If we are going to have a healthy society, we need to stop looking to civil government for various social needs. The church and Christian people should take the lead to be a voice for the issues impacting their communities. As believers, instead of looking to civil government for all the answers, we need to become the answer! God is not against wealth and prosperity, but He wants us to be generous and to use it to help those in need. The Lord has solutions, and we need to pay attention to God’s heart in reaching the hurting, bringing hope of transformation, and show the love and the kindness of God to the lost.
God’s view on Wealth
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:1-3
The Bible tells us that God blesses people with riches when they live their lives with integrity and the fear of the Lord. The above scripture tells us that even their descendants are blessed because parents feared God and lived a life pleasing to God. This should be something to celebrate and get excited about! Wealth is not evil and neither is money. It is the love of money that is evil. We should not put our hope and trust in money or wealth. God is the one who gives us the ability to produce wealth, and He is the only one to be praised and adored. Wealth is a blessing from the Lord, and it is a tool to be used to bless others and to fund the work of the Kingdom.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, wealth is looked down upon. Some people assume that if someone is wealthy that means that they have taken advantage of the poor or the working class, or they have not paid their fair share of taxes. We need to guard our hearts from jealousy and envy and not jump into conclusions just because someone is rich.
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
Wealth is not meant just to be a blessing to an individual and their families, but God gives generously and expects His children to be generous with others. Jesus taught the people to be givers and to be generous with what they have. He told them that they would be blessed with their giving. As a matter of fact, God will use the same measure to bless them as they have used to be generous with others. We cannot out-give God! He desires for His people to be generous and to reflect Him as a generous God on earth.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
While giving is very important, Paul tells the Corinthians to do it with the right heart because God loves a cheerful giver. When we are joyful in giving, we are worshiping the Lord in our giving. We recognize that God is the giver of our time, talents, treasure, temple, and resources and that without Him none of it would be possible.
If we give grudgingly or out of guilt, that is not an act of worship, and it certainly is not pleasing to God. We find in (Acts 2:44-45) that people sold their possessions and gave to other believers who were in need. Then in (Acts 5:1-11) we find a couple named Ananias and Sapphira who did not want to share everything with the church. However, they still wanted to have the approval and the applaud of man. As a result, they lied about how much they sold their property. They decided that they would be sly about it and acted like they are giving, but they held some of money for themselves. Unfortunately, it did not end well for them and God took their lives, but God judged them for lying to the Holy Spirit not for their lack of generosity.
Giving should be done from the heart. We should not do it to impress others, and neither should we be pressured by church or the civil government to give of our income to help others. However, we are called to be generous and giving. Jesus told us that when we feed and clothe others, it is as if we did it to Him (Matthew 25:35-40).
Who should we give to?
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:8-10
God has called us to bring out tithes and offerings to the storehouse. The storehouse is the place where we are fed spiritually. This is an act of worship, and we give as unto the Lord. Our tithes are meant to be the firstfruits of our labor. By this we show that we trust God for His provision to take care of all the other obligations we have. It also keeps us from the idolatry of placing false security in money.
It is the job of the church leadership to utilize the money appropriately and to ensure that they are prudent and wise with the money the congregation sacrificially gives. One of their responsibilities is to take care of the practical needs of the people within the spiritual house.
Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
God cares about the widows and orphans. As God’s people, the church has a responsibility to ensure that if a widow does not have family members, to help him/her with the resources given by the members. Others scriptures tell us to help the poor and the strangers.
For example, there are 400,000 children in the foster care system. Many move from house to house not ever feeling that they have a home. If we are going to be pro-life, we should also care about the lives these children (orphans) who are born, but no one wants to care for them. Let’s have solutions that go above and beyond a baby in the womb, but help a child to have a chance in being loved and nurtured. This allows them to be healthy members of a society.
We have relied too much on civil government for social services. The church needs to be part of the solution to the social needs in society. If the church does it right, they will bring the hope and the transformation of the gospel to individuals and families. They are in a position to help at a spiritual, physical, and emotional level and see people’s lives changed for the better. Let us fulfill our calling by being salt and light in our communities!