How's Your "CQ?"
Jesus spoke a lot about money. 16 out of the 38 parables or stories of Christ were about finances. That means in 1 out of every 3 stories, Christ spoke on money.
In 1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospels, Jesus taught about financial management. Just imagine! There would be more verses about money that heaven and hell combined. Jesus talked more about money than heaven and hell.
Of course, money will not bring us to our final destination. That does not mean that if you are poor you will go to heaven or if you are rich you would go to hell. That’s not the point. The point is, how we spend shows what we value in life.
There are around 2,350 verses on wealth in the entire Bible. That’s twice as many as the verses on faith and prayer. It’s not that if you are poor you have less or no faith at all. That does not mean the rich say a lot of prayers than the poor. But our wallet reveals a lot about what we believe about God.
In other words, what we do with the things God gave us is important to Him. In short, our money matters to God.
Now, we will not go through all the 2,350 verses tonight! We will just sample a few from 1 Timothy 6. One portion of the chapter goes like this:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV)
Godliness with contentment is great gain. Great gain means great profit. Do you agree with me that a person with great profit is a rich person? The Bible says a truly rich person is a content person. How do I know if I am content?
How’s your CQ or “contentment quotient”?
Let’s read our passage in full. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8, NIV)
It’s translated this way in a Bible for kids: “It is true that serving God makes a person very rich, if he is satisfied with what he has.” (Int’l Children’s Bible) So we are truly rich if we are satisfied with what we have.
So, let’s ask ourselves, “Am I satisfied with what I have?”
In another translation, it says, “But true faith, with peace of mind, is of great profit”.
Let’s ask ourselves, “Do I have peace of mind?”
Now, how do we know if we are really satisfied with what we have? How do we know if we really have peace of mind?
WE KNOW WE ARE CONTENT WITH THE WAY WE REGARD MONEY.
The Bible says, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (v. 7) Being content means I recognize the rightful place of wealth in my heart. My worth as a person does not depend on how much I have. My money serves me. I don’t serve money.
It also says, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (v. 8) Someone wrote, “We are not saying this is the limit that we should have. What we are saying is that we should be satisfied even if we only have food and clothing.”
The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13, “I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. Christ gives me the strength to face anything.” (Contemporary English Version)
We should not grumble when we have too little and we should be humble when we have too much.
I believe you may have heard this: “Money is the root of all evil.” That’s one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible! It really goes like this: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, NIV)
Note that the root or source of all evil is not money but the love of money. The Bible is not saying “Don’t get rich.” What the Bible says is “Don’t be so eager for money that you want to get rich at all costs.” Some people pursue money to the point that they gave up on their faith on God. They neglect their families. They neglect their health. In so doing they end up with a lot of pain. Always remember that success in business will never compensate for failure in the home.
People who love money don’t know when enough is enough. “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NIV)
The Bible calls people who love money greedy. “Don’t be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.” (Colossians 3:5, Contemporary English Version) God hates greed. A greedy person worships money.
How do we know if we are greedy or we love money? “Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. … And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.” (Luke 12:15, 29-30, NIV) Worry leads to greed. Remember that you are truly satisfied if you have peace. When you worry, you don’t have peace of mind. Do you tend to worry a lot?
That’s why the Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, Good News Bible) Instead of worrying, trust God and He will give you peace.
So, first we know we are content with the way we regard money.
SECOND, WE KNOW WE ARE CONTENT WITH THE WAY WE RESPECT PEOPLE.
The Bible says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV)
Note that being “arrogant” is related to putting one’s “hope in wealth.” When we love money, our relationships suffer. Instead of loving people and using money, we end up using people and loving money. Remember that those who love money “pierced themselves with many griefs.” Arrogant people will in the end find themselves alone.
One can’t put his hope in wealth and at the same time put his hope in God. When we put our hope in wealth, we will never be satisfied. Wealth is so uncertain. But when we put our hope in God, we can be certain that He “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” We will be satisfied.
Let us read the next verses. “Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can and to help everyone. Remind the rich to be generous and share what they have. This will lay a solid foundation for the future, so that they will know what true life is like.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19, Contemporary English Version)
Being content means I enjoy what God gave me and share it with others. That is a life that is truly life!
So, first we know we are content with the way we regard money. Second, we know we are content with the way we respect people.
THIRD, WE KNOW WE ARE CONTENT WITH THE WAY WE RESPOND TO WORK.
The Bible says, “Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.” (1 Timothy 6:2, NIV)
God values work. Being content means I uphold the highest work ethic. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”. (Colossians 3:23, NIV) If I am content with what I have, I will give my job my best shot. For being satisfied does not mean being lazy. One can be satisfied and at the same time work hard on the way up to the corporate ladder.
So, how’s your CQ or “contentment quotient”?
Are you satisfied with what you have? Or do you worry a lot?
Are you nice to be with? Or people find you a pain in the neck?
Are you earning your keep? Or are you just coasting along?
Someone wrote, “No person can ever be happy until he has learned to enjoy what he has and not to worry over what he does not have.”
Note: Pastor Eyriche delivered this message in the "Money Talks! (How to Experience Financial Freedom)" seminar held in Makati Gospel Church last June 18.