What would you say is the most important relationship in your life? Is it your relationship with God? Or is it your relationship with your money?
Money can be a tricky business! Paul taught that, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil!” (1 Tim. 6:10) Money can make make us greedy and materialistic. It may even cause us to develop a false identity turning us into desperate people clutching to temporal things. Here’s the thing: If the love of money controls our time and is always on our consciousness, then Jesus is not our master! How do we know? Here’s a simple test: what is the last thing you think about at night and the first thing that you wake up thinking about?
In Acts 5 we learn about a couple who loved their money more than God. They wanted to have their cake and eat it too. After seeing how everyone applauded Barnabas for selling his land and giving the money to the Church, they decided to seek some praise for themselves and sold their land too. The only problem was that they kept a portion of the money and didn’t tell anyone about it. Luke writes that, “They lied to the Holy Spirit.” What was the lie? They pretended to give God all of the proceeds from the sale of their property, but kept some of the money for themselves. Then, they were both struck dead! Scary, right? So why did Luke tell us about this couple? I believe he wanted us to know that phony Christians end up just like them: being found out! God wants us to live with integrity. He wants us to be genuine. And if His Spirit is in us, then we will be!