Tag Archives: money

Close Eyes and Point

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday as well as Just Jot it Saturday. The challenge is to just write as thoughts come without overly editing or changing. The prompt is “close eyes and point.” I am going to use the Bible, open it up, close my eyes and point. Then I need to write about whatever my finger points to.

Could be dangerous. I heard of a man who did that when seeking guidance from God. His first point was to “And Judas went and hanged himself.” He didn’t find this very helpful so tried again. “Go thou and do likewise,” he read in dismay. Deciding to give it one more try, he closed his eyes and pointed again. “What you do, do quickly,” was the sentence.

So I’m understandably a bit nervous. Here goes…

My word is “money” from the sentence, “He scattered the coins of the money changers.”

I am going to bend the rules a bit and write about money changes. This can be considered in many ways: money changes hands, money changes everything. money changes down the years: what cost 50 cents once upon a time is now R10.

When I was a little girl, I got one-and-three for pocket money. That was a shilling (12p) and a ticky (3p) or metrically, about fifteen cents. With that I got to go to matinee movies on a Saturday morning and buy myself a chocolate bar. Nowadays it’s not even enough to offer a beggar.

Although Jesus overturned the money changers’ tables, money is not seen as evil in itself. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10) We see this in our society – opportunists who have used the Covid crisis to make money off PPE equipment. No thought at all to how many nurses may die in hospitals earmarked for that equipment. Much more profitable to sell it and get rich.

That is what is behind all corruption – the love of money.

Jesus warns us, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

Money is neither good nor evil. It is merely a tool. It can be used for either purpose, to help others and promote the kingdom of God or to sqander on selfish wants and insubstantial pleasures.

Let us never make a tool our master.

My prayer

Father God, please help me to keep my priorities in line with Your will and to serve no other master. Amen.

Foreign Currency

My son is working on a contract in Russia. He phoned us last week to tell us that, because of tightening of restrictions and legislation, his bank can no longer transfer money into his South African bank account. It reminded me of a time when I was a student at Rhodes. An engineering students organisation arranged exchange working trips to Germany for two months. The only time I met the other international students in our group was during an organised tour in Berlin for a couple of days.

One of the trips organised was to East Berlin. In those days East Germany was a communist country and we had heard stories about people being shot while trying to escape. We all went through Checkpoint Charlie with some apprehension. We had  to exchange a certain number of West German Marks for East German Marks and we were not allowed to exchange any money in the opposite direction. It was a matter of having to spend everything in East Berlin. You couldn’t take it out with you.

Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21)

I battle with this command because it is not specific. What is the currency of heaven? How do I lay up treasures? Is it by doing good deeds? Improving the life of others? Building strong relationships? Loving God above all else? I would welcome other people’s input.

Bottom line is clear. I am not to set my heart on money. I can, after all, not serve two masters. I can’t take it with me, unlike Charles Obang who tried.

Put your money where your mouth is.

God has a sense of humour. On Sunday Audrey Cunningham published a guest post that I wrote,  Red Car. In it I admitted that I battled to regard my time and money as actually belonging to God, not me.

My husband and I belong to the Gideons. They are the people who place bibles in hotel rooms, doctors waiting rooms, schools, prisons and a couple of other highways and byways. Last night was our monthly dinner meeting. The whole theme of the meeting and the main business was the upcoming Faith Fund lunch. Our target is R90 000. The money is used to buy bibles for people beyond our borders who can’t afford bibles. It was suggested that we invite people with a heart for mission to buy a box of 100. If each of the ten members got five donors, we would have R75 000. If we then each bought a box of 100 ourselves, that would make the goal.

bible-879073_1280

I was getting more and more uncomfortable. My husband and I are not typical Gideons who are usually successful business and professional  people. He retired from the bank a couple of years ago and is now a pensioner. I work as a laboratory assistant at a school where I earn about half of what a teacher does. I thought this was a really unfair demand to put on us all.

I caught myself. Here I had just blogged about everything I have belonging to God and already I was complaining.

Overnight the decision was made. Next month I get a birthday bonus. Although the amount required is more than the 10% traditional tithe, I will regard it as such and buy the box. I am sure the Lord is smiling, if not laughing. I backed myself into that corner. As always, His timing is impeccable.

This morning my husband was running a little late in getting ready to take the older two grandchildren to school (or his watch was not synchronised correctly.) We had a four year old and his little one and a half year old sister walking down the garden path to our front door yelling at the top of their voices “Grampa, its time to go!” and “Bumpa, Bumpa” respectively. I had been just about to start my quiet time but what with all the walking up and down the garden path and interacting with the three grandchildren, I only had five minutes left. However, I said to myself, “It’s God’s time anyway and he knows all about the interruptions.” Maybe I am learning slowly.

up the garden path