Money — That's What We Want?

May 1st, 2009
This article is featured in the Money (May/June/July 2009) issue of Circuit Rider

The Beatles recorded a popular song called “Money (That's What I Want).” It started out with the old adage “The best things in life are free,” then moved quickly to drive home their frank ambition declared with the five words in the title—which they indelicately sang over and over and over again. Surely the Beatles sang the song with their hit-making tongues planted firmly in their cherubic cheeks.

Money is getting a lot of attention these days as well. The greedy and reckless pursuit of it is, in part, responsible for the current economic crisis. A related factor is the relentless consumer demand for more and more stuff, all purchased on credit. Those sad facts and a challenging set of messages in Scripture on the subject might cause us to avoid the difficult and dilemma laden topic. Perhaps we can feign disinterest and detachment and keep our distance.

But before we swear off dealing with how money is acquired, viewed, and used, let's revisit what we've learned of late. As little as ten dollars purchases and distributes a mosquito net that will actually save a life in places where malaria is killing tens of thousands every year. That alone obliges us to confess that opting out of difficult theological, ethical, and practical considerations about money isn't even close to a faithful choice.

Jesus said …the Psalmist said … John Wesley said …Warren Buffet said … With such persuasive testimonies, we need to come to grips with what it means to earn, save, spend, and share money. After all, we are mindful that just one small step beyond our disappointment about dwindling 401(k)s are millions of people whose very lives hang in the balance when choices about gathering and dispensing money are being made.

Perhaps in this issue of Circuit Rider you will find the hint of a clue that will prompt or guide you and your church as you make choices that honor God and bring more people into relationship with Jesus Christ where—by grace—we find true treasure.

About the Author

Neil M. Alexander

Neil M. Alexander is President and Publisher Emeritus of the United Methodist Publishing House. read more…
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