Recently while preparing for a sermon on God and finances, a friend asked for input. I shared a few of my thoughts on what honoring God with your finances really means.
My dad was in real estate for 40 years. He was excellent at finding development opportunities (rehabbing houses, partitioning lots, land development, highest use opportunities, etc.) His philosophy was that he wanted to let the guy he was buying from make a little money, he wanted to make a little money, and have a deal where the next guy made a little. Good for all involved.
It wasn’t until I had been in real estate myself that I realized how rare that attitude was. A lot of people don’t think something is a good deal unless the other guy is losing his shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I found a great deal and investors wouldn’t be interested unless the seller was desperate. They were tragedy vultures; they had no sense at all of actual upside potential or profit.
“Honor the Lord with your Wealth” Meaning
Being a good steward is about more than tithing. Honoring God with your money is about more than donating to your church. It is how you go about getting it and how you treat people in your endeavors.
Christians’ eyes seem to glaze over when they read Leviticus. Maybe that’s why so many Christians don’t seem to realize that God has a lot to say about business dealings. We seem to miss that the Israelites lost their land, not because they weren’t hanging out at the Temple, but because they were exploiting the resources he gave them in not letting the land rest (squeezing all they could out of it), exploiting their workers, and not providing for the poor and foreigners.
That is how you honor God, by treating people fairly and operating with integrity.
How to Honor God with Our Wealth
So you’re tithing … are you doing right in the way you make the money you’re tithing on?
Are you paying your workers a fair and living wage?
Are you creating healthy work environments or running your people into the ground like the Israelites did the land?
Do your people have health insurance, or are they ending up in ER’s because they can’t afford preventative care?
Based on the state of the U.S., that is not true most of the time … and I don’t believe all the bad bosses are heathens.
Would Jesus want to be someone working for or doing business with you?
What we have today is people who think business and money operate outside of the rules of morality. That however you get money, whoever gets the most not only wins, but is right. They aren’t.
The Israelites thought that too. Read Amos’s words for them.
There is a reason Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.