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Matthew 6: 21 “Stewardship # 1 Money or Wisdom”

Wesley’s Simple Rules for Money

Rev. Jerry W. Krueger 10/7/2018 Boardman United Methodist Church

When you go to a book store, or go online to browse books on a variety of topics, it is always amazing to me how many books are written about certain topics. I recently browsed books on volcanoes, birds of the Arctic tundra, dog grooming, living off the grid. Interestingly when I was about to log out of the website, the book seller provided info that said, people who bought this book on birds, and living off the grid also bought these books. Books related to money, and books related to Wisdom.

 

If you are to choose, do you choose Money or Wisdom? With the Dow Jones Average hitting a record this week, we could all use some financial wisdom, coupled with God’s wisdom.

You see ads for the Mega Millions lottery, Ohio lottery, Racino betting, casino trips, the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes that says, “You can’t win if you don’t enter.” Gotta pay to play in a manner of speaking, to the enticement of hitting it big.

 

SLIDE -- Complete this sentence, “Money is….”, “Wisdom is….” Different answers for different aspects of life.

John Wesley founded Methodism in England in the late 1700’s, and had a teaching that stated, “Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.” A right understating of financial resources.

 

Money is a tool, and necessary for us to live. Nothing wrong with earning ample amounts of money, as long as it is ethical, moral, and does not destroy others in the process. Money itself is not a bad thing, or a good thing. Money is the means to an end. It is the “love of money” that corrupts us, that gets us off our game and allows us to go down a wrong path.

 

Some people spend their lives pursuing money. I wonder, do we ever pursue wisdom with the same vigor that we pursue money?

 

A fool, a person with little wisdom, is soon parted from their money. It’s good to have wisdom to make sound financial decisions when buying a home, or a car, or property, or investing, or when loaning money, or living life.

 

Each of us encounter money problems in life. Some of us have medical costs that are very significant, others of us have educational loans that seem to never go away.

 

Others have consumer debt that has them on the verge of bankruptcy. The interesting thing is that often those who can least afford the new car, the larger home, the trip to Aruba, or to Hilton Head, just charge up that credit card a little more, all the while wondering why life is pounding them financially.

 

That is a disconnect between financial wisdom, financial health and spiritual health. God doesn’t want us to be broke. God wants us to prosper and to thrive. But that often takes wisdom in the form of significant spending habit course corrections. It can be that we have no savings. Savings should be a priority. It could be we give next to nothing to our churches support, yet blow big bucks on a new boat, new carpet at the home, or take a trip that costs a small fortune.

 

Matthew 6: 2 states, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Treasure and heart. We need God’s wisdom to see the true nature of both

  1. Wisdom begins with God. Failure to pray for wisdom and guidance is merely folly. God instructs our heart, head and hands with his wisdom, so that we may acknowledge all that we have, and all that we are about is from and for Him. An unwise person, a fool, fails to do that.

  2. Wisdom is passed down to the next Generation- You want your children to succeed to live well, to thrive. Yet if the example we set for them is always about spending, never saving, never giving, if it is always about meeting an immediate desire, rather than working to a reward leading to financial health, then we are being foolish in what we pass on. It is wise to have 3-6 months emergency savings. It is wise to have minimal debt, so that you can keep your head above water. It is wise to live within your means so that you are not always in financial distress. Pass that on to your children, teach them the wisdom of sound finances, and a sound faith life.

  3. Wisdom is better than wealth. Wisdom allows us to see and act upon compassion, to not act impulsively in financial situations. If it’s too good to be true, it’s not wise to give your money or invest in the scheme, or deal.

  4. Wisdom leads to health, and life. Leads to a sound relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and Father. Wisdom leads us to health and happiness by not having the nagging worries of being over extended financially. Wisdom leads to us thinking about, praying about and discerning wise decisions for use of our finances for family, self, living expenses and what we bring to God in thanksgiving.

John Wesley stressed in his sermon “The Use of Money”, the admonition that we are to work hard, not triflingly, to gain all we can, save all we can, and then to give all we can.

 

  1. makes it clear, that we are not to be giving out of our abundance. If money is so abundant that it has no impact on our giving, “Oh, let me look in my wallet, what I can spare?” then it is not heartfelt in God’s measure. If that is how we give, we are giving in a puny way. God wants a right relationship with money and the pursuit of wisdom, in its use.

 

So today, you have a task to reflect on this statement, “Money is…” and Wisdom is…” Next week we will address a scriptural view of earning all we can. But today reflect on Money & Wisdom.

We close today message with this quote from John Wesley, “Get these three principles fixed in your hearts: 1. that things Eternal are much more considerable than Things temporal;

2. That things not seen are as certain as the things that are seen; 3. That upon your present choice depends your eternal lot.” In the wise and holy name of Jesus we pray. Amen.