I've been around money all of my adult life. Our ministry depends on the generosity of affluent and wealthy Christians. I've been privileged to know countless wealthy, humble, and extremely generous believers.
When a Christian loves money, it gives both Christianity and money a bad name. We typically only hear about the greedy Christian who abuses his wealth, or the poor Christian obsessed with getting it. But in the real world, the vast majority of Christians want to be good stewards. They don't want to be caught up trying to serve both God and money.
Most of us realize that Jesus didn't spend 3 ½ years teaching his disciples how to make money and then go die on a cross so they-and we-could be prosperous. Some Christians believe that, of course, probably unthinkingly, and it gives the rest of us a bad name. It's what we call "the prosperity gospel."
Yet here's something to keep in mind: Jesus has nothing against prosperity. He certainly doesn't mind if someone through diligence converts their natural talents into prosperity. He is the one, after all, who gives us the ability to make money. The Bible tells us that prosperity is a gift from God: "When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).
What Jesus did spend 3 ½ years teaching his disciples was how to serve others. But it takes a good deal of prosperity to make that service possible. Prosperity and service are not mutually exclusive, and money isn't bad. We need money. When the 10th of the month rolls around, your landlord is looking for Jesus-they want cash! He just doesn't want money to be our primary focus.
Money is morally neutral, like a handgun. In the hands of a criminal a gun it's an instrument of evil, but in the hands of a police officer it's an instrument of good. Money is a wonderful servant, but a ruthless master.
Until every church disciples every man...