If we were to turn to scripture to find the wisest person in the world, it is said that King Solomon would be our guy. As described in 1 Kings, God granted King Solomon the gift of wisdom, after appearing to Solomon in a dream. Solomon was known throughout the world, he had great wealth and influence, and his council was sought after by many leaders, teachers, and government officials of his time. Later in life, Solomon is thought to have written the book of Proverbs. Some suggest however, he was more of a contributing editor than sole author and that it contains collected wisdom over a long period of time. Nonetheless, Proverbs indeed contains nuggets of truth that do us well to live by. The glaring question of this very practical and very underrated book of wisdom is quite simple: Are you being wise, or foolish?
Church, just think of the energy, time, and heartache we would save is we stopped and asked that question; all the hassle, potential conflict, and hard feelings we could potentially avoid if we stopped and asked that simple question before we made our choices and decisions?
There are 135 references to the word money in the bible. Only four of those references actually define money as a possession; something we own. All the rest, 131 references, use the Greek and Hebrew forms of the word and define money as a tool or something to be used for gain, payment, investment, or exchange of services. I wonder what kind of message that information is telling us.
Good stewardship is about growing our understanding of how the reign of God works and that we are a part of it. Good stewardship is about allowing God’s Spirit to transform our hearts and trust God with ALL that we have and ALL that we are, including our money. Good stewardship is about having the kind of wisdom that understands what we are called to do as followers of Jesus; as individuals, families, partners, community, and church. It is about knowing who we are invited to be as God’s people. Your money is included in that calling and responsibility from God.
In his book, Enough, Adam Hamilton writes: “We do not exist simply to consume as much as we can and get as much pleasure as we can while we are here on earth. We need to know and understand our purpose - our vision or mission or calling and then spend our money in ways that are consistent with this purpose or calling.
Society tells us our purpose is to consume - to make as much money as possible and then to spend it. The Bible tells us that we were created to care for God's creation; to love God and our neighbor; to care for the poor and those in need; and to glorify God, seek justice and do mercy. Our money and possessions then are meant to help fulfill this calling.
Today, we invite you to ask a simple question: When it comes to stewarding the money God provides; the resources you have, ask yourself: Am I being wise, or foolish? Is discipline key when it comes to money? Yes. Are good saving, spending, and giving habits significant? Yes. Are budgets and goal setting helpful? Of course. However, if we can’t answer the question, "Am I being wise or foolish?” in a way that is true and honoring to God, then perhaps we still have some spiritual investing to do and room to grow.
Pastor Jenothy Irvine