A large chunk of my ministry at this point in my life is involved with working with teens. Part of the fun of working with teens (but also a great challenge to your self-esteem) is the fact that they can be brutally honest. They will tell you if you tend to be a little boring while speaking. They will point out bald spots or unusual body features (big nose, large belly etc.) and they might even have a name for it!
Another area in which teens can be brutally honest is in regard to their future career plans and finance. What I mean is if you ask a teen in 7th or 8th grade what they want to be when they grow up, more often than not they will pick a job that is very high paying (something in the medical field or something else along those lines.) It is certainly not wrong to desire these careers, but the point is that they usually choose a job that will get them the most money (generally). This typically continues until late high school or until they start college, and then their reasons become more meaningful and purposeful. Now they will tell you they want to be a doctor to save lives; a nurse so they can be a servant of the hurting and so on.
The reason I am starting this way is because I want to think of our motivations to make money. For the most part teens are interested in these high-paying jobs so that they can live comfortable lives and be able to have really nice cars, houses and “toys.” This is not necessarily wrong in and of itself. It is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself (1 Timothy 6:10). However, I want to point out a few Biblical motivations for making money:
First, we are to make money so we can give to God.
“Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Second, we are responsible for providing for our families.
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
Third, we are we are to make money in order to have money to give to others
We don’t normally talk about this point, yet it is talked about in scripture over and over again. One of our motivations for gaining money for ourselves is so we can be in a financial position to give to others who are in need.
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Ephesians 4:13).
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).
Get so you can give. It’s not wrong for us to save, or buy things for ourselves. However, here is something to think about: If we have received material blessings from God, we better be ready to give material blessings to those who are in need.
Are there those in your life that are in need? How can you show them the love and generosity of Christ? How can you be of help to them this week?
by Noah Icenhour