God Doesn’t Need Your Money

by Tim on June 3, 2011

 

You might remember the article a while back titled “Gold and Silver are Worthless." The title was a little shocking, but the message was quite clear: money doesn’t get us any closer to eternal life with God. Yes, money is a tool that we can and should use to share God’s Word with the world. It’s a resource that we use to share the message of salvation and to provide for the needs of those who are hungry and without basic necessitates.

But wait…I’ll make a bold statement that might not sit well with some people but here it goes: There’s no point in using money to share the gospel of Christ if we can’t meet the physical needs of people.

Still reading? Phew…

If you think I made this up, I’m flattered, but I took the concept from a well-known book. [Yes, the Bible]

James 2:14-17

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I reread this passage after seeing a comment someone sent in response to the Gold and Silver are Worthless article. Here is part of their comment.

I’m not going to get anywhere if the economy collapses and I’ve given the church all of my money. People save it instead for food, water etc. and churches spend it on the pastor, and making a bigger church. They waste my hard earned money and god isn’t the one using it. If he were, they’d give it all back when I lose my job and can’t feed my family. Wake up. I’ll never give a church my money because it isn’t going to god; god has no use for our money. As a believer you should know that better than anyone.

I don’t know the details of the reader’s experience with the church or with certain Christians, but I’m saddened to hear how she felt rejected by the church during a difficult season in her life. That’s not what I signed up for. That’s not how I want the body of Christ to be perceived.

I can’t change what happened to her, nor can I argue and defend the church in hopes that her opinion will change. The only thing that I can do is live by James 2:14-17 daily.

Is the church perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination – it’s made up of people, and I’ve yet to find a perfect person. But, until we realize that our money doesn’t mean squat if we’re not using it to first meet the needs of those around us, what good is it? God doesn’t need our money – he needs us to be compassionate. When we start with this in mind, our money can be used much more effectively in ministry.

Any thoughts?

Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Faith and Finance RSS feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt June 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

Sorry to be off topic but what if all the money being poured into churches went towards medical research and resources? The possibilities…

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sap June 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

psh…. i’m very impressed from your thoughts and writing! I sympathize with you – money is only a tool! it’s not the purpose (which most of us beleive). i like the quote from the bible as well. very good article!

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ADW June 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm

God needs us to be obedient with our money as Christians not to hoard it and not help others. The word says its better to give than to receive; Give and it shall be given unto you; If you sow sparingly you’ll reap sparingly. God wants us to give, not only money, but time, jewelry, cars, clothes, intellectually by teaching others, favor..whatever he ask us to give he expects us to give it! That was the problem with the rich young ruler his things were more valuable than Jesus instructions. He didn’t have the revelation of sowing and reaping.
I stand behind blessing my church financially and with my time also, what messes it up is people being crooks in the body of christ and people apply the stereotype on the entire body.
No matter what you do work a job, own your business, dating, marriage, parenting…anything dealing with people is not perfect and if we realize that we won’t throw the baby away with the bath water cause clearly when your job does something crooked… your not leaving you stay!!! Nor is the job criticized you complain but you don’t quit. So why do we quit on God. If we are in college and a professor or the college does something that lacks integrity we complain but continue to go to school. I can go on and on with examples.
We need to remember this one thing…someone sowed in the past so we could receive the gospel and be saved…and I’m almost sure there was lack of integrity somewhere ..but their trust and focus was God not on the idiosyncrasy of others. Frankly I consider it a privilege to be a blessing to my church financially and others who needed.

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Robert @ The College Investor June 4, 2011 at 12:18 am

I love giving and being compassionate, I just wish everyone was just as such. I had a recent charity donation experience that really ruffled my feathers (i.e. fraud, waste, etc.). But I agree that money doesn’t mean squat. Use it to better yourself and others!

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BeatingTheIndex June 4, 2011 at 5:12 am

The money going to churches usually end up spent on missionary work or the countless charitable organizations, at least that’s how it is in my Catholic Church.

Since those who make up the church are humans, you should never expect perfection!

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Martha June 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

This is a very special subject.

I think each of us needs to have balance, between his needs, and the will to give a place which does good to him.
Hopefully, we will all find the correct path to go in, the right place for you, is where your heart is.
Good luck for all of us.
Unity!

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June@CreditDonkey June 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

Churches need the support of the churchgoers not only spiritually but also financially. In a perfect world, the church will provide for everything that we want. Spiritual, financial, emotional, but the world is not perfect and we need each other to exist. I agree with you immensely Tim. Even though one has encountered hardships and difficulties, especially financially, giving gifts and donations to the church should not be excluded. There is not specific amount of money that you have to give in order to be as blessed as the others. God only requires that we give with all that we have because He did the same thing and more for all of us.

May God enlighten us all.

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Tim June 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for your comments everyone. Your perspectives are great to hear and appreciated!

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FA Guys June 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Great article. These days, it seems most folks are to worked up about their own financial dilemmas and are blinded as to what they can provide for those in need near by. It is important to remember that everyone has their ups and downs. For those of us fortunate enough to have the means to get by, don’t forget that your next paycheck is not guaranteed. Responsible financial planning not only benefits yourself, but others within the community when you have the ability to put forth your good fortune in the hands of the folks you see day to day.

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business review June 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

It could get messy we might be..asked to help someone face a problem…..The superficiality of it all coupled with the impression that the church wants your money to keep the wheels turning with no purpose other than..keeping the wheels turning raises valid questions of relevance.

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