family as they are.” (Wright, N.T)

With that unifying goal of love in mind, Paul begins to shape a new way in which the Corinthian believers are to behave when it comes to money.

Earlier, I asked if you’ve ever thought about the factors that have shaped your attitude towards finances. I have another important question. Do the teachings of Scripture about money shape your attitude towards money?

Prayer: Lord, thanks for providing for me all these years.  Please help me to be more generous towards You in recognition of Your Lordship in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Timothy 2

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