Chuck Bentley on The Bible, Money, and What Love Means

Dear Chuck,

I’m growing weary of our society’s overuse (and misuse) of the word love. I hear and see it in advertising, on social media and in conversations. If the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God, it appears we’ve confused our priorities. It appears we love money more than Him or His word.

Love is in the Air

Dear Love is in the Air,

Thank you for a great question. I chose to answer your question so I could talk about love and money on Valentine’s Day.

By the way, Americans will spend an estimated $50 billion dollars today on gifts and activities to show their love to a special loved one. My wife prefers that I save the money on chocolate or flowers on this day and show love throughout the year.

Love and Money

You have identified a significant problem. When love becomes misunderstood or misdirected, we all suffer.

Staggering debt levels, lack of savings, and rising stress suggest we have a spending problem and a heart problem. Even recently, experts have declared that when consumption turns into consumerism, it becomes a social disease.

The enemy has convinced people that things will bring happiness. Yet, throughout Scripture, God warns us not to be led astray. He tells us:

  • Love God and others
  • Pursue love
  • Guard ourselves
  • Don’t love the world
  • Don’t love money
  • Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions

Just this week, the Wall Street Journal released information that hints at American’s disobedience and confused priorities. Credit card debt rose to record highs during the last quarter of 2019. Spurred by a seemingly strong economy and job market, spending increased dramatically. Unfortunately, the number of delinquent payments rose too. Consider this statistic sited in the article:

“Total credit card balances increased by $46 billion to $930 billion, well above the previous peak seen before the 2008 financial crisis, according to data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Tuesday.”

Debt brings stress and bondage. People are unable to live as God designed when they are strapped with debt. In today’s world that includes credit card debt, student loan debt, car loans, mortgages, personal and payday loans. It prevents many from saving money to be used as God directs. Bankrate’s recent poll shows only 41% of Americans could cover a $1,000 emergency with savings.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11 ESV)

There’s only one reason God supplies a surplus of wealth to a Christian: so that he or she will have enough to provide for the needs of others. True wealth comes with the responsibility of giving. God promises blessings to all who freely give and His curse on those who hoard, steal, covet, or idolize.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley