Man’s economy is all too ready to impose its practices of debt, materialism, and the culture of “want it now” on us all. As a consequence, ministry and service suffer, leading to a loss of spiritual vitality as people struggle financially.
The term financial discipleship refers to the impact money can have on our discipleship journey. Your relationship to money will always impact your relationship with God.
Let’s look at eight strong reasons why disciples need to get a biblical perspective on their relationship to money and possessions.
1. Money is a very important topic in the Bible, and God gives us a clear perspective on how to manage our finances. In fact, God talks about money nearly 2,400 times in the Bible, which is more than double the amount of times He talks about faith and love combined. So, it is extremely important in God’s eyes.
2. In addition to money being an important topic to God, Jesus talked a lot about money while on earth. Fifteen percent of everything He said, including over forty percent of His parables, mentioned money and possessions. Other than the mentions of His Father and the Kingdom, Jesus is recorded in the Gospels as talking more about money than any other topic.
3. Money is a major competitor for our devotion, seeking to divert us away from God (Lloydbottom n.d.). “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). The Greek word for money in this passage is “mammon,” a word Jesus used to unmask a power behind money. Managing money as a disciple is not merely a technical exercise: it is first and foremost a spiritual discipline.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wrote about the importance of this topic. “Mammon is so powerful that an attack on his authority over our lives, attitudes and thinking is as good a way of preparation for the reality of the Passion and crucifixion as I can imagine” (Welby 2017).