If money was no object what would you do with your life? Great diagnostic question to get you thinking and evaluating your life right? But not really a practical question at all… we all need money and money for most of us is always an object. So is this the type of question that makes Oprah a cupboard full of cash and leaves the rest of us chasing the wind?
But what if money really was no object? What if when it came to the Kingdom of God, money really was no object. What was it again that Jesus said to his disciples again when they were worrying about clothes and food?
“I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
“Do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I spend a lot of time in the week working to supplement our income the bulk of which comes from “missionary support”. The supplementary work is good, honest, hard work. I even think we are rather good at it. I think it could even develop into a mainline source of income if we wanted it to. As a sideline business, though there are some aspects of it (namely the ones that bring in most of the cash) that stink as a sideline. As a sideline it struggles to know its place. Like a cameo actor always trying to squeeze into the limelight, and upstage the main actors. Or like details in a verbose novel that distracts from the main story.
But money is an object. I have bills to pay. Kids to feed and clothe. Medical aid, pension, car payments…
But what if this ministry really was not my ministry… not in an abstract, read it in a textbook kind of way. But what if it really is God’s work, his ministry, his Spirit changing lives, opening hearts… What if money was no object for Him? What if following Him meant giving up my right to a self-perceived security? What if it made sense in every other sense except in the money sense to give up a sure stream of income to follow a reliable God into an unsure future? I don’t simply believe in a closed, rationalistic universe but most days you would not know that. Too much of my life can be planned, organised, drawn on a graph, explained, reasoned out or reasoned away. Most days my life could be quite easily explained as if there were no God.
But start acting like I believed all that Jesus talk about feeding the birds and clothing the flowers and I can almost guarantee you that I would have any number of Christians eager to remind me to be “a good steward” and not do anything rash. Quite frankly I don’t think most of us would know a rash if it broke out all over our body. When I read the gospels I cannot help but think that if we did half of what Jesus did we would certainly we would not be considered for the church council or invited to run the youth group.
What does it mean to live by faith? Sure faith says that God has given me work so work at in gratitude and worship to Him. But what if it just felt wrong to follow the money stream? What if my reasonable, non-Charismatic, evangelical theology feels like it is a burden wrestling me to the ground when all I want to do is love people, trust God and forget about the money! Sounds so simple when I write it like that… but we all it’s just not that simple. Is faith reasonable or is it crazy? What if both ways sound like they are trusting God? Do I go with my feeling, my gut? What if the people I trust agree both ways?
Just thinking out loud I guess… what if?