by Randy Schroeder
How spiritually mature are you? Not an easy question to answer is it?
I sometimes wish there was a test I could take that would grade me and let me know if I am progressing. But then I would probably just get arrogant if doing well, or let the enemy beat me up if doing poorly. So maybe I should be glad there is no test.
But it is interesting that when John the Baptist was asked a similar question, he had an answer, and it may surprise you. In Luke 3 he was asked what it would look like to bear fruit that matched repentance and faith. He responded with 3 answers, and they all had to do with money.
- He said to give clothes and food to the poor.
- He said tax collectors should be honest, so handle your work and related income with integrity.
- He said soldiers should be content with their wages, so don’t always be looking for more money.
So you might say the test is to be generous, honest and content, with money. So if I don’t match up well on those 3, then I am not very far along spiritually. Maybe not even “in the faith.”
And then there is Zacchaeus, whose declaration of his new found faith had an immediate connection to his money. Half of it went away. How is that for building a Net Worth Statement? What about those first converts to the faith in Acts 2:45 that immediately started selling things to build the Kingdom of God? And then what about those new followers of Christ in Acts 19:19 that burned millions of dollars of books (their own books) when they realized Satan was behind them. But shouldn't we sell the books and give the money to the poor?
Wow. Money is everywhere in this faith journey. And the western world of Christianity tends to separate the two as though we can do what we want with our money because it doesn't really tie to my faith.
Actually it is possibly the greatest reflection of where I am in my spiritual maturity: if I can't and don’t trust God with money, then I don’t trust God.
I am so grateful to be a part of a covenant family that isn't afraid to have this conversation. And I too, as a financial adviser, am on this journey with all of you, not at the finish line looking back judging you. Let's run this race well together as a congregation by the power of the Spirit for the glory of God!