God’s Grace and Our Finances
If you knew that something you desired could destroy your life, would you keep chasing after it? The Bible warns about a certain kind of pursuit that can cause one to:
1) Fall into sin.
2) Be mastered by foolish wishes.
3) Engage in activities that erode character.
4) Plunge into moral ruin.
5) Wander from faith.
In spite of these dire warnings, many people are still ruled by a longing to get rich.
There is nothing wrong with being affluent, as long as we follow God’s rules for wise living. Specifically, we are to honor Him with our money, which includes acknowledging that He is the rightful owner (Proverbs 3:9; Psalms 50:10). And we’re also to give it cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). The desire for riches becomes a sin when accumulation is among our highest priorities. If that is the case, the god we end up serving is money.
Believers are to live by grace in every aspect of their lives, including finances. That means we surrender wages, portfolio, and charitable giving into God’s hands. Furthermore, we accept what He gives as enough, even when the bank account seems low by the world’s standards. He has promised to supply our needs, so we’re to regard financial gains and losses as part of His will and plan.
I am not preaching a message that suggests godly people are rewarded with riches. Poverty and tough times are as common to believers as to unbelievers. However, the Bible promises that if we live by God’s grace, He will provide amply for whatever we need (2 Corinthians 9:8).
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Someone who sins may say, “God promises to provide a way of escape when we are tempted, but I never saw it!” That’s right—God does promise a way of escape from sin. But the apostle Paul doesn’t define the exit strategy.
Or perhaps he does. First Corinthians 10:13 comes at the end of Paul’s account of how Israel yielded to the temptation of idolatry and sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 10:6-10). He then warns the Corinthians not to fall in the same way. Immediately after saying God will provide a way of escape, Paul writes, “Flee from idolatry” (verse 14). Therein lies the common denominator for escaping temptation. When all else fails, when no other escape route is evident, . . . flee! Do whatever you have to do to exit the circumstance you are in and prevent falling into sin. Paul recommended this strategy on more than one occasion (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22).
You can’t fall into a sin from which you have fled.
You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair. Martin Luther
Recommended Reading: James 1:13-15