We’re hearing a lot at the moment about the cost and the difficulty of borrowing money. Interest rates are currently falling, but banks are much more wary of lending than they were a year ago. Many businesses are folding up through lack of sufficient cash flow. We are daily becoming very aware of the damaging effects of the credit crunch!
Once again Jesus has already spoken about such issues, with one of His radical statements of how things operate in the Kingdom over which He rules. He says, ‘Lend and expect nothing back’.
Try suggesting that idea to your local bank manager! He will consider you to be a joker or a fool. We live in a world where we’re told that market forces must inevitably hold sway. This is an interesting expression which implies that there’s unseen control operating behind the financial transactions of business. In Matthew 6:24, we find that Jesus calls the ungodly aspect of this controlling power mammon. It’s actually a spiritual power which feeds on false security and greed. Jesus encourages us not to serve it or be controlled by it, but rather to serve God.
We’re in the world and therefore daily affected by its financial systems. We regularly need to participate in financial transactions and these will not necessarily be wrong. Money is not a root of evil but rather it’s the love of money that’s the problem (1 Timothy 6:10). As followers of Jesus, there will be occasions when God gives a clear instruction for us to act in a way which apparently contradicts the world’s market forces. It may well be a command to give without the expectation of a return. At that moment of hearing God’s direction we have the opportunity to show whom we love and whom we serve. What a challenge!
Prayer: Father God, help me to live wisely and honestly within the financial systems of this world without being wrongly controlled by them, or letting the love of money direct my life. Help me to hear Your voice at critical times of my own need or the need of others, so that Your Kingdom purposes can be fulfilled. Amen.
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