An idol is anything in our lives that comes before God. This can be a person or a thing, a job or career – but very often it’s money. Tim Keller describes our culture’s obsession with money as a “surface idol.” What does he mean? People can become enslaved to money when their real concern is finding security. They build a big wall of protection around their life with bank accounts and investments in hopes of protecting themselves from all the dangers of this world, yet ultimately this desperate search for security can lead to a heart of greed and stinginess.
For others, money is the surface idol for acceptance – using money and wealth to impress others, desperately seeking approval. Obsession with money can also hide a deeper desire for power and influence.
Take a look at how you view money. Do you fall into one of these categories? Jesus knew that we would be tempted to put money before God. That’s why it’s so important to remember that all we have comes from God. We’re simply a steward, a manager, of all that He’s entrusted.
So, ask yourself this question: Do you own money or does it own you? The easiest way to be sure that you have a healthy relationship with money is to give it away. The Bible teaches that tithing is giving 10% of what we earn to God – out of our love for Him. It demonstrates our faith and gratitude for all that we have. It puts God first. So how is your relationship with money? Do you own money or does it own you? I assure you that your bank account will provide the answer. Where you spend your money doesn’t lie. It screams the answer to the question: Does your money own you or does your money reveal that God owns you? What does it say?