by Wesley Blackburn
So, in Bible college, I had this professor named Steve Yeaton for a class called Intro to Ministry. Basically, it was this freshman-level course that talked about random pastoral stuff… how to do a wedding or funeral, good basic tips for pastoral counseling, how to do pastor taxes (yeah, exciting stuff) and that sort of thing. But Professor Yeaton had a really witty sense of humor, and I’ll never forget one day how he told our class that a guy only gets into ministry for two things: chicks and money. We laughed pretty hysterically (I can assure you, as a pastor on staff at Suncrest, I have neither chicks or money in abundance… just in case you were wondering).
I think everyone kind of makes jokes like that about money. I don’t know that I have ever had a conversation with someone where they said, “Wes, I just have more money than I know what to do with!” That just doesn’t happen. But some people let that lack become a real driving force for them. They do everything with money in mind. We probably have all known a person who has seen their life wrecked by a continual greed and desire for more and more money. Just as Paul says in this letter, the love of money truly is the root of all evil. When money consumes us, we’ll destroy anything in our path to get more and more stuff. And the cruel irony that Paul observes is simply that we don’t get to take our stuff with us when we die anyway (1 Timothy 6:7). We’re literally spinning our wheels for something that’s here for a moment and then… POOF! It’s gone.
But I also don’t want us to go too far to the extreme and say the wrong thing here, either. Paul says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money itself is not. I really like what Dave Ramsey has to say on this issue. He compares money to a brick. In itself, it’s neutral. It’s what we do with it that makes it good or bad. We can use a brick to do something bad, like break a window or destroy someone’s property. But we can also use a brick to do something great, like build a home or a hospital. The same is true with money. We can use it for terrible things, like purchasing so much junk we don’t need putting us into deep debt, or we can use it for great things, like giving to someone in need, giving to our church, or providing for our families.
As Christ followers, I believe that God wants us to be people who are driven by a deep desire to use what God has given us in the greatest way possible to make a difference in the world that He would be proud of. So if you’ve got money, great! Don’t hoard it… use what you need and give the rest away. You’re not going to hold onto it for long anyway. And if you’re like me, where you don’t have a ton of money, don’t fret! God will continue to provide for us (read Matthew 6 if you don’t believe me). Let’s just make sure we aren’t driven by a desire to gain more and more for ourselves.