"What would you do with a million dollars?" It's a silly question usually reserved for long road trips after the thrill of "slug bug" wears off. Many times our answers include such luxuries as boats, airplanes, castles, or islands. But a deeper question lies beneath: how do you spend your money? Is there a marked difference between the way you would spend a million dollars and the way someone who isn't Christian would spend it? Would someone look at your bank account and see a reflection of a life that has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit?
The New York Times ran a story recently about agencies that serve the "neediest of the needy." The article said that a million dollars could provide nearly 400,000 meals for the poor, save 800 families from being evicted this month, provide 2,500 medical exams, and get 3,000 kids off the streets during the summer. This is the good that a million dollars could do, yet every day on TV, in magazines, and on billboards we are given thousands of alternative ways to spend our money. We can watch celebrities on TV explaining how a Bentley reflects one's true personality and how a walk-in refrigerator is a necessity for extravagant parties.
The Bible paints for us a very different portrait about what money should mean to a believer. 1 John 3:16-18 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of GOD be in him? Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
Throughout history, people have believed the lie that the money GOD gives us is for our personal use and enjoyment. GOD blesses his people so that we can in turn bless those who have none. In doing this, we become the ultimate witness to the world; can you imagine if Bill Gates started giving away his money in the name of Jesus? That would be an incredible witness because it is completely contrary to the logic of the world. We have been called to live lives that are opposite of this world (1 Corinthians 1:18-31), and the use of our money is a great way to model for unbelievers what it truly means to be Christian.