13 Mar Meet Your Needs, Not Your Greed
“Human satisfaction cannot be achieved through meeting higher needs, but through fewer wants”. This statement really holds true for all and more so for ChristianS. As Mahatma Gandhi said “Mother Earth has enough for everyone’s need, but not for anyone’s greed”. Our Heavenly Father gives us enough to meet our needs, but that too in His own ways and in His own time. Everyone has to earn a living and that is something taught in the Bible.
We are expected to earn a decent living and spend on essential items. The Bible does not talk against earning and spending, but it very clearly tells us that we are stewards (Matt 25:14-30) – not just of money, but for all that God has entrusted us with – our time, talents and treasures. When we are faithful with little, God will entrust with more. Let us have a small reflection on how we should be good stewards in each and every aspect of life:
1. Constructing a house: A Christian has every right to build a decent abode. But there should definitely be a limit to the size and number of houses that a person owns. A Christian is well aware that he/she is just a passerby in this world; this is not our permanent home. Being conscious of that fact, we should put up a house as if it is a temporary residence – small and beautiful. Then ultimately our minds will not be set on all these earthly possessions, rather than on things above (Col. 3:2).
2. Buying a vehicle: We need to move around for our various needs and we need to do this effectively and efficiently. As per the need and the family size, you can have a two wheeler or a four wheeler or both. But then, we should not go in for a buying spree and also rolling of vehicles through exchanges as each and every new brand or model comes out. For a Christian, the money is not his/her; it belongs to God. Hence we need to use it wisely.
3. Investing in children: Marriage, family, etc., are things instituted by God. But over the past many years, people have distorted them and brought in new concepts like Co-habitation, DINK (Double Income No Kids) Family etc. These are all against God’s plans when we become parents – we learn to be sacrificial, we learn to love others more than ourselves, we learn to go the extra mile etc.,
Moreover, we are expected to bring up our children in godly ways. We are to give our child a loving family, good education, adequate life skills training and also a God-loving Church. Today we see many parents giving priority to things like schooling, tuitions, entrance coaching, extra-curricular activities, recreation, etc., for their children and giving up on Sunday School, Church Worship and Prayer Meetings, VBS, etc. We should always be reminded to seek first His kingdom and righteousness and He has promised that all other things will be given to us (Matt. 6:33).
4. Meeting our day to day needs – We should always try to meet our needs, not run after all that we see around us keeping in mind that we are God’s ambassadors in this world (2 Cor 5:20). God created this world and all the things in it including us. God sent His Son to save us. He came, lived, died, rose again and went back to heaven. Now, we who have been chosen are expected to live out His Mission here in this world. We are expected to protect and care this beautiful Planet – the only Planet as of now that can sustain humans and other forms of lives. We are expected to take care of not just our needs, but of others also, both humans and other living beings – to be compassionate, to be considerate. We are expected to be good stewards, whereby we use resources optimally and also ensure that it is available for our children and also for generations to come.
5. Spending for recreation: We need rest, relaxation and recreation. We read such instances in the Bible also in the life of Jesus and others. We need to spend wisely thereby keeping our good testimony in Christ in our recreation too. It is not necessary that you go on foreign trips every year or buy expensive gifts, or eat out in luxurious restaurants. We should rather seek joy, which is more a state of the heart and depends on giving rather than receiving.
6. Giving for His kingdom: From all that God has given us, we are expected to give for His kingdom. The basic norm set as per the Word of God is to give your tithe. But that is minimum and compulsory for a child of God. We have to go the extra mile and give to the maximum possible. And when we give, we should give cheerfully from the heart because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).
7. Giving to others: Our happiness depends on the happiness of our immediate surrounding i.e. family, further radiating out to our extended family, neighborhood, community, city, state and the nation as a whole. As the saying holds very true “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving”. And God has asked us to love others more than ourselves (Mark 12:31) and also to love even our enemies (Matt.5:44) and God expects us to give priority to the needs of our fellow believers (Gal. 6:10).
8. Saving for our future – We do not know about tomorrow, but we know that God is in control. Still, we are expected to be prepared for our days ahead on this Earth also. There is a time to be dependent (0–18 years), there is a time to be independent (19–60), there is a time of retirement
(60–80) and there is a time to be taken care of (above 80). Being good stewards means not just meeting the needs of today, but investing wisely for tomorrow also.
Money Matters, but let it not Master us.
Renjan Mathew Varghese
The author is currently working as the State Director for World Wide Fund for Nature – India (WWF-India) for Kerala State based in Trivandrum.