Christian and Money

By ’Gbenga Fabunmi
Great change since I was born (3 times).
There is a great change since I was born.
       I used to lie, I lie no more,
       I used to fight, I fight no more,
       I used to drink, I drink no more,
There is a great change since I was born.
 
Great change since I was born (3 times).
There is a great change since I was born.
I used to steal, I steal no more,
I used to curse, I curse no more,
I used to rob, I rob no more
       There is a great change since I was born. Etc. – (Ref., I Cor. 6: 9 – 11; Jn. 3: 3 – 5).
 
Some of the changes which are obvious when a person becomes a Christian are mentioned in the well composed song above. A Christian is a new person. He has been washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6; 11).  He has put on Christ at the point of baptism, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3: 27), he can never and must never remain the same person again. Truly speaking, “…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new” (2Cor. 5: 17).
With the above at the back of our mind, we want to discuss what should be the attitude of the Christian to money and money related matters.
Money and its Importance.
Money is called “owo’ in Yoruba language. “Owo, a pe kanuko. “Owo ti o m’egbon, to n so aburo di baba” literally meaning: “when money is pronounced in Yoruba language, your mouth is forced to be rounded up”, also, “age means nothing to money, the one with money is the most recognized in the community”. Money is good. Money is a defense(Eccl. 7: 12). Money uses to speak. It says, “When I am not around, no plan(s) should be made behind me”. Money answers everything, you would say!
However, as good and useful as money is, the love of it is said to be the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6: 10). Man can kill and maim another man because of his love for money. People are kidnapping men and women like themselves, young and old and they are even assassinating them, all because of money. Suicide-bombers are not doing it free of charge. Monetary promises and even actual payments must have been made before a man would agree to go on a journey of no return!
Politicians and people who are trusted with the treasury of a local government area, state or federal constituency continue to loot the treasury, steal the public funds and divert the commonwealths of a people into their private  and personal uses in order to be the most wealthy in the society.
Cases of ritual killings are always found in the police diary. Ritual killings! What for? Human parts have become essential ingredients in money making rituals. Pictures of missing people, who are believed to have been murdered for rituality or kidnapped for a ransom to be paid, are displaced on our television tubes every now and then. Truly yours, “the love of money is the root of all evil”!(1 Tim. 6: 10).
Nevertheless, money can be a blessed thing when used properly in the hands of righteous individuals. The Christian should be gravely concerned with what the word of God teaches on the subject of money and see that his attitude is in harmony with the mind of God as depicted in His word.
The Christian is to get money honestly.
 
A Yoruba adage says, “Isale oro l’egbin”, meaning “The source(s) of some people’s wealth could be filthy”. The Christian cannot engage in any dishonest or deceitful or immoral or sharp practices to obtain money forcefully. We need to call our attention to the fact that there are things legalized by the state which are wrong in the sight of God. For example, pool staking or betting, lotto, raffle draw, lottery and gambling are all lucrative businesses and are well protected by the law of the land but these are wrong in the sight of God (Eph. 4: 28).
Some hoodlums have even taken a step further in their ‘get rich quick syndrome,’ by stealing other people’s money through internet fraud. Yahoo-yahoo guys are proving to be very smart as they continue to impersonate and swindle foreigners or drain their accounts with fake or forged documents.
Meanwhile, Christians are encouraged to engage in honest occupation and business enterprise. They may buy and sell and get gains. Priscilla and Aquila readily come to mind here. They were tentmakers and Paul, the apostle, did not hesitate to join them in this trade because “…he was of the same craft”(Acts 18; see Acts 20: 33 – 35). Paul was glad to associate with the couple in their legal business venture! Lydia was a seller of purple and she was a woman of means in her own little way. She was able to accommodate four preachers in her own house through what she was able to realize from her legitimate business (Acts 16: 14, 15; compare Matthew 25: 9; James 4: 13). Our God is God of blessings. He has promised to bless the efforts of a hard-working man and His promises never fail. As Christians, we should try as much as possible to provide things honest in the sight of all men (Rom. 12: 17b).
What should be The Right Attitude of a Christian to the use of Money?
The Christian is to have the attitude of seeing that he uses money rightly. Having acquired money honestly, God expects the Christian to use the money rightly and wisely.
The Christian is taught to give to the Lord liberally on the first day of the week(1 Cor. 16: 1, 2; 2 Cor. 8: 12; 9: 6, 7). Taxes are to be paid regularly to the constituted authority (Rom. 13; 7; Mt. 22: 17 – 21). Remember that old saying: “Dandan l’owo-ori, tulaasi l’aso ibora”meaning “Taxes are a must paid money, and no one can afford to sleep in the cold without a cloth for cover”
The Christian must provide for his family (1 Tim. 5: 8, 16). Basic things of life, such as food, clothing, shelter and other social amenities like education, training and recreation. After all, “all work without play, makes Jack ma dull boy”.
However, we are to be moderate in all things (Phil. 4:5) and “…Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate…” (Rom. 12: 16). So, if the Christian has money (Mt. 6: 19, 20), he should endeavour to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate (1 Tim. 6: 18). As we have opportunity, we should do good to all men (Gal. 6: 10). Remember those who are in need (Eph. 4: 28) and be compassionate toward our brothers in need (1 Jn. 3: 17, 18; Lk. 10; 30 – 36).And lastly, visit fatherless and widows in affliction (Jas. 1: 27), this is pure religion and undefiled before God.
The Christian is not to make abuse of money.
Everything which can be properly used can also be abused. Let us remember that the abuse does not destroy the proper use of it! We may abuse the use of money:
Ø      By forgetting that we are merely stewards of money (Job 1: 21).
Ø       By being so gullible as to think we can take it with us to our grave (1 Tim. 6: 6 – 8; Mt. 16:  26).
Ø      By loving money and desiring to be rich (1 Tim. 6: 9, 10).
Ø       By being greedy and given to selfishness (Phil. 2: 3, 4), forgetting that it is “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35).
Ø      By coveting money and thereby becoming idolatrous (Col. 3: 5; 1 Cor. 6: 10) and
Ø      By thinking we can use it any way and not have an answer (Gal. 6; 7 – 9; Mt. 25: 30).
Conclusion:
The use of money will have a great bearing on determining where we shall spend eternity. The majority of those in the broad way that leads to destruction(Mt. 7: 13, 14) are there directly or indirectly in a misuse of money.
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Gbenga Fabunmi is a preacher of the word. He is preaches for the church @ Koloko, Olopo – Meta, off Ibadan/Lagos Expressway, Ibadan. For further enquiries, he can be contacted on his mobile phone: 234-805 – 604 – 8210, Or his e-mail address:gbengafabunmi@yahoo.com      Or, Box 12003, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
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