Using Our Money Wisely

Money. What comes to mind immediately as that word was read? Most likely, an association can be made to buying things or savings in the bank for use in future years or even retirement. The perception of money, however, changes as a person ages. For instance, a child is more naturally inclined to think of money as something that is plentiful, as he does not earn that money himself but rather depends on his parents for it. But as the child becomes a teenager of working age, he is often pressed by his parents to begin working an entry level or minimum wage job. When he receives his paycheck from that job, he realizes that he is earning just thirty to fifty dollars for every shift he works. It is then that he reaches a fuller understanding that money is limited and can only be truly earned through hard work!

But while we as young people and young adults understand that money is a limited resource, an important question for us to consider is this: how do we use the hard-earned money that God has graciously given to us? In other words, what do we prioritize spending our money on? This is an important question to ponder because there are so many ways and things in which we can spend our money! There is our car which cost us thousands of dollars to buy initially. On top of that, there are payments for gas, repairs, and insurance. There is our college tuition for those of us who chose to go to college. On top of that, there are payments for parking, food, and yes, those awful college textbooks! Then there are pleasures ranging from food to clothes to shoes to sports tickets, among many other things. Certainly, it is not sinful in and of itself to be spending our money on any one of these things. However, two questions of personal concern should arise in our minds.

First, is it wise of us to be spending our money on this certain thing? In other words, are we spending our money on certain things because we simply can’t live without having those things constantly by our side? Matthew 6:24 warns us, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” We ought to be discerning that the things we spend our money on do not become a god to us.

Second, how often do we think of financially helping others with the hard-earned money that God has given us? Each Sunday, the offering plate is distributed twice in one service, or four times total each Lord’s day as we are in attendance for both services. Do we find ourselves giving money when the offering plate is passed to us? Or do we simply pass it on to the next person with an assumption in our minds that someone else will provide a larger sum for the church? Because God gives more money to some than others, the amount that we “tithe” for the church is up to our personal discretion. However, if we find ourselves rarely or not even giving any money at all to the church, God warns us in Malachi 3:8-9, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” In other words, God considers it robbery when we fail to dedicate a portion of our money to give back to His church! However, when we consider this subject in a positive manner, there is ultimately no better way to give thanks to God for the money that He provides to us than to dedicate a portion of that money to give back to Him!

Money is a limited resource that God is pleased to provide to us through the means of hard work. Therefore, we are to spend our money wisely and dedicate a portion of it to give back to the church. When we do these things, we have the promise that one day our Lord will say to us in heaven, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Jonathan Lee

Mondays

“The weekend went by way too fast.”

“I’m dreading getting back to work.”

“I don’t feel like trying very hard on this…Oh well, it’s a Monday.”

Do you say similar things after the weekend? I know I do. I often find myself wishing I didn’t have to get back to work, school, and the busyness of the week. I feel tired, lethargic, and overlook mistakes because, well, I’m just getting back into the swing of things, and it takes time, right? I shouldn’t be expected to be ready to get back into the work I’m called to, bright and early on Monday morning! I mean, of course I’m going to be tired and lazy—I just had a whole day of rest and worship!

I just had a whole day of rest and worship.

I just spent the Lord’s Day in God’s house, worshipping my Creator with my brothers and sisters. I heard God’s commandments, and I felt the weight of my sin. I heard Christ, and I rejoiced in my salvation. I heard the Word, and I desired to walk a Christian life in the service of God.

Should I not then be excited for the week ahead, after being refreshed and reminded of what God has done for me? After that, I ought to be so thankful and ready to do His service that I’m jumping out of bed on Monday, eager to get to work.

But I fail. Often. I heard the Word, but did I it hear it with more than just my ears? Did I prepare myself to receive the gospel? Did I apply that Word to my life? Did I realize the preaching was not just for my head, but for my heart? If not, there’s no way I can be ready for the work week. I won’t hide God’s Word in my heart (Psalm 119:11). I won’t care about what God has done for me, and I won’t strive to live a life doing what He has called me to do.

So I encourage you (and myself) to prepare for true worship. Prepare that you might hear of your sin, your salvation, and be thankful. Hear the gospel within, so that all you do in life pours out from a grateful heart.

And after you hear, don’t just make Mondays bearable, but make them great days. Make them so full of joy and hard work that others see in you the love of God about which you just heard. In Exodus 20:9, God commands us, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.” That doesn’t mean to work five days, rest one, and use one as a sluggish, “kind of working” day. Instead, let’s work “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23). Let’s remember to “go to the ant” (Prov. 6:6), and remember how God blesses us with and through our work. This applies not just to Mondays, but to every day (and especially after long holiday weekends).

We aren’t always going to get it right, but let’s not let that stop us from striving to follow God’s commands more and more.

Let’s not make Mondays our excuse to do anything other than our best.

Mary Mahtani

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 is pretty regularly regarded as the Bible text that describes the type of women that Christian ladies should strive to be. Unsurprisingly, the world paints a very different picture of the ideal woman for us. The world seems offended by the Proverbs 31 woman, thinking that she is overly dependent on her husband, weak, or boring. I won’t take the time to work through every verse in this chapter, but let’s take a short look at this woman and what she is really like, and which woman, the woman of the world or of Proverbs 31, is the strong, capable role model for our young ladies.

The 11th verse of this chapter says that the heart of her husband safely trusts in her. It reminds me of that popular saying “Behind every man is a good woman.” It seems that saying isn’t very far off. The husband of the Proverbs 31 woman rests assured that she supports him, encourages him, and speaks well of him to others. Many times women of the world are heard bashing on their husbands, talking about their shortcomings and downfalls. It simply cannot be true that Christian men are perfect, therefore the indication here is that although her husband has problems and issues, she will not broadcast these things to others.  Her husband knows this, and it leaves him with a feeling of trust and safety with her.

In a good portion of this passage, this woman is seen working with linens, buying, selling and trading. She plants, she sews, and she cooks. She works! In verse 17 she is even described as physically strong. It takes a physically strong woman to be so busy and active with her family and own business ventures. “Stay at home moms” are often regarded by the world as the type of woman who sits at home, just waiting for her husband to come back. That simply isn’t the case with the Christian housewife. She is busy, always working on new things around the house or finding appropriate ways to earn money and be productive. She is anything but weak.

Finally, a well-known verse in this chapter is verse 25 which reads “Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Other versions of the Bible like to translate the last part of the verse “She laughs without fear of the future.” In either translation, you can almost picture a woman, bright-eyed and smiling, with her face lit with joy over one thing or another. She isn’t boring! She’s a pleasure to be around. She laughs and smiles and rejoices! She doesn’t do her work with a scowl and mumbling to her family, she is exactly the opposite.  God tells us that women like this are to be honored for their strength.  It takes great emotional and spiritual strength to walk through the life of any Christian and be a person who often is found smiling, laughing and taking joy in life.

The Christian woman, the Proverbs 31 woman, is not an overly dependent, weak, or boring woman. We should never expect any of that of our women in the church. Instead, we should be women of love, strength and immense joy! So, instead of trying to be stoic, tough, and “savage” as the world likes to use as compliments for women today, let’s be the women God calls us to be in this passage. Let’s be the Proverbs 31 woman.

Suzie Kuiper