trusting the Lord, or ourselves? (money)

I have had a lifelong struggle with money. It is not like we’re rich or poor, relative to the world we’re quite wealthy. I could have done much better with finances, avoiding going into debt for school, accruing compound interest, etc. I do have a wife who is good with our finances, keeps the credit up and has been an important part of helping me grow in the grace of giving.

What I am faced with again and again from time to time is the question: Am I trusting the Lord to provide our needs, or am I depending on myself, thinking the buck stops with me? Of course we do want to handle money wisely. We want to not only live well within our means, but be generous in systematic giving. Money is not an evil in and of itself, the love of money is. I like the Franciscan way of giving the money for the benefit of the poor and living a simple lifestyle on what’s left. But one gets caught up into the system and once you’re in, it’s hard to get out.

What I need to ask the Lord again and again is simply am I trusting in him, or myself? Do I consider not only my physical life and existence a gift, but all the rest that accompanies that? And don’t I want to be sure that all the glory goes to God both in our receiving as well as giving? It isn’t like we’re not allowed to have some “toys” along the way. But essentially we’re not living for ourselves, but for the Lord and for the good of others. We are blessed to be a blessing.

And so today once more, I want to renew my commitment of faith to trust in the Father’s good provision for us. So that we can be a part of God’s ongoing kingdom work in and through Jesus. Being responsible, while seeking to grow in our faith and rest in God.

Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[c]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Footnotes:

Matthew 6:22 The Greek for healthy here implies generous.
Matthew 6:23 The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy.
Matthew 6:27 Or single cubit to your height