I am not an expert in the extensive and important subject of worship; however I do think that most of us have a limited scope of this topic and we neglect to consider the role of money in worship. Is worshiping something we do when we go to our place of faith once a week, or is it down on our knees in privacy? Is it a corporate thing we do together, or in secret? Yes and Yes!… however I think it is more.
Worship is a lifestyle, it is an orientation. Let’s pick apart the word orientation. This word is used quite often these days to reflect one’s sexual identity. Webster’s Dictionary defines orientation as 1. a person’s feelings, interests, and beliefs 2. a main interest, quality, or goal. I like the second definition for the purpose of this article. It is a good question to ask one’s self; what is your main interest and goal, and why? The fun part about asking ourselves tough questions, is it helps us understand our motivations in life.
Money is the number one god of adoration of developed countries it seems. It is the measure of achievement, success and people look up to those with lots of it. We believe that the right allocation of money and resources will solve most of mankind’s problems. We see it as a source of happiness, joy and comfort. Despite all research, we conclude not only will money do these things, but that the more of it, will only increase good feelings, and diminish the ills that ail civilization. Money if seen this way, is a god that we are often oriented towards, therefore we worship it. Maybe Bob Dylan’s song “Gotta Serve Somebody” was right on.
Lately, I have been thinking about my own faith orientation, is it money, success, ministry, activity, entertainment and personal comfort or is it God? What do I worship? Sometimes during my walk of faith, I have to confess that I try to serve and worship two masters, but Jesus said this is impossible, read and think about Matthew 6:24 for a few moments:
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
What got me thinking about this lately was researching and thinking about tithing. One thing I discovered that the first worship service recorded in the Bible was Able’s worshiping God, by bringing choice offerings from the first born of the flocks he was tending in Genesis 4:4. This reminded me of the many instances throughout the Old Testament, where worship was strongly accompanied by offerings of valuable things like grain and animals. The first fruits of harvest, the first born unblemished animals, and things gathered in war. Here I see people who are oriented towards God in their daily labors, and are happy to worship Him in song and possessions.
I picture this worship occurring not just in corporatly and in private seclusion, but also in our minds and throughout our days; The image I see, is daily walking out Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. This is a picture of worship, walking out our faith; right foot, left foot.
So ask yourself; Do You Worship Money or Worship God with Your Money? I can worship Him with my money, in how I think about and it work for it, but also in how I give and spend it. How can spending money be worship, this seems silly!- many of you might say. I’m not totally sure; I am still developing my understanding of this (that is why I want you to comment below). However, I think it is possible to worship God when we plan and budget how we think he wants us to spend it- that can be a mini worship session. It can be worship when we steward over it wisely when making good purchase decisions. It is worship, when we live well below our means, and not live too extravagantly. It is worship when we help other people with it too:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:34-40.
From the words of Jesus, we can see that we worship Him, when we feed, clothe, invite in the needy, and minister to the sick and in prison. In conclusion, we worship God not only in seclusion and corporately, but all day long, and in how budget, plan and earn it, to how we use our money and possessions.