“You can’t take it with you, but you can’t go anywhere without” C.M. Ward
Jesus did not hesitate to talk about money. Fifteen percent of His words dealt with the topic. Jesus knew that our relationship to money and what it could buy is a gauge of our spiritual condition. (Luke 12:34) If you look at the “power lines” that flow through our society, money is the current that flows through them.
God instituted the “tithe” to help govern our relationship to material goods. The tithe was not a “gift” to God but it rightfully belonged to God. Furthermore, the “tithe” was to be the “first fruits.” Imagine living in a completely subsistence-based economy, wherein you lived or died based on whether your fields produced and your animals survived. To “tithe” was to declare “We trust You God and are totally dependent on You.”
God realized that the chief competitor to our dependence on Him is our money. When we have enough cash, food, and possessions, we tend to become self-reliant. Therefore, God doesn’t view money as a benign and neutral thing. Money is power, and power competes with God for supremacy in our lives. Jesus warned that no one can “serve two master.” He was speaking of God and money when He said, “we will love one and hate the other.”
The question is who do we serve?