Money is one of those things people generally don’t like to talk about. Actually, let me clarify that a bit because people love to talk about money. People don’t like to talk about the money they earn.
Throw in faith with money and you have a recipe for a quiet room.
This coming Sunday, the lectionary has Jesus talking about money. Luke quotes Jesus as saying:
“Blessed are you who are poor…” (Luke 6:20).
“But woe to you who are rich…” (Luke 6:24).
Doesn’t sound very American does it? Our definitions of success might come in conflict with Jesus’ definition.
That might be because of a difference in understanding about money and people.
Too often in our society, we judge the value of a person based on money. We want to know what they do for a living – an end run to get to an understanding of how much money they make often. We want to know what they are producing. We want to know what kind of stuff they have bought with their money. We end up equating material wealth with value.
Yet Jesus rejects this. How else can we possibly understand Jesus saying “Woe to you who are rich…” For Jesus, money isn’t the measure of worth and value for a person. Their value is inherent in who the are – beloved Children of God. Our worth and value doesn’t come from what we do or how much we make. It comes from the relationship God has with us.
Money is a tool to be used, not an ID to define us.