Did you know Jesus was homeless?

by Kyle
published May 22, 2013


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Jesus said, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) He also commanded wealthy people to give away their money and that’s exactly what his early followers did. (Mat­thew 19:21 and Acts 2:4) He gave up glory in heaven to come to earth. (Philippians 2:6-7) So, as Christians in the wealthiest nation in the world, what should our re­sponse to material wealth be?

May I suggest that wealth perhaps isn’t the is­sue at all? I think, instead, the credit we give for that wealth should be the lit­mus for our response.

Self-seeking is logically inconsistent with the bibli­cal worldview in which we are called to deny the self in pursuit of Christ and in loving the people he loves. (Matthew 16:25) Instead, our aim should be to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Wealth is not evil in it­self. Personal luxuries, in moderation, are even good things given as gifts from God. (James 1:17) Why we use our wealth is more important than what we use our wealth for.

The millionaire who strives to increase profit to serve his investors and build a more stable and healthy livelihood for his employ­ees through better serv­ing the community with a quality product or service is doing good. The one who increases profit because he just wants more money than
 he could ever spend is not.

The motive is more im­portant than the action it­self. There are absolutes, but they are few: Murder is never justified by motive, neither is adultery or theft. Potentially neutral things done with bad motives are also bad. In Christian speak, we can call it sin.

How can we begin, then, to address the problem of greedy motives that seem so prevalent in our culture? First, have a look in a mirror. 

I have met poor people who are just as greedy as the greediest millionaires. If we remember that the motive is more important than the act, then bad motives can be shared among people of all economic stations. 

That said, how much are you giving? What percentage of your income goes to other people? Americans on average give away 2 percent of their annual income. Followers of Christ have been called to be better than that. I’m not going to give you a hard-andfast number for what you should give, but it should be enough to make a difference in your quality of life. Remember the widow who gave “all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:4?) Beyond that, who is the final benefactor of the things that you have? Do you use what you have for your own good, or do you recognize that it neither belongs to you nor was it given to you only for your own benefit? 

Paul asked the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) I would contend that everything God has given me was for the purpose of blessing someone else. If he gave me little, it was to bless others. When I compare what I have to the rest of the world — the average human on Earth makes less than $12,000 a year — God has given me much, and every bit of it should be devoted to his glory. 

Who gets glory for what you have? When we start giving God glory for what we have, I think greed, as well as poverty, will be much smaller problems.

What do you think?

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