Ed, my neighbor next door, has been having the worst kind of tractor trouble out at his farm. The engine won’t start and the payments won’t stop. Ed tends to fix and service his own machinery as much as possible. The thought of needing to pay to get his tractor healthy again has Ed clutching his wallet under his pillow each night in troubled sleep. Ed has the right and freedom to service his own tractor himself to save money, but he is also has the right and freedom to pay someone else to do it if he cannot keep it running.
Ed also has the right and freedom to sleep with his wallet under his pillow. He says he knows where his money is at all times, as he is either sitting on his wallet in his back pocket or sleeping on it. He has his wallet covered night or day. Ed’s wallet is important to him because the money in it is his own.
It seems to me we all treasure what is important to us. The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I once said to Ed that he might want to be careful because his heart might be stuck right with his money in his wallet and his savings in the bank. Ed could not see how that could be a problem.
Ed says that it is his right to make as much money as he can and save as much money as possible. He takes pride in having money in his wallet and money in the bank. He believes he is free to store up as much money as he can for as long as he can. I agree that he has a right and the freedom to do that in his life. It is just that what we make the priority of our life (making and having money) may become our master. Money is meant to serve us, but it can steal our hearts and become our treasure that can be lost, stolen or destroyed no matter how we try to protect it.
I asked Ed if he ever considered that money was not meant just for ourselves, our own spending and saving, but also to be used to help others in need. Ed said his money is for himself and his own spending and saving – I was free to give to others, but he had a right to keep his money for himself. This is, of course, true. The Bible says it this way, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Paul said this to Christians at Corinth who had the opportunity to give money for a collection for relief of fellow Christians suffering from a terrible famine.
When we give to help others it is because at the present time we have enough to give to help supply what they need. There could well be a time when we may need someone to give to us to help supply our needs. Giving to others not only helps them but it expresses thanks to God for giving us our money. We have our money because of God’s generosity towards us.