What do financial advisors, prosperity preachers, and Jesus all have in common? As a financial advisor, I’m constantly providing counsel to all types of people about how to manage their money well. Prosperity preachers talk about money as if it were some type of investment seed: you give to God and he must give it back to you and more. As for Jesus, some scholars say that a third of Jesus’s parables revolve around money and possessions — and that the New Testament account of Jesus’s teachings mention more about money and possessions than faith and prayer combined.
Financial advisors, prosperity preachers, and Jesus all consider money to be significant.
A Great and Dangerous Gift
It’s clear that Jesus didn’t dodge the touchy topic of money and possessions. He recognized its potential power for good or evil — too powerful to ignore or neglect. On the one hand, Christians can use money for the glory of God, the expansion of his church, and the common good of all mankind by funding organizations, sending missionaries, and building schools and medical clinics.
But money is also extremely dangerous if we’re enslaved to it. It can be used to promote sin, and it is often the root of broken marriages, murder, and all types of sinful behavior (1 Timothy 6:10). What does it mean to serve money? John Piper says it well: “To serve money means to calculate all of your behaviors, all of your life, to maximize what money can give you, always asking what benefits can come to you from money.”