Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is provided by Pastor Ryun Chang. This blog was originally posted on March 10, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Money: Handle with Care”
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Sherri and Big Girls Don’t Cry, two of the popular tunes of the 1950s and 1960s, were sang by the Four Seasons who sold more than 175 million records, tapes, and CDs in 50 plus years. The two original members of the group, Franki Valli and Bob Gaudio, who were friends long before they struck gold, had an unusual financial relationship between them. During the days when they were working as a barber and a printer while playing in small clubs, the two friends decided to be partners forever and share their earnings equally. Even though neither of them knew where they were going to wind up, they decided over a handshake, to split their future earnings in half. During the course of their careers, they each had earned enough to divide $70-80 million. No matter what happened in their lives, they never thought of breaking their deal. Said Gaudio, “That would be like telling your brother that he couldn’t come to dinner anymore. We’re a family.”
While a wise usage of money can bring two friends become closer than brothers, money has actually separated many brothers. 1 Timothy 6:10b says, “Some people, eager for money, have . . . pierced themselves with many grief.” One major grief over money is the damage inflicted on family relationships and friendships. Once, someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” In response, Jesus said, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk. 12:15). Apparently, money was more important to this person than somehow salvaging his relationship with his brother.
So how can we ensure that money will never break our important relationships? One wise rule is that we do not make money off of our family members and friends. Proverbs 28:8 says, “He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.” Dismayed that “my brothers and my men are also lending the people money,” Nehemiah declared, “Let the exacting of usury stop” (Neh. 5:10). In Psalms 15:5, one aspect to righteous living is described as “lending his money without usury.”
Therefore, when friends or families want to borrow money from us, pray about giving them an amount we can afford rather than lend it to them. Proverbs 3:28 says, “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’—when you now have it with you.” In that way, we will not get bent out of shape for not being repaid.
However, the borrower should make every effort to pay back what was lent to him, for Psalms 37:21 says, “The wicked borrow and do not repay.” If it was a gift, then the receiver should show the same kind of generosity to those who are in need. Most of all, we should all be generous.
Prayer: Lord, give us the wisdom to use money wisely; help us to be generous and rich in good deeds. Most of all, remind us to put our trust in God, not in our bank account. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 7