Daily devotional

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Thursday, July 31

Weird About Money

Bible Excerpt from Philippians 4:10-15

In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.

Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell

Why are we so weird about money?

Why don't we talk about it more? Who decided that personal finances were supposed to be private—and just what do we gain from keeping them so? All too often in the church, the poor pretend they're not, and the rich pretend they're not, and everybody pretends that money isn't one of the great driving forces of our lives. Why?

Jesus knew that pretending money doesn't matter only leads to, at best, weird attitudes, and at worst, injustice. Other than God and God's realm, there is nothing he talked about more than money. Paul knew this, too: being rich or poor matters (ask any poor person), but neither makes one good or bad. Neither determines one's worth. Neither needs to be hidden. So what's with all the privacy?

I had a seminary professor who recommended making people publicly state their annual income before joining the church, as a way of cutting through our weirdness right up front and reminding everyone that while money matters, what's really important is the inheritance that is ours as children of God.

You, as we in the class did, are probably shaking your head and thinking, "Well, THAT would never work." And you're probably right. But what would we, what would the church, be like if it did?


O God, all good things come from you, and from you nothing is hidden. Give us the grace to act faithfully both in our wealth and in our lack of it. Amen.

About the Author

Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Pastor, Old South Church, Boston, Massachusetts.

The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is a free service and is supported by your gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission. Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted. Used by permission. All rights reserved.