Tim Keller | October 31, 2004
Today’s message comes from a series on the topic of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. To be wise, we’ve studied the power of anger and the power of sexuality. And now we look at the power of money.
In the area of money, people who only look to the rules — what’s legal or illegal — are going to be destructively unwise in their lives. If you want to be wise with your money and possessions, according to the book of Proverbs, you need to know three things: 1) the power of money, 2) the reasons for the power of money, and 3) how to break the power of money and use it in your life.
Learning about money’s power and influence isn’t just about knowing what’s right or wrong. It’s about understanding how to make smart choices in situations where the right answer isn’t always clear. It’s important to understand how money can control us and how we can control it for a well-rounded life.
1. What does the Bible, specifically Proverbs, say about money?
Proverbs talks about how working hard can lead to wealth, but it also warns about the dangers of focusing too much on money. It tells us that good people care more about helping others than their own profit, which challenges our society’s emphasis on making money. The Bible’s view on wealth, which includes the good and bad sides of making money and the importance of helping others, doesn’t fit perfectly into either socialism or capitalism.
2. Why does money have so much power?
Money can trick us into thinking it provides importance and safety, taking God’s place in our lives. Just like cities in the past, wealth can seem to give us identity and protection. But when hard times come, money can’t really protect us, showing that it can’t truly replace God, no matter what we believe.
3. So how can we stop money from controlling us and use it correctly?
Being too focused on material things can harm our spiritual lives. This is especially true for Americans, who often confuse what they want with what they need, not realizing the harm their obsession with wealth can cause. The Bible teaches us that real wealth grows when we’re generous, like planting seeds. But to truly control money’s influence, we need a deep change of heart, like the selfless love Jesus showed us.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
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