Sunday, 13 October 2013

Money and Your Character

Money has the ability to transform our character. Now money here is not evil it is the love of it that makes it so evil. My housemate and I were in the kitchen together one afternoon laughing about the events of the day as she asked for a few tea bags from me. I gave them to her and when we were about to exit the kitchen she said, “Oh there’s one more thing I’m asking for, but I know you’re going to get angry.” So I’m looking inside my cupboard wondering what in the world could possibly make me so angry if I had to give it away. And she says shyly, “you remember the biryani (Indian food) I bought you the other day, (That is about two months ago), can I have the money for that?” And instantly like she predicted my mood changed. Firstly, I was not expecting that, and secondly when I buy food or things for people I never really expect them to pay me back. But, you know, I have to shift everything from being about me, because I mean, it’s her money and if she feels that she wants it, and I have it, she has the right to get it.

Being Christian and Money

I think it’s quite sad; that when somebody identifies me in regards with money she knows that I’m definitely going to get angry. I guess that’s the image I portrayed to her when I was walking around the house asking if everybody was taking out 30rands for poitjiekos the other day. It’s like I’m two different people, one that loves God and the other that gets so agro when it comes to money matters. (No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and love the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Mathew6:24). In an age where spirituality is based on success and the amount of money you have, Christians can’t help but become a slave to money. Let’s face it, we get excited when we receive money, we allow others to manipulate us by giving us gifts and money, we are driven by the love of money. Yet God says that you cannot love money and love Him at the same time. It makes me wonder why Jesus emphasized so much on money rather than saying, “you cannot love fame and God at the same time.” That’s because money for many Christians has been idolized and seen as success. The more money you have, the more spiritual you are.

The love of money is…straight up evil

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.~ 1Timothy6:10

One housemate of mine stood right outside my window one afternoon crying bitterly. Everybody was running to her asking her what’s wrong. This is the same housemate who demanded that I pay for the poitjiekos I ate. It’s like she was placed purposefully near my window to test my character, I mean, there’s so many spots around the yard where one can cry at, let alone your own room.  While listening to her bitter cries I thought to myself, “I guess now God is punishing her for how she treated me.” The Holy Spirit corrected me, why would God punish somebody because she wanted her money and I’m still holding on to that anger. Don’t we all go through stages in our lives where we face painful moments that cause us to cry uncontrollably? So what makes me feel so special that God would punish somebody because I’m agro over money? The problem is we don’t focus on the real situation. Instead of seeing that our character is constantly being tested we look at others as the problem. We get happy when they face hardships instead of seeing that God used that person and that situation to polish our character. The love of money is straight up evil. People betray one another because of money; families are separated, and friendships are destroyed. What is our world coming to…because of money?

I called one of the ladies in our church structure Wednesday morning asking her to do my hair, clearly stating the price, on which she agreed on. While she was at my place doing my hair I gave her such good treatment. Made coffee and snacks; out did myself in my cooking, talked to her with so much respect and submission, I did all things well. She slept over at my place and the next day when she had to leave I gave her the money which I said I will pay. I didn’t think that she’ll have a problem with it since we’re from the same structure and I treated her so well. When I gave her the money she said, “This hair does not cost this much. It’s double the price.” Instantly the smile I had on my face disappeared. “But I told you yesterday that I only have this amount of money and you agreed…” I said.  She remained silent. “Agh, it’s okay, I’ll give you the money as soon as I get it.” Immediately I left her presence. When she made small talks trying to get rid of the awkwardness I felt that she was just being pathetic. What is the love of money doing to you and your relationships? Well, I gave her my food, I treated her right, and I thought we’re buddies? Well, are you “buddies” with someone in order for you to get something from that person? Are you only good to people because you’re expecting a reward? Is that your real character?

If you are good be good. If your heart is evil acknowledge it and pray about it.  Don’t do good because you’re expecting things in return. Chances are people won’t return the good and you will feel used. 

Money reveals our true character.

Money reveals, firstly, our love for God. Jesus clearly states that you cannot love both money and God. Many times when we go through hardships we get so closer to God, which is not a bad thing of course. Yet, as soon as we receive money or things go well for us we forget about our Father and go on with our daily lives. I have learned that when you love somebody you will look for opportunities to give that person instead of taking from them.  For instance, one won’t mind spending hundred rand on a plate of food at a restaurant but can hardly take a hundred to the house of God. A church where a Pastor is constantly pouring out hope-filled messages to get you closer to your Creator and the purpose He has for you. Now I’m not saying that you should buy the gospel I’m just saying why is it so easy to withhold your money from advancing God’s kingdom, yet you can spend it on temporary things like food and clothes, yup even alcohol. A wise person will invest in his or her spirituality using all the resources that they have, including their money. 

I know; we all fear that there are false prophets out there who are after our money, I’m no exception. I mean, I get skeptical sometimes when I hear my pastor emphasize so much on money. Yet I realized that what I give to the Lord has nothing to do with my pastor, I just obey what the bible says. (Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Luke6:38). Obviously this doesn’t apply to money only but to other things as well, but we buy things with money. Our pastors never have to emphasize or beg us to give our offerings we should just do it simply because they are building our spiritual life which is of great importance eternally. I don’t need my pastor to remind me that I should tithe because I know that when I don’t tithe, even though I’m born again, the devil will have his way with my money. Today I’ll have money, the next day it’s gone. What happened? I simply didn’t give God authority over my money. It’s easy to say, “God use me, take all of my heart, my dreams, my talents” but never easy to ask Him to take control over our money and use it for His glorious purposes. 

Now to conclude my topic, I end off by saying: The love of money is indeed the root of all evil.I pray that the Lord will remove the love for money in our hearts and fill us more with His spirit instead. 

 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men (And things, and money) 

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