In the Gospel reading this Sunday, Jesus exclaims, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Scripture also tells us that love of money is the root of all evil. But money is something that has a huge effect on our lives. One person may have a lucrative career and worry their wealth will endanger their soul. Another may be just scraping by, and money occupies much of their thoughts as a means of survival. How can both of these people, and everyone in between, avoid a love of money so as to live a holy life?
Recently on Father Simon Says™ a man who is studying to be an accountant called and asked how we can avoid a love of money. Father Richard Simon responded:
“I think the best way of avoiding the love of money is to build your life on the parable of the talents.
You probably know the story where these guys are called in by their master. One is given 10 talents, which was a huge amount of money. One is given five talents, which is a really big amount of money. And then one is given one talent, which is a goodly amount of money.
Two go out and invest it and one buries it under a rock. The master comes back, and the first says, ‘Here are your 10 talents, I’ve made 10 more.’ The master says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. I’ll put you in charge of 10 villages.’ The second comes, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, I’ll put you in charge of five villages.’ Then the one comes and says, ‘I knew you were a hard master, reaping what you did not sow, here is your talent, I buried it under a rock.’ The master says, ‘Throw this worthless servant out.’
The word in the text is actually not servant, but slave. The money belonged to the master and the men belonged to the master. … We’re the slaves of God, and we don’t own anything. It all belongs to God. How am I using it? Now, the Lord is a good and gracious master, and he doesn’t want us to live in a dangerous or squalid situation. He wants us to get a good education for our children, and to take the occasional vacation. But to live ostentatiously is just foolish.
To live responsibly, and even comfortably, is not a bad thing. But we must prayerfully ask God what He wants us to do with His money. When we accept Christ, we give Him all these things that we have. So we become the stewards of what formerly were our possessions. A Christian doesn’t own anything, but he is a steward of the goods of the Lord. And we use them, prayerfully, where the Lord wants us to use them.”
Listen to the full conversation below: