Think Job—the Old Testament man whose life story is told in the book bearing his name. (BTW, the book of Job offers an enormously important perspective on life, but you need to dig deep into its message to find that meaning. Job is worth reading and rereading.)
Maybe you’re desperate. Your life is a financial nightmare. You find yourself in survival mode. You’re so busy trying to figure out how you’re going to make it to tomorrow that you have no time to even consider whether your mess is your fault, somebody else’s fault, or nobody’s fault. The destitute Christian looks to others for comfort and support, but often receives blame, condemnation, slander, and judgment instead.
It’s important to understand that Christians are sometimes destitute. It’s easy to assume that people are to blame for their financial problems. Sorry. That isn’t always the case. Sometimes they are not. Sometimes—not always, but sometimes—being destitute is even a badge of honor—a path chosen for only a select few of God’s servants. If we don’t get this, we will be arrogant, hard hearted, superficial in our faith, and condescending.
What an opportunity for God! There’s a million creative things God can do with your situation. He might use your plight to break a hard heart somewhere in the Christian community, and introduce someone to the joy of sacrificial sharing. He might use your experience to teach you something very deep and very personal about Himself—something you might not be able to learn anywhere else. He might use your situation to propel you into leading a world-class business, or to show you how creatively He can provide. I don’t know, but in the end, I believe you will stand in awe of God.
The dangers here are many, but two of the biggest are these: losing faith in God and losing faith in people. Job’s counselors abound. (If you’ve read the book of Job and you’ve found yourself in this situation, you know exactly what I mean.) It’s so easy to become bitter. But there are still good people out there; this is just a path that most people don’t understand. God has not abandoned you. He will see you through.
Verses for further study: Hebrews 11:36-39, Job (entire book and especially 1:8, 2:3, 42:7, 42:10 in context), James 2:1-7, 1 Kings 17:8-24
We are looking at five different ways Christians experience money.
1. The diligent Christian
2. The Christian living by faith
3. The destitute Christian
4. The prosperous Christian
5. The Christian in financial recovery
Image adapted from an image by Jeremy Weate, Flickr, Creative Commons.