Be not greedy now nor any other day,
But instead follow the holy and upright way.
Giving up greed ain’t the same as being a underachiever,
For living still in avarice makes you a self deceiver.
Make the Lord God your provider and upholder,
Don’t carry in your heart any covetousness boulder.
Put not your trust in the flesh,
But in your actions the name of God do bless.
Revel in wisdom but never lust for abundance of possessions,
Lest for ungodly gain you commit transgressions.
Give to the Lord God and to the poor and needy,
Be content in life and never greedy.
Beware of greed and remain pure and just. Restrain yourself from every vice. He who cannot restrain himself, how will he be able to teach others restraint? – St Polycarp
Recently, I’ve come across various preachers who told me of the challenges that they faced either themselves or their congregation with fraudsters. I then realized that when dealing with people who give financial offers to you at church, you don’t take their word for it but rather be on guard. This will prevent yourself and even your pastor from any trouble later on.
There is this one type of person (a real life case) who comes new to church, and makes friends with a lot of people. He will gauge your financial condition as he laughs and smiles with you. Later he will invite you to invest in his financial scheme but there is a clause to it. He tries to get a commitment from you, that you won’t mention to anyone at church that you gave him money, I mean not even your preacher at church. He tries this trick with many church goers and is less visible at the worship services as the days go by.
At times he might give out ‘dividends’ to you in a few months time. This makes you invest more into his schemes which he keeps offering you. One fine day he stops responding to your calls. He no longer comes to church. As you keep wondering about what happened to your money and this man, you casually ask another church goer if he happened they might have met your ‘financial planner’. Let’s say this church goers name is Mr James (not using the real name). James tells you that he too is searching for the ‘investment guy’ since he too gave him a lot of money to ‘grow’ up. Eventually you and James find out more people at church who got cheated of their money by the same vile fraudster who is absconding. Now when the news reached the pastor he warned the entire congregation but also told them that never again to hide such things from him! Being able to keep secrets is a fine thing but remember that some people who are crooked might misuse trust of others when asking them to be quiet about financial dealings with them. It makes their work of deceiving other’s all the more easy.
At the times I’ve even heard of pastor’s getting tricked. Now the bait is given as ‘invest in so and so scheme and you can use the profits to help the poor and needy etc’. The preacher who goes mostly by emotions then imagines how much he loves the poor and how much the promised money can be used to fund missionary work etc. The preacher may at times not just put his own money but also the financial offerings of the people at church. Then like lighting the pastor loses the entire amount to the fraudster and his congregation instead of understanding what happened come up to their own vain conclusions. Especially in such cases the local church tries to avoid legal action and will use private detectives to run after the money. The end result is controversy and confusion for the preacher and his congregation. Such a shame indeed!
In hindsight such preachers who hear of financial schemes that are too good to be true must consult another discerning preacher or financial or legal expert before making any investment no matter how small the amount and no matter how many people can vouch for the person who is presenting the “make a lot of money in a short time” scheme.
Above all pray for discernment. Ask for the counsel of the Holy Spirit in such things. And yes, please read the Bible and verify that your actions are wise or you need to avoid any confusion over an unvetted financial offer.
Christ be with you!
For a believer in Christ is there is no better life than to live a life pleasing to God. Do not be concerned with pleasing a fallen world which is highly fickle and sinful. They do not have a true to sense of justice and easily fall prey to their lusts and vanities of life. You have been taken out the ways of darkness into the light of Christ in which you are encouraged to live on forever. Do no fall back into the world. Remember this; And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)
Making the world your backbone is one of the worst choices one can do. Because the world will be judged due to its sinfulness then on what would one lean on? Though the world loves sinners yet it also ends up dishonoring them in the end. For instance, the world likes lustful movies which promote adulterous lifestyles but if a man gets divorced due to his adultery, then the world is the first to condemn him, that’s how hypocritical it has become. Besides, the world will only love you as long as it can extract benefits from you. After that it will keep away from you as if you never existed.
Therefore, put your trust in the Lord God and do not live for the sinful ways of the world. You got out of the grime of wickedness by God’s grace, so now keep yourself clean. This is not about yourself but rather about God. Yes, our God who has willed by Jesus Christ that you be saved from sin and damnation. You are not living for yourself but for Christ Jesus! Live by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God every hour and every day. That is the real best life now (and forever).
Here are a few verses from the Holy Scriptures to reflect upon (a bit long but worth the reading):
- So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
- Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)
- Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo′nia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)
The world glorifies achievers. Nothing wrong with being an achiever of good things in life. But where the world is in error is where it proclaims the pursuit of money as the end all be all of life. A person who climbs up the Seven Summits is usually given a great deal of respect. However, what’s odd is there’s still even greater respect for those who are billionaires as if they climbed a thousand summits. People will try to verify if a mountaineer used drugs or other illegal methods to cope up with the tough climb but avoid checking if a billionaire is ethical in his pursuit of profits.
I always like doing great things for my country. There are those who shine well in athletics and sports for their fatherland. Some show respect for their nation by doing business and earning lots of revenue and then donating to charity. Others who are a despicable lot, end up being traitors to their own nation for blood diamonds and money. So money itself is neutral, it’s your attitude towards it and your actions to get it which prove whether you are for good or for evil. That is why you must curb your passion towards gaining wealth and instead concentrate on God who gives you the good things of his Kingdom.
God gives you the ability to get money
Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26:12-14)
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)
Understand why the love of money is evil
But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. (Proverbs 15:27)
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. (Psalm 62:10)
So avoid the love of money
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
If you have lots of money don’t put your hope in it
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.( 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, I pray that I be set free from the love of money. Let me have the right attitude towards money. Give me the wisdom to only use righteous ways to obtain wealth. Give me sufficient money to provide for my family and community. Direct me to the poor and needy and church ministries that reach out to preach to unbelievers, so that I may bless them with both my finances and prayers for them. Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit. Amen.
Further reading: Matthew 6:1-6, Matthew 6:16-21.