Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Ever feel like you have been talking to God all day and then you go to church, and he talks back?

Yeah well, that was my Friday. I talked to God all day about bills, about money, and about my dreams. I complained. I made a list for him of all the things I would change if i could. I told him I know I’m rich on the scale of the world, but that day I didn’t feel rich. I told God I liked nice things. I thought it seemed like an okay thing to enjoy.

I even wondered if:

  • I wondered if Jesus ever gave one of the disciples a nice present.
  • Like, did he ever buy a new fishing net?
  • Did he ever take the disciples to a nice dinner overlooking the Sea of Galilee where they splurged on fish they didn’t normally eat?
  • Did he spring for new sandals or enjoy the feel of a new pair on his feet over the feel of an older, worn out pair?
  • As a craftsman, did he enjoy a new tool now and then?
Then, I went to church on Friday night like we always do.

I walk into the service feeling poor, wondering about stuff and money and whatever… in a conversation I had with God all day still fresh on my brain, and wouldn’t you know it, the message was about money. He reminded me of several key texts where Jesus cautions that money will run your world if you let it. He reminded me of the places where Jesus calls us to choose what will be Lord: Him or our money. The house of God is not big enough for both. Neither is my heart.

However, I’m guilty. I let my stuff consume me and distract me. I daydream. Sometimes I envy others. I occasionally believe the lie that if I had just a little more, that it’d be all I’d ever want. In the middle of the service, a friend of mine who is “richer than me” leaned over and, feeling as guilty as I was at that moment, said he had to repent. I just looked back and said, “get in line”. I felt like a spoiled rotten kid, whining to God that my cell phone’s not new enough, my grass not green enough, my kitchen not nice enough… yatta yatta.

Ed said greed was a “permissible” sin in the church today. He said Jim and Tammy Baker were a good example of this. Their ministry “falling out” was not due to greed, even though they were very well known for an overly lavish lifestyle almost daily. Instead, they were “ruined” when Jim had one sexual failure with another woman and got caught. Our society is sickly twisted and in love with things and money. Ed said we live in a society of “more”. I think sometimes my brain ends up swimming in that society when it should be looking for higher ground.

Here’s some quotes that rocked me:

“Money is a false God from which we must turn if we are going to be a Christ Follower.”

“It’s time to awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick culture is sick.” -Richard Foster

He suggested a 4 fold means of attack to kick greed in the head:

  1. Frugality: Proverbs 27:3
  2. Generosity: Proverbs 11:25
  3. Simplicity: 1 Timothy 6:6-8
  4. Sabbath: Mark 2:27
I didn’t see that last one coming. Ed suggested that one great way to kick money in the head is to take a break every week from the process of trying to earn a living. It’s a way to say to money, you are not my God, and no matter what profit I could get from today, you are not going to satisfy. I will rest here and be content. I needed to hear that. I need to rest.

Am I content? I’m trying. I’m trusting. Some days I’m more content than others. Every day, if I’m honest with myself, I confess that I’m rich and God has already blessed me beyond all I could ever ask for, ever dreamed would happen, and certainly more than I ever deserved.

I repent of wealth and am eager to spend eternity absent the influence and distraction of mammon. I truly yearn for it- at the core, even if in the day to day it distracts me and lies to me from time to time. Until then, I’ll keep trying to give generously, live simply, and walk humbly with my God.

Leave a Reply