Hello! I’m very glad to hear from you. In your letter you say: “My husband is going to another place to do business. In order to make more money, I want to go with him. But when I think of the Lord’s words: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul’ (Matthew 16:26), I feel it doesn’t conform to the Lord’s intention if I go. However, I can’t let go of it, because I think without money I can’t hold my head up high or speak with confidence before my relatives and friends, but that with money I can gain their respect and stand tall and proud. But if I choose to make money, I will not be able to attend gatherings or work for the Lord to satisfy Him. Now I feel conflicted within and have no idea what to do. How should I treat money properly? Can you give me some advice, Sister Lizhu? I’m looking forward to your reply.”
Thank God! Sister Yuting, thank you for putting your trust in me. As to your problem, let’s look upon the Lord and seek His guidance. May the Lord bless our following communication. We desire to properlyand practice the Lord’s words to satisfy Him, but also want to pursue money to satisfy our flesh, and so we have this kind of conflicted feelings. This shows that we are willing to satisfy the Lord’s demands, but because we haven’t seen through what indeed money brings us, we have difficulty making a correct choice when meeting the temptation of money. The Lord said: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). These words of the Lord tell us that if we pursue money desperately, our hearts will be occupied by it, and we will have no thought to pursue the truth or get close to God, much less have enough time to work for the Lord and satisfy Him. Moreover, Satan will lure us with money and make our hearts stray away from God. God’s words say: “It’s the worship of money. Is it hard to get this out of someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is thorough indeed! Can we say that? (Yes.) So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive one day in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. … Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? (Yes.) Isn’t Satan sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Isn’t this a malicious trick?”
Sister Yuting, from these words we can see that it is the erroneous ideas instilled into us by Satan that distort our life view. It misleads us into believing that if we have money, we will possess everything, be looked up to by others, and live happily and joyfully. Although we have accepted theand call on Him, our viewpoints corrupted by Satan still exist within. Therefore, our outlook on life and values is the same as that of the unbelievers. When we see our relatives and friends buy cars and houses, we still admire them and hope to achieve our goals through our own efforts, and we don’t think there is anything wrong with this kind of pursuit. Yet, when we rack our brains to pursue money and only think of how to make more money and how to stand higher than others, we completely forget the words of warning in the : “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:8-10).
As Christians, we should be content with food and clothes. Even if God blesses us and allows us to be rich, our hearts shouldn’t be occupied by money. In your letter you say, “with money I can gain their respect and stand tall and proud.” This kind of view on existence actually comes from Satan; Satan just uses the wrong thoughts and viewpoints like “Money makes the mare go” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing” to make us believe that as long as we have money, we will have everything and have our status exalted. In fact, we will only be abused and harmed by Satan if we live according to this kind of life view. In real life, we can see that there have been many people who become increasingly degenerate after owning money. Many people who once lived a steady life became depraved after earning lots of money; they started to gamble and take drugs, yet still couldn’t escape the feeling of emptiness, and in the end chose to commit suicide. There also have been many believers in the Lord who pursued money and gradually lost the care and protection of God; as their hearts were possessed by worldly things, unknowingly they strayed further and further from God, and finally lost the Lord’s presence. In their hearts, God’s wills and God’s demands gradually faded away, and there is no more God’s place. Although some of them have earned some money and received the high regard of others, they have no joy or peace in their hearts. In the end, they betrayed God returned to Satan’s camp, and finally be looted by Satan. This is Satan’s maliciousness of luring us and corrupting us with money, and the way by which it swallows up man’s soul.
If we want to see through Satan’s tricks, stand witness for God, and thoroughly get rid of the temptation and bondage of money, we need to see through the essence of money, understand the dangerous consequences of pursuing money, and know what indeed we should pursue in this world. God’s words say: “There are even those who have tried; the years they spent toiling in the outside world were tiring and hard, they earned a little money, and enjoyed themselves, but what’s the result? They lived without dignity, and lived in a way that became more and more exhausting, and said to themselves. ‘It would be better to die than live like this!’ They had already seen through these things. It is not that they only began believing in God when they had no other option, but that they had truly felt that nothing brings greater comfort to their hearts, and there is no greater thing in life, than following God, walking the path of pursuing the truth, and expending for and devoting one’s life to God; that nothing brings greater happiness than gaining God and gaining the truth, nothing makes people’s hearts more steadfast.”
“If one views life as an opportunity to experience the Creator’s sovereignty and come to know His authority, if one sees one’s life as a rare chance to perform one’s duty as a created human being and to fulfill one’s mission, then one will necessarily have the correct outlook on life, will live a life blessed and guided by the Creator, will walk in the light of the Creator, know the Creator’s sovereignty, come under His dominion, become a witness to His miraculous deeds and to His authority.”
God’s words tell us that our life is actually an opportunity for us to know God and testify to God, and that we come to this world to fulfill our own missions. Whether our life is poor or rich, it is all under the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and can’t be changed through our own abilities and intelligence. Only when we obey the will of God and live according to the life orbit predestined by the Creator, can we be commended by God and have peace and sureness in our hearts. When we have a proper goal and direction of life, our viewpoints on pursuit will be gradually transformed. By then, we will no longer live based on Satan’s views on existence, such as “Money makes the mare go,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” “Men die for money; birds die for food.” Instead, we will live according to God’s words, and spend more time in pursuing the truth and fulfilling the duty of a created being to satisfy God. Living this way, we will feel happy and enriched and confirm from our hearts that this is the true path of life.
Therefore,is for us to live before Him and cast off the affliction of Satan. As long as we practice according to God’s words and pursue life, we can walk on the path led by God. Perhaps our life is not very rich, but what we are pursuing is the most meaningful life; when we pursue the knowledge of God, what we gain is the truth and the comfort and enjoyment of the spirit. Isn’t this the most valuable wealth?
Sister Yuting, I hope my fellowship could give you some help. I’m looking forward to your reply. May God bless you!