“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant which he swore to your ancestors as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV)
Wealth is often named as a “problem” when there isn’t enough of it. Truth is, wealth can present challenges on any scale. Both rich and poor can be mastered by wealth!
In Deuteronomy 8, Moses addresses the Israelites, detailing the pitfalls and possibilities of moving to a land rich with natural resources.
Use this checklist based on Moses’ teaching to assess your attitudes and actions related to your wealth:
Check for what you already have. Moses doesn’t pretend Canaan’s wealth isn’t there. Instead, he affirms it by detailing its streams, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey. Keeping perspective on wealth means affirming and even celebrating it (no matter the amount) as a gift from God. When too much or too little is made of wealth, problems will almost certainly follow!
Check for pride. Never underestimate the human ability to take credit where none is due! Moses warned the Israelites against taking the spotlight when it came to their success in Canaan. “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’” (v. 17) Few things drive a wedge more firmly between us and our God than arrogance about wealth.
Check for obedience. Before the Israelites took Canaan, Moses gave them the law a second time so their living would be shaped by God’s priorities. He tells them, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” (v. 11) Whenever attention is paid to Jesus-shaped living, there will be a concern for handling wealth in ways that honor God.
Check to see if credit is going where it’s due. Moses pointed out to the Israelites that, beginning with Abraham, God had always been their Provider. This would not change once they moved to Canaan. “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (v. 18) If God isn’t being named as your Provider when it comes to wealth, then who is?
Left unchecked, our wealth can easily become about us. But God’s Word and Spirit continually prompt us to answer this very basic question…
Do my attitudes and actions related to my wealth point to me, or do they point to God?
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17