I think most of us has heard the song by The O’ Jays – For the Love of Money. You know, the one that goes, “Money, Money, Money, Money, Mooooonnnnneeeeey…. MONEY!” (By the way, you are welcome for getting this song stuck in your head the rest of the day.) This song crept into my mind as I was reading a couple passages in the bible about money and how believers and non-believers view finances in our world today.
There is a verse in the song mention above that goes like this;
“I know money is the root of all evil
Do funny things to some people
Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime
Money can drive some people out of their minds”
The first line of that verse is a common misconception with money (see first underline portion of 1 Timothy below). While the last line of that verse looks as though it was taken straight from the bible (see second underline portion of 1 Timothy below). A lot of the world believes that money itself is the problem, when in fact it is the condition of our hearts towards money that gets us into trouble. That is what Paul is getting at in 1 Timothy 6:10 – 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. (NIV)
If I had my own bible translation I would word 1 Timothy 6:10 as such; “Our hearts love for money is a treacherous foothold for evil. People that lust after money allow the toxic, self-destructing evil to push them away from God and his favor.”
So how do we keep our hearts from allowing the toxic sin of idolizing money into our lives? A couple years ago I heard an analogy about this very subject/verse that has helped me out tremendously. It’s the analogy of the open hand vs. the closed fist;
Closed Fist: When we view money, possessions, talents, and time as our security blanket we tend to hold onto it for dear life. We will do anything necessary to protect those things because we have a me vs. you mentality. God can’t use a closed fist to further his kingdom. Nothing will come out of that fist and God certainly can’t place more blessings into a fist. Where is the joy and freedom in that?
Open Hand: When we live a life with an open hand we are living from a we mentality. How can I use what God has blessed me with to bless others? Did you know that the only time God asks us to test him is when he talks about giving/tithing?
Malachi 3:10 – Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord All-Powerful. “I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need. (NCV)
I don’t know about you but that verse gets me pumped! Who doesn’t want a truck load of Gods blessings poured out all over them?
So which one are you? Are you a closed fist, going through life as a miserable miser? Or are you walking around with open hands having a blast making a difference in peoples lives?