Don't Fall In Love With Your Income
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV)
What our heart loves is highly important to God. He commands us to love him first and most.
Jesus also taught that our hearts and our treasure are inseparable (Luke 12:34), so we should amass treasure in heaven. God will judge building wealth on earth while neglecting heavenly riches as foolishness (Luke 12:13-21).
I have always taken this to be a warning against building large stores of worldly wealth. But there is another form of earthly treasure that competes for God’s preeminent place in my heart.
Have you ever noticed what strong attachments our hearts form to the thing that provides our income? Maybe it’s a vocation, or a retirement account, or an investment we own.
Love could describe the attachment formed by our hearts to these things. I don’t mean love in the sense that we like it, although some may. I mean love in the sense that we protect and trust it. We derive our security from it and are fear losing it, and understandably so.
Our world is harsh with sometimes painful consequences. We need an income to eat and have shelter, and provide for our loved ones. Without an income, we open ourselves up to suffering.
Jesus understands the temptation to fear this sort of suffering. In addressing this very issue, he taught we are not to worry. He told his listeners that God the Father knows what we need and will provide for those needs, so we are free to seek him first, not our own provision.
Money is something God provides as we seek his will and his kingdom. It is a means to an end, not the end itself. Don’t fall in love with the thing that God uses to provide for you. He can use any means he chooses, and the means will probably change many times over the course of your life. Trust God and seek him first, and he will provide all the other things for you.