Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

Keep One Another from the Love of Money

by Dick Wulf | Course Three

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We are warned that the love of money is very dangerous and contributes to all kinds of evil. We Christians are to help one another resist the love of money.

We must pay attention to the warning of 1 Tim 5:8, which reads: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

The love of money can destroy our trust in God, our dedication to serve God, and our contentment with God. These are but a few evils unleashed by love of money, but they are the main ones we will focus on.

So, what is this “love of money” that we are to keep one another from?

In this case, the Greek word used for “love” is related to the Greek word phileo which is often translated “love” but is more accurately “extreme fondness or liking something very much”. It can be positive, but with regard to money it is not.

Individually, we can ask ourselves how we think and feel about money. Do we think that money is necessary to supply us with the basic necessities of life? That’s okay. Do we yearn for money to buy one expensive thing after another? That may be love of money and needs to be prayed about and discussed with our Christian Inner Circles.

Externally, we can look for signs of possible love of money in those of our Christian Inner Circles. We can observe unnecessary pursuit of making money or excess purchasing. Then, because we have a closer relationship with these familiar Christians, we can discuss what is going on in their lives and patiently assess if they are gripped by the love of money. If it is love of money, we need to help them see the danger they are in. This may take some time and needs to be done carefully without judgment, but with concern that evil is knocking at their door.

Most often it will be difficult to show a person their love of money if they do not already know it. We should expect some resistence. After all, we are asking people to step away from their dreams of having something they really desire, something they think they must strive for through dedication to acquire money.

Fortunately, keeping one another from the love of money is more easily done by those Christians who have a close, trusting relationship with the person who will be able to recognize loving concern without judgment.

Eventually, we want to show a person in our Christian Inner Circle that letting go of love of money will increase their trust in God, help them willingly to have more time and money to serve Him, and be content with life as it is.

Often, it is the purpose of making money that reveals if it is loving money for money’s sake. If the purpose is to pile up net worth just for the sake of having more and more money, it is love of money. If the purpose is to make as much money as possible to live a modest lifestyle and make all of the rest of the money available for helping others, then there is no love of money.
Money is often the way God takes care of us. But our trust must not be in the money, but in God who is the source of the money. Thus, we must keep one another from trusting in our financial assets rather than in God Himself. God wants to be the focus of our trust.

Money is extremely important as a way to pay for the necessities of life. It is natural to be concerned that there is enough money to survive. In our closest relationships, we see our friends and family members reacting to a shortage of income with either faith or some form of trust in money. It is our job to help them face their situation with trust that God will provide.
Money can become an idol and receive dedication that should only be given to God. We have most likely known people who are obsessed with making money. It is what they talk about most. It is what they spend too much time working to gain more and more of. Their love of money comes from valuing it too much. It becomes the primary reason for living, although few recognize that it has taken over their lives so much.

Jesus said in Mt 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Unfortunately, in our society it is so normal to love and trust money that we Christians must constantly be active in one another’s lives to keep away from such devotion. The love of money will negatively affect our relationship with God now and for all eternity.

Especially if we help one another remember that this short life of about 80 years or less is not our final allotment of years, we can be content with whatever financial situation God has chosen for us. Listen to these statements from 1 Cor 7:20-24: “Each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. . . . You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.”

Here is a short story I wrote that might stimulate some thought about all of this.

Rima and Yusuf are Syrians who met in an Turkish refugee camp. They became Christians through the relief efforts of a Christian aid mission. And they married. Eventually, they were allowed to emigrate to America.

Having had next to nothing in Syria and then nothing at all in the refugee camp, Yusuf and Rima are thrilled with their meager apartment and low-income jobs. They are quite happy getting what they need from thrift shops. In their neighborhood there are many people like them, happy to be alive even though their neighborhood is surrounded by others with wealth, big homes and expensive things.

What they are most concerned about is the discontent of those they work with who have more than enough to be extremely happy and are constantly trying to earn more money to buy more things. They wonder if those people know that cherishing things is keeping them from contentment and dishonoring God. They expect people without faith to live that way, but are very saddened to see those who claim to be Christians finding their happiness in the things money can buy and barely mentioning God at all. To Rima and Yusuf, loving God more than money or things has helped them have a wonderful life .

When we first arrive in heaven, we want to be as prepared as possible to already know the joy of (1) trusting God, (2) serving Him and (3) being content. If we won the battle over love of money with the help of our Christian Inner Circles before we arrive in heaven, we will experience trust in God, joy in serving Him and contentment with pure joy. Unfortunately, not everyone will be so keenly aware of these tremendous blessings.

Not loving money now opens up the possibility to trust in God for security and other things. That trust developed against the competition of money now will create in us a more conscious trust in all that God will provide for us in heaven. In heaven it will be natural to trust in God for everything. There will be no sin to distract us, and where else will good things come to us in heaven other than from the hand of God? But, not everyone will have learned to perceive and have a strong sense of trusting God that rises above the normal awareness that God is providing. But, we will have that special sense if we conquer the love of money now with the seduction of excess money beckoning us to trust in our financial resources.

Not loving money now also allows us to get in the habit of dedicated service to God. In heaven we will all serve God, but in different capacities as rewards for how we have loved and served God in the environment of sin. If we see that love of money is a huge threat to our rewards in heaven, then we should do all we can to eliminate it from our lives. Especially in our Christian Inner Circles will we roll up our sleeves and pull one another out of one way of loving money after another.

Not loving money now additionally ushers in the possibility of being more content with God and the life He has appointed for us. In heaven this will translate into a heightened sense of contentment. Of course, everyone will be content in heaven. How could they not be? But, just as we all appreciate a fantastic sunset, there are different levels of appreciation and gratitude. It will be that way in heaven – some of us will have greater awareness of our contentment and, therefore, more gratitude.

Here is another wonderful outcome for heaven of leaving behind the love of money now.
Most of us can remember some time when we did not have the money to do something more expensive and as a result discovered some simple treasure. Perhaps it was not having enough money to go to some attraction and instead taking a walk where we found exquisite beauty in a neighbor’s flowers. And, can we remember when as little children we were often amazed at things that did not cost? A butterfly seemed so special at a moment when we were not so enthralled with some costly toy.

In a similar way, letting go of loving money and the things it can buy can open our eyes to very wonderful things from God. Becoming entranced with each wonderful thing from the mind of God is something to do now. As muscles grow against resistance, so eyes capable of withholding wonder develop against the resistance of love of money and the distractions money can buy. Without our minds on money and buying things, we are free to discover and focus our appreciation on a dandelion surrounded by green grass, the smile of a loved one, or the affection of a dog.

Developing this greater ability to see past love of money to hidden wonderment will be great preparation for heaven where there will be endless surprising things as gifts from God.