Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 15, 1968
NUMBER 40, PAGE 3b,5b

Money — To Get It, — To Use It, — To Admire It,

Leslie Diestelkamp

When I refer to money in this article I include the things that money will buy, and hasten to add that some people seem to think that money will buy anything they desire. But this is so wrong. In fact, anything you can buy with money isn't very important after all. Health, happiness and real hope, love, friendship and security are all things that cannot be purchased with money. Whatever money buys is necessarily very temporary and highly vulnerable.

But money is not bad. Indeed it is very useable. So, from the Bible standpoint, let us discern three principles to guide God's people in their relationship to money:

1. Get money honestly. Paul said, "Let him that stole, steal no more, but rather let him labor..." (Eph. 4:28). (See also II Thess. 3:10-12). I remember those days long ago when we had to pay tuition even to attend High School, and when we had to live away from home for the same High School work because there were no busses. Some of us had to work our way through High School and when I was a Senior, and a full-grown man, I was offered a chance to become a shoe-shiner (income from which work would indeed help a great deal in school expenses). It was not a proud occupation for a boy who had just become a man! I consulted a trusted teacher about the matter. She said, "Anything that is honest is honorable."

But today many loathe the principle of toil. Many do not understand that "Honesty is the best policy." And many follow the easy road of crime to secure the money they think they must have for the vanities of life. But "Pride goeth before the destruction" (Prov. 16:18), and money secured through any honest labor is always better for us than any amount received through subtlety, trickery, deceit or dishonesty.

A reputation for absolute integrity is a precious possession. To be regarded as upright and honest, and to know that you deserve such acclaim, is much more satisfying than anything money can buy.

2. Use Money wisely. Hoarding has no real reward (Mt. 6:19,20). Likewise a spend thrift is without comfort in the end (Mt. 15:12-19). So the real benefit of money is in its proper use. This excludes abuse, either by selfishness and miserliness and wastefulness.

Paul said, "...let him labor...that he may have to give to him that is in need: (Eph. 4:28). This great admonition goes far beyond the use of money for mere subsistence for oneself. Indeed we are challenged to "Be rich in good works" (I Tim. 6:18). But some readers may say that Paul only gave this advice to the rich, not to you and me. But you and I are rich! At least we are rich enough to do what Paul asked. But we are also rich by the world's standard. Perhaps almost all who read this journal are definitely rich as compared to the population of the world. Do you realize that you are probably among the top the percent financially, among all humanity living today? If you are an American factory worker, farmer, school teacher, etc. then you are rich! But are you rich in good works? Of course Paul also teaches the poor to use their money according to the very same principle (II Cor. 6:4-10).

3. Admire money very little. Remember that it is "The love of money" that is the root of all evil (I Tim. 6:10). Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. He gave up a very great blessing and he received so very little in return. In just a few hours he was hungry again but a priceless inheritance that would have blessed him for a lifetime was gone forever. He loved a worldly possession too much! Elisha's servant, Gehazi, gave up his integrity and also his health just to get a few garments and a little silver (II Kings 5:2-27). The price he really paid was so great and the reward was so small. Ananias and Sapphira gave their lives for a little vainglory (Acts 5:1-10). They wanted to keep some money and still get credit for giving it. The part they kept, but which they said they gave, was necessarily very meager wages for the crime they committed against God.

Judas loved "the bag" (John 12:6) and was so concerned about getting something from it that he criticized the sincere worshipper of Christ (John 12:4-6) and finally betrayed the Lord for thirty silver coins (Mt. 26:15). What he got was so little (it was only enough to purchase a cheap plot for the burial of paupers) but what he gave up was so very great.


So, let us not hate money, but at the same time let us be very careful to educate our own hearts and those of our children to: (1) Get money honestly; (2) Use money wisely; (3) Admire money very little.

— P.O. Box 498, Yaba, Nigeria