The Bible has a great deal to say about wisdom and its flip side, foolishness. In this series we’re looking at what it means to be wise and, by comparison, what it means to be foolish and how to recognize the difference.
Are you a wise woman or a foolish one? Part 3
Money & Stuff
As I said in the first post (read it here), while I’m specifically addressing this to us as women, these truths are for everyone: young and old, men, women, and children.
Our foundational Scripture is Proverbs 14.1 which says:
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
Our working definition of wisdom is, “wisdom is the right application of truth.” It’s not only knowing the truth, but applying it to the everyday situations of our lives!
Money & Stuff
In the last post I talked about the tongue and the ears. God has a great deal to say about the words we speak and how well we listen.
In this post we’ll take a look at what God says about about our attitudes toward money and possessions.
If you mention money in a Christian context, often, one of two thoughts will come to mind.
- Money is the root of all evil and those who have it are somehow unspiritual. Or …
- God is just waiting to make me rich. He wants me to have the desires of my heart.
In reality, both are distortions of what God has to say about money. And He has a LOT to say about money.
Not the Root of All Evil
The Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil. 1 Timothy 6.10 actually says:
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Money itself is neither good or evil, but it can be used for both. It can be used to help us care for our families as God instructed us to do (1 Tim. 5.8), it can allow us to help others (Prov. 22.9, 28.27), and can be used to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ (Phil. 4.15-17). But it can also be used for all kinds of evil.
Money can be something we control or something that controls us. We control it by using it wisely and allowing God to bless others through us. Or we can demand it, hoard it, and be miserable when we don’t have it. You don’t have to have money to be controlled by it.
The love of money causes some to pervert justice in the civil realm (Prov. 17.23) and use unfair business practices in the marketplace (Prov. 11.1, 13.11). It has led people to lie, cheat, steal, extort, even gamble away everything they have.
It can even give rise to false teachers, who often teach those things that “tickle the ears” (2 Tim. 4.3). Paul warned us about “men of depraved minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6.5).
The love of money is idolatry. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matt. 6.24). And verse 21, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The rich young ruler is a good example of someone whose heart was wrong in the area of money (Matt. 19.16-30). After he chose his wealth over following Christ, Jesus told his disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19.23-24).
Why? Not because money is evil, but because it’s easy to put our trust in what it can do for us, rather than in God.
Wise Attitudes about Money
Proverbs 19.1 says, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” In God’s economy, integrity is far more valuable than riches.
Proverbs 17.1 says, “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” I wonder how many arguments have been fought over money. Instead Paul said, “… godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6.6).
Families are torn apart because of the money and possessions left behind when a spouse or parent dies. Divorce lawyers get rich while couples fight over property in divorces.
Paul said, ” … brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Cor. 6.6-8).
Sometimes when the custody of children is at stake or we are sued by someone else, we have no choice except to retain an attorney, but we need to be very careful of our attitude in doing so.
Jesus told a parable in Luke 12:
16 … “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
God called this man who was interested in getting and storing up more and more stuff, a fool!
On the other hand … Luke 6.38 says:
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Jesus said it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20.35). Our Senior Pastor says, “If God can get it through you, He’ll get it to you.”
I know there are different beliefs about tithing. Is it a New Testament principle? Or only Old? Do you tithe on the gross or on the net?
I personally believe that since tithing was mentioned before the law was given (Gen. 14.17-20) and since Jesus “raised the bar” rather than lowered it (Matt. 5.21-22, 27-28, 38-48), that tithing should be the minimum for a New Testament believer.
But the bottom line is being a generous person is wise and being selfish is foolish. We can’t take it with us and wrong attitudes deprive us of God’s blessings here.
Proverbs 21.20 says, “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” We need to be wise with the resources God provides.
There are many ways we can be wasteful. Things such as buying what we don’t need, not caring for what we have, and frequently eating out instead of preparing healthy, low cost meals at home.
And Proverbs 22.7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Instead of being a wise steward, content with what she has, the foolish woman puts whatever she wants on her credit card.
Saving for those things we want and using what we have when it’s perfectly adequate are almost things of the past. We live in a culture obsessed with the newest, the biggest, and the one with the most bells and whistles. Only to find that thing we had to have yesterday obsolete before we learn to use it.
Although, I am blessed to see so many young families today turning to a simpler lifestyle and seeking to honor God in how they use His blessings. I commend them and pray we can all learn from their attitudes.
It’s not wrong to have nice things, money in the bank, or a good paying job. But we need to remember that everything we have, we have because of God (Jas. 1.17; 1 Cor. 4.7) and that, ultimately, it all belongs to Him (Hag. 2.8).
We need to ask God to help us keep money and material goods in their rightful place in our hearts and seek to be content wherever and with whatever He has blessed us. As Paul said:
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things [i]through Him who strengthens me (Phil. 4).
May that be our goal as we seek to be wise women (and men).
In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about being wise in our friendships.
Other posts in the series:
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays Making Your Home Sing Musing Mondays Darling Downs Diaries Mom to Mom Mondays The Life of Faith The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Our Home of Many Blessings The Beauty in His Grip Moments of Hope
Tuesdays Cornerstone Confessions Testimony Tuesdays Tell It to Me Tuesday Purposeful Faith Tuesday Talk Intentional Tuesday
Wednesdays Messy Marriage A Little R & R A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Seeking God in All I Do Coffee for Your Heart Woman to Woman Oh My Heartsie Girls
Thursdays Frog’s Lily Pad Booknificent Thursdays Children Are a Blessing 3-D Lessons for Life Life of Scoop
Fridays Create with Joy Missional Women Coffeeshop Conversations Grace & Truth Faith & Friends
Saturdays Snippets of Inspiration Word of God Speak
Sundays Spiritual Sundays
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!