RELIGION WILL NOT HELP YOU
Encarta dictionary defines Religion as people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.
Religion is practiced in different ways by different people and goes by different names such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, African Traditional Religion, Hinduism and so on.
Due to my background, I am going to use Christianity as the case study for today’s talk and as such I will make many references to the Holy Bible to prove my points. People of other religions can please bear with me. You’ll have nothing to lose by following the talk.
To begin with, I want to confess that I am a born-again Christian, baptized into the household of God. I believe in the core fundamental doctrines of the Bible as taught by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. I also believe that someday, this world will come to an end and we will all be judged according to our deeds here on earth.
However, there are certain beliefs and practices I have noticed within the Christendom that I feel are sabotaging and unwholesome towards our financial well-being.
Before I go into them, I want to justify my use of today’s title “religion will not help you”. By that, I am referring to the type of Christianity that has been diluted with the “traditions of men” (See Mark 7:8) and not the Gospel of Jesus.
In fact, real Christianity isn’t supposed to be a religion. It is a way of life and is simple to understand.
True christianity can be summarized as: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
That said, what are some of the religious beliefs and practices that are making you struggle with your finances? There are many of them but I will highlight just two of them:
(1.) MONEY IS EVIL
Money is not inherently evil. It is only a tool that can be used for good or bad. Evil comes from people and their heart desires.
Yet some religious people have been misinterpreting the “for the love of money is the root of all evil” Bible verse of 1st Timothy 6:10 to mean that money is a taboo topic.
What folks don’t understand is that it is “the love of money” that is evil and not money itself and as such they give it a bad name.
When I was a kid, my parents hardly discussed money in the house so that it will not “spoil me”. I was only told that money does not grow on trees. It is poor, negative and destructive beliefs like this that ties people down to living the mediocre life of poverty instead of stretching to create a better life for themselves.
If money were that evil, would God have given Solomon so much (as a bonus to the wisdom he asked for)?
Why do we have characters like Abraham, King David and the rich Joseph of Arimathea in the Bible who donated his virgin tomb for Jesus’ royal burial?
The church needs wealthy people. What I mean by that is people that have a rich and possibility mindset. People that are progressive and are always ready to give as contained in the advice Paul gave to rich people in 1st Timothy 6:17-19.
I am going to dwell more on this (the true definition of money) on a latter date before this event is over.
(2.) PRAYER, FAITH AND WORK:
Do you happen to live close to a typical traditional “prayer house”? The one that displays frenzied dance, prophesy and lots of fanaticism in the name of worship and “casting out devils” every night?
Hehehe. If you do, then you will better understand it when I say that “religion” will not help you.
A friend of mine made a Facebook post some time ago that gives context to the blind, fanatic practices of many Christians of today all in the name of money. He said what do you expect from an economy where it’s workers do church prayers and fasting on a normal working day instead of going to work.
This is prevalent here in Nigeria. It seems we want to be more religious than the white man that brought this Christianity to us.
I always say that, “If prayer is the Master Key, then Hard work is the door knob”.
Everyday I see people fast and pray to God to deliver them out of poverty. Thereafter, they’ll go back home and refuse to work their prayers into reality. When it seems the prayer is not being answered, they’ll conclude that PERHAPS it is not God’s will for them.
The word says in Psalm 84:11 “….no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Furthermore, it says in Matthew 6:33 that we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto us.
What this means is that you should get your priorities right.
Repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness and have an encounter with God first. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:5.
God does not want us to deify money, just as he hates every other thing that seems to take the first place of God in our lives.
Once you have done that, don’t wait for manna to drop from Heaven before you know that your prayer has been answered. He is not Santa Clause.? Learn to listen to your heart and hear what God is saying to you.
God’s promises for you as a Christian are abundant. Time will fail me to quote all of them. But many at times He will send you the answer in the form of an idea.
The problem with most of us Christians believing God for answers to prayers is that every time God gives us ‘a million dollar’ IDEA, we give God 10 reasons why it will not work. Every time OPPORTUNITY dresses in overalls and comes knocking on the door, we refer him to the next door neighbour.
Finally, you should know that, “”Faith without WORKS dead”. See James 2:14-26. This applies also to your finances more than anything else. You must work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) – not by being lazy by believing these “hyper grace” preachers.
Don’t let anybody deceive you otherwise in the name of religion. If you want to be a Christian, practice real Christianity and NOT “religion” that has been tainted by the “traditions of men”.
Do you have questions, suggestions or comments on the various ways people abuse Christianity in the name of Religion?Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.[Please SHARE this Talk with your friends. Someone else needs to read it. You may be helping a life.]