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Steve Lyston | Money changes your climate

Published:Monday | December 16, 2019 | 12:00 AM

There are many people enduring hardships who need help, and want to help others wherever they can. However, those with the heart of generosity struggle at times with money and don’t know what to do about it. So, let’s talk about money, keeping in mind that money can be an excellent servant, but a terrible master.

Does Money Indicate God’s Approval?

I have come to the realisation that people look past the flaws, mistakes and pitfalls of someone who is said to be financially successful. These persons are treated honourably, even when they themselves are dishonourable. Money causes people to shut their eyes at a person’s bad character. They see financial prosperity/money as being God’s approval, so they:

1. Show respect/greater respect to those who have money.

2. Place greater value on someone who has money.

We must understand that having money is not an indicator of spiritual prosperity and God’s stamp of approval. If we see money as His approval, then we are setting a dangerous precedent, because then we are forgetting to check for holiness rather than a person’s net worth. Thus, we are, therefore, showing respect to them, not for the level of reverence, respect and honour they give to God regardless of their financial situation, but for how much money they possess.

Money Opens Doors

Money is a key to opening doors; and it brings you before great men. Sadly, many of the rich fail to honour God because the rich see money as their god. As far as they are concerned, money takes care of their needs, because they can buy whatever they want, eat whatever and wherever they choose, sleep with whomever they feel like, live any lifestyle they choose, they sit on government boards and put themselves in positions of influence on different boards within society. Furthermore, when they talk/write nonsense, they are accepted within the society as being right, intelligent or wise.

The purpose of money should first be to eliminate poverty and lack by helping the poor. Second, to be a blessing to others. Instead, money has been used to abuse, control, manipulate and divide. Furthermore:

1. Money must be used to solve problems, empower individuals and strengthen families. However, we are now seeing an upward trend, globally, where many use money to engage in evil activities – destroy lives, place people in bondage, murder and deceive.

2. Money must be used for positive expansion of businesses, churches, and other organisations, and to provide more jobs; and having money should promote saving.

3. Money should be used to maximise consumer satisfaction, produce greater profits, increase productivity and efficiency, and facilitate better planning for further expansion and development.

4. Money can also be used to reduce stress and depression and give you independence from debt collectors, and give you an edge above your competitors/enemies.

When you have money, many see it as power, and will think twice before opposing you. Money and wealth are gifts from God, especially when God gives you the ability to enjoy it. It is a gift we should never take for granted.

(Ecclesiastes 5: 19; 2 Chronicles 1: 12)

Ecclesiastes 6: 2, tells us, “A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honour, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.”

Honour God With Wealth

“Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.” (Proverbs 3:9)

So, we must honour God with our wealth. The world’s way focuses on how much they can get, but God’s way focuses on how much we can give. Generosity is the only investment which brings eternal reward; giving to the poor goes beyond the earthly reward.

Generosity can change the climate of poverty, it is not the natural weather we should be focused on. If we want to see the natural weather begin to change positively, then we need to begin to extend generosity again.

Generosity is laying up treasure within the heavens; storing treasures within the earth can bring loss, bankruptcy, theft, hacking/cyber issues. Disaster, and climate change can wash away what has been stored up. So, every gift that God gives us must be used for generosity, which will allow us to live in a peaceful society.

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including ‘End Time Finance’ and ‘The New Millionaire’.