I am puzzling over whether I should be a saver, a spender or a giver.
Should I sell all that I have, and give the money to the poor and trust God for my daily bread? (from Mark 10:21 and Matthew 6:11)
Should I have a plan in place in order to leave an inheritance to my children’s children? (from Proverbs 13:22)
Should I ensure that I have taken care of the current needs of my family, and prepared for their care in the case of my demise? (the death rate for this condition I have (life) is still 100% as far as I know) To do otherwise is worse than being an infidel according to 1 Timothy 5:8.
Should I ensure that in my house are precious treasure and oil like a wise man? (from Proverbs 21:20)
For the next couple of days I just want to take each of the scriptures above and blow the smoke away so we can get a clear view of how to live. Well - that is the plan anyway. For today though, let's get the settled in a seat with a good view, so that we have the correct perspective.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NASB)
One thing I notice here is the ‘who’ in Jesus' statement. Similar to the passage below from Luke 12, the perspective is not that of a ‘manager’ of God’s stuff, but a hoarder. Big difference.
And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
“So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21 NASB)
Here is the perspective you must take. The stuff you have in your 'barn' is not yours, it belongs to God, and your job is to manage it for Him, in a way that reflects His priorities. [Tweet This] When you think about ‘your’ stuff you are headed down the wrong path.
This simple perspective change will make it simple to navigate through the apparent conflicts above.
I hope that helps!