How we manage our finances says a lot about the kind of person we are. Financial wealth has the potential to exert a powerful worldly influence and bring out traits we didn’t know we had. For some, coming into money can trigger negative emotions like selfishness, jealously, or fear; for others, it can generate gratitude and thanksgiving for the financial blessings. Money is simply a tool; a thankful heart enables us to use this tool to accomplish many things.
King David is one example of someone with a thankful heart who accomplished a great deal. Although he was fabulously wealthy, he didn’t put his trust in his money but in his God. He willingly opened his treasures of wealth not to serve himself, but to build the temple of God. “Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house” (1 Chronicles 29:3). The example of generosity David set for the children of Israel influenced them to do the same. “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (1 Chronicles 29:9).
“Affection” is defined as liking or caring for someone or something. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). David had his priorities in the right order; he was wise enough not to fall into a wrong relationship with money, but instead put more value in his relationship with God. This wisdom was one of God’s blessings.
David’s son Solomon was another example. Solomon was even wealthier than David because in addition to what he had inherited from his father, he was a shrewd businessman. “Each year Solomon received about 25 tons of gold. This did not include the additional revenue he received from merchants and traders, all the kings of Arabia, and the governors of the land” (1 Kings 10:14, 15, NLT). However, he didn’t let his money distract him; he asked God to give him wisdom and understanding, a request that God granted. Neither David nor Solomon were perfect; they both made their share of mistakes, but their hearts were right before God.
The mistake we make is misguided prioritization. Putting money above everything else won’t give us the results we want. “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 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” (1 Timothy 6:9, 10, NLT). Financial ruin definitely doesn’t empower us to accomplish the mission God has for us.
There’s nothing wrong with having money as long as we know how to use it wisely. Just before his departure from Ephesus, Paul reminded the believers there that he had worked hard and used his financial resources to help the weak (Acts 20:34, 35). Doing this is a godly way of handling the money we’ve been blessed with.
The choices we make with money reflect the state of our hearts. Letting God lead us in this area helps us choose wisely. The right attitude allows Him to use us mightily.