Some Bible commentators have said that Jesus talked more about money than any other topic, warning against putting money and material goods above God, that it is virtually impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven, and so on. James even warns that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
In true human fashion, this has led the Body as a whole to mistrust money and not like to talk about it. I know several godly pastors who hate preaching on money, because they feel like it is always a plea for more giving or something. Thus we tend to be ignorant about money and how it works.
The education system isn’t any better. If our students are lucky, they learned how to balance a checkbook, which with online banking, is becoming a lost art.
This financial ignorance is costing us, big.
When I read my Bible, I get a different picture. I see God describe money as a powerful tool, and one that must be mastered, not idolized. I see poor people who are just as slaved to the idol of money and wealth as the very rich. I see poor and rich alike content with their lot. I see wealthy patriarchs, kings, merchants and so on who desperately love God and generously give and honor God with their wealth.
How does that jive with the passages we all know (or think we know)? Very simply. Like every area of temptation/sin, God is concerned with our heart. What is our attitude towards wealth? Do we use what we have to live and serve God, or are we so far behind that we are running just to pay our bills and shunting off ministry to ‘a better day?’
I am working towards, pardon the clichés, making my money work for me, so I can work as to the Lord, and not working for my money, as a slave and servant to an idol.
Furthermore, when the opportunity presents itself, I try to help my students look at money differently, to see it as a tool to master and not be mastered by, or afraid of.
Until our governments (local, state and national) learn this lesson, we are in danger of being overwhelmed economically at the personal level. Thus, we need to be prepared to handle economic collapse. I think the first step is to examine our attitudes towards money. The second is then to get educated about money and how it works, so we can then make better decisions, the third step.