Healthy Attitudes: Finances
Sermon: Healthy Attitudes: Finances
Pastor Bill Sytsma
Listen to Audio: April 29, 2012 AM Sermon
On Sunday, April 29, we will continue our series of sermons on “Healthy Attitudes.” This week, we will consider our attitudes about money. Attitudes about money can vary widely. Some people approach the danger of worshipping money as they are willing to sacrifice almost anything to acquire more. Others are careless in their attitude about money, and they voluntarily allow themselves to be handcuffed with debt. In this sermon, we will consider Christ’s words on money, and consider how our attitude about money can reveal and shape our character.
Scripture Reading: “And he looked up, and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than they all: for all these did of their superfluity cast in unto the gifts; but she of her want did cast in all the living that she had. (Luke 21:1-4 ASV)”
Scripture Background: Jesus is speaking about the teachers of the law, how they like to have the best position, pray at length, and take advantage of widows.
Perspective on money
- A penny saved is a penny earned
- There are people have money and people who are rich
- Money I the root of all kinds of evil
- Wisdom is better than all the riches of the earth
There are two camps or ways of understanding money or finances. There is the perspective that teaches that money is the root of all evil. While the contrary perspective places money as the ultimate end.
While speaking to the Pharisees and teachers of the law Jesus says : “They devour widows, and make lengthy speeches.” We see a contrast of two images, that of the contemptible and corrupt scribes and that of the humble and trusting widow. The test is in seeing what they do. As for the scribes, their actions didn’t match up with their calling. They called people to action and worship, but failed to take care of those who they were called to take care of. The widow though while powerless in public, gives back to the house of the Lord. Jesus praises her because he recognizes that her giving, while it would not add a great difference to the balance sheet, reveals her attitude. Her attitude reveals that while she gives her last mite, she gives in trusting God to continue provisions even though she has lost everything.
Our attitude about money reveals our character.
There are two perspectives on money. The first is that of greed, that of gaining without end, to gain more, a mass more, and horde. The contrary perspective and one not often taken is that money is evil. We must be careful not to fall into these two dichotomies. There is a middle ground. Work is a blessing, and money is too a blessing of God.
The concern is that we must be focused on meeting him in every sphere of our lives. God is not looking for pacification, he wants our entire personage. There is a value to working hard and gaining, but the focus should never be gaining to give a little to God, but gain so I can be used by God.
The purpose of giving is not to give. But to give as a way of drawing us nearer to God. The story is not that the widow was great by giving, but great because she new where her strength truly lay. She drew nearer to God. In all your giving, remember not to be consumed by acquisition, but learn how in your acquisition giving you can meet and commune with God.