“Don’t be greedy…but content”

I don’t know about you, but the sums of money the State and Federal governments are pouring into a virtually stopped economy due to the Covid-19 is really beyond my understanding.  I might be able to get my head around a thousand dollars, but I cannot get my head around billions of dollars or even trillions of dollars as some countries are spending.  I am not suggesting that the governments shouldn’t be doing what they are doing, but these figures are beyond my grasp to understand.   Yet, I am thankful that our governments are very generous towards many in our society, from those who have lost their employment, to employers, tenants and landlords, hospitals, and many other groups who are needful. 

So, what should our attitude be as Christians towards this generosity? Well if you fall within the parameters that the governments have set to be eligible for assistance, then you can apply.  There shouldn’t be an issue with that, since you also contribute when you pay taxes.  However, that does not mean we should rort the system for we are also guided by God’s word on these matters. 

1 Tim 6:6-8 mentions the following…“But godliness with contentment is great gain, [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Unlike the world, we should not have a self-centered preoccupation with money.  So many in our society are only concerned about what the government can provide to help them through another day or week.  And most of it, if not all revolves around money and what it can buy and the dividends it can earn, and the comfort it can supposedly give.

Scripture gives us repeated warnings about how we are to act and think concerning money and wealth.  Let us be clear, money itself is not wrong (1 Sam 2:7), but the love of it is (2 Tim 6:10). Furthermore, it is a gift from God and comes to us through his providence which in turn enables us to provide for our families (Duet 8:11-18). We also need to realize that the Lord may decide to take our financial resources from us for our spiritual welfare (Job 1:21).  We should not show favouritism towards those with more money (Jas 2:1-10), nor place our security in it (Pro 11:28); and it shouldn’t be our first or highest priority (Mat 6:19-20, 33).   

On the positive side, we can use the gift of money to be a blessing and support various ministries, including the local church ministries, missionaries, Christian schools and Bible colleges and various relief agencies.  As Christians, may we be characterized by our generosity and not by greed or the love of money.  Let us remember, whether we have little or much, it is a gift from the Lord, and we are to be content with what He has given us.  

So, should we apply and accept grants that the governments are offering at this time?   Sure, especially if you are in need.  But if you are not in need, you may need to think carefully whether you apply or don’t apply.  Remember, “godliness with contentment is great gain… if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.   JZ