By Art Rainer
I don’t have a problem discussing money. I know, shocking. And one of the main reasons why I am comfortable with the topic is how I view money.
For many Christians, money is a taboo topic. You shouldn’t talk about it. And you really shouldn’t talk about making money—that topic is super taboo. But why? Why, when the Bible says so much about money, do we say so little?
The Prevalence of Greed
Examples of individuals pursuing more money for the wrong reasons are everywhere. Their motivation is building their kingdom, not God’s kingdom. They are tight-fisted instead of open-handed.
Christians do not want to be perceived in that way, so we run from the topic.
We See Others with Less
We experience a sense of guilt. While we talk and think about making more money, we are aware that there are those who have far greater needs than us in our community and around the world.
And so, we feel guilty about pursuing more money.
We Have Critics in Our Lives
Most of us have people in our lives who we know would criticize our attempt at making more money. They will say that making more money should not be the concern of a Christian.
They know just enough Bible to be a critic, but not enough Bible to fully understand God’s perspective on money.
We Know Our Own Hearts
If we are honest, most of us are keenly aware of the allure money presents. We understand why Jesus spoke so frequently on the topic.
The temptation is there for us, to chase money for the sake of having more money, to place our hope in money. So, we flee from it.
There are reasons why making money is a taboo topic. But should it be? Does a right understanding of God’s design for us and money cause us to flee the topic or run toward it and engage it?
Let me provide you the following points to consider:
God is not opposed to wealth
He is opposed to hoarding wealth. There is a difference. This does not mean that everyone is or should be wealthy.
The master in the Parable of the Talents dispensed different amounts of resources to each servant. So it is with us. God provides much to some and little to others.
He provides some with the ability to make money and build wealth, like my friend at the beginning of this chapter. And this is alright. It’s not about the amount, but the stewardship of it. And it is God who ultimately provides it all.
Remember, working for our provision was also God’s idea
Work was God’s idea from the beginning. The Bible tells us that working for our provision is a good thing.
Remember, God designed us for generosity
God provides us resources to enjoy and advance His Kingdom. Again, it is not wrong to have wealth. It is wrong to hoard wealth.
Financial health is a means to living and giving generously (And sometimes it takes making money to get us there)
And this is where you are, wanting to live out God’s design for you and your money, but with an obstacle in your path. And increasing your income may be a way to overcome that obstacle.
The world pretty much has a monopoly on the money conversation. Because of this, we believe there is only one motivation behind making money—greed.
We don’t talk about other Biblical possibilities, which only perpetuates the idea that money and making money are evil.
We don’t learn about money, which leads us to be poor managers of it, which stifles our ability to use it for God’s mission.
It’s as if Satan saw how often God talks about money, how important it was to Him, and found a way to ensure that the message would not get out.
He saw the potential Great Commission impact, and he found a way to shut down the conversation. He made God’s teachings taboo.
This bothers me. And it should bother you. Don’t hide this book from your friends. Don’t run from the making-money conversation. You have a mission. We all do.
ART RAINER (@ArtRainer) is Vice President for institutional advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the author of The Money Challenge and Find More Money. Excerpted with permission from Find More Money by Art Rainer. Copyright 2020, B&H Publishing Group.