Our Attitudes Towards “Our” Stuff

Jerry Bridges wrote that there are three attitudes we can have towards money and possessions.[1]

View #1: “What’s yours is mine; I will take it.”

View #2: “What’s mine is mine; I will keep it.”

Christians recognize that view number 1 is the mindset of the thief and the cheat. It runs afoul of the eighth commandment. Nobody likes a thief!

What people don’t realize is that view #2 is equally disastrous. Jesus took on view #2 in Luke 12:13-21 when he told the parable of the Rich Fool who tore down his barns to build bigger ones. His only focus was on self. View #2 becomes even more dangerous when you realize that it causes view #1. Do you remember the parable that Nathan the prophet told David about the rich man who stole his neighbor’s only lamb? He did it because he didn’t want to give up what was his. Jesus also destroys this view by reminding us to store up incorruptible treasure that thieves can’t steal and rust can’t destroy (Matthew 6:19-20). As bad as view #2 is, it is by far the most common view of money and possessions—even in the church. So what’s the Biblical view?

View #3: “What’s mine is God’s; I will share it.”

Paul told the Ephesians, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (Ephesians 4:28)

When we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God, and we remember that everything we have is only temporary, it becomes a little easier to open our hands to those in need and be a blessing in a broken world.

 

[1] Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness. Page 91