From treasures to tools

From being vaults of security to becoming resources for caring, Jesus sought to alter our worlds from the inside out. Sometimes when his transforming message is presented, an unintended consequence occurs.

Jesus envisioned two possibilities when it comes to what our hearts value most. In his perspective, either we are dominated by valuing the tangible world as providing us with silos of security or we value God as being sufficient (Matthew 6:19-23). For him, life is not complicated. We will live with one of these two life-focuses, but we cannot embrace both (Matthew 6:24).

Through parables (Luke 12:16-21) as well as reasoning from simple truths (Luke 12:15; Matthew 6:25-34), the Son of God sought to transform our thinking and values so that our tangible resources, which may have been our most guarded treasures, become tools for blessing others (Luke 12:32-34). As long as wealth remains the bedrock of our security, it cannot be released to bless others. Thus Jesus desires what had been our master to become our tool.

Unfortunately, although disciples might accurately repeat Jesus’ teachings regarding wealth, others might hear an additional and unintended message. Sometimes listeners might perceive Jesus as being opposed to acquiring money or perhaps they understand Christ to denigrate financial resources as somehow being tainted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only do all things actually belong to the Creator, but God can bless his people so that they can use those resources to help others (2 Corinthians 9:8-12). What is tainted with evil is when our decisions on financial matters consistently reveal a devotion to maintaining and gaining more (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Perhaps one measurement of growing as a disciple involves asking what role does my money play in my life? Does money belong in my vault of security or has Christ liberated it to become his tool for helping others?

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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