DAY 3: PROUD TO BE POOR
Throughout the Bible and Jesus' ministry on earth, we find many warnings against an unhealthy relationship with money. We are encouraged not to "store up treasures here on earth" (Matthew 6:19, NLT) and to stand firm against the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). Unfortunately, our best intentions about money can sometimes become a pride trap.
I can hardly think of a more powerful testimony than giving up all financial income to serve the Lord. Wow! That is surely something to be proud of… oops! In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul addresses this issue by encouraging fellow believers in ministry to earn their own living (v 10). You see, it is always a matter of the heart. In the case of this specific congregation, "ministry" became an easy excuse to live idle lives and escape responsibility. "Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people's business" (2 Thessalonians 3:11, NLT).
This pride trap is not only applicable to those who sacrifice all their financial resources, it includes anybody who gives money away. What a great feeling it is when someone is grateful for what we gave them! But in Matthew 6, Jesus gives the following warning: "'Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1, NLT).
Do you feel that you are doing well with surrendering your finances to the Lord? Do you think that your attitude about giving may be leading to pride?
Test your motives by avoiding recognition or taking credit for your work. "Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you" (Matthew 6:4, NLT).
Let us make sure that we share Love through our financial sacrifices. "If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3, NLT).
2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
1 Corinthians 13:3