Love People and Use Money
Love People and Use Money is a simple thought reflection from Malachi 3:5-12 that explains how one can love people and use money.
December 3, 2015 Year C
It is easy to get off the right path. We don’t pay attention on the road and the vehicle can end up straying far away from our intended destination. If a ship moves just one degree away, the ship may land miles away from the right shore. As Christians, we can just as easily stray from God and His intended path for us.
The people of Israel during Malachi’s time were straying off course. They were drifting away from God. God used the prophet Malachi to warn them of God’s judgment for such drifting. God was able to witness their drift and made note of it. The drift happened in two different areas: relationships and finances. They were using people and loving money.
Relationships (Malachi 3:5-6)
The people were straying away from God’s intention for relationships. God lists several ways in which His people were not relating correctly with one another. They were cheating one another, hurting one another, and denying justice. They were consulting other people than the prophets for comfort (Malachi 3:5). The reason is because they did not respect God. Even though God was faithful to them (Malachi 3:6), they were not faithful to God. The people of God were not respecting God. As a result, they were not respecting on another. They were willing to use people for all kinds of selfish reasons. God designed us to love people (Matthew 22:39).
Finances (Malachi 3:7-12)
The people also strayed away from God’s intention for finances. God gives us people to love and money to use. The people of Israel were getting backwards. They were loving money and using people. They loved money so much that they became too possessive of money (1 Timothy 6:10). As a result, they robbed God (Malachi 3:8). They were not making the ten percent contribution to God’s storehouse (which is today the local church) (Malachi 3:8). They were not giving offerings as well (Malachi 3:8). This showed that they did not really love God. If they loved God and not money, they would let go of more money and give it to God. The same is true with us. We tend to hold on to our money and love it more than we do God.
There are consequences to using people and loving money. While I would not state that lack of tithing is always the reason for financial troubles, it sometimes can be a reason (Malachi 3:9). Disobedience has consequences. But God gives us a promise. He tells us that if we do what He says with our finances, He will provide for us. He challenges us (“Test Me” Malachi 3:10). This is the only time God says “test Me.” Positively, He will pour out blessings (Malachi 3:10). Negatively, He will prevent your money from being “devoured” (Malachi 3:11). In the case of Israel, they would not lose crops. Today, God could prevent our money from being devoured by debts, financial difficulties, and other ways in which our money can leave us. God can make our money produce more (Malachi 3:11 – “not fail to produce fruit”).
People will notice when we stray from God by how we use people and love money. They will also notice when we stay faithful to God when we do it like He wants (Malachi 3:12).
Prayer: God, please help me to keep Your priorities straight in my life: love people and use money.