COUNSEL TO PIONEERS (IF YOU ARE STARTING A NEW THING): 6
A few months into starting in ministry, I needed to help a friend speak with someone, but I had no airtime. So I messaged my friend the contact of the person instead. I knew she would be attended to once she mentioned my name.
She was shocked that I did not have airtime to make a call. “Ah! Do you mean you do not have money at all?” The money was not mine. It was for the ministry. She was angry that I could not make the call.
In retrospect, I knew it was a test: first, it never occurred to my friend that she could send me airtime to make the call. Second, exactly a day after, I got a call from a brother who committed to partnership with the work of the Lord. I asked myself: “What if I had not maintained my ground?” “What if I just took a little from church money to buy airtime for personal reasons?”
Dear pioneer, church money is not your money. If it is a business, separate your business finance from your personal finance. Fix an amount that you pay yourself as a salary. Be disciplined enough to keep to it. If you begin to deepen your hands into ministry money, you cannot last. The little “it does not matter” will soon become a huge matter.
God will test you. Make sure you pass the test. One test that many people do not pass is the test of mammon. Money has a spirit. Whether it is not enough, just enough or more than enough, money is a terrible master.
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
I Timothy 6:17 NKJV
When it is not enough, it can drive a man into theft. When it is just enough, it can drive a man to greed. When it is more than enough, it can drive a man to pride and a life without accountability. Money can finance sin. You must learn to tame money.
Develop the fear of the Lord when it comes to material wealth. Apostle Paul had some stern warnings for Pastor Timothy:
First, be contented.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. I Timothy 6:6 – 8 NKJV
Second, tame your desires. Do not try to live a celebrity status life. Be simple. Do not keep chasing after trends.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. I Timothy 6:9 NKJV
Third, do not become greedy. If you do, you will use your office to manipulate people for personal gain.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I Timothy 6:10 NKJV
Fourth, when you are caught in between, never compromise. Walk the high road. Passionately and shamelessly follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness.
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
I Timothy 6:11 NKJV
Invest in building a strong value system. The accuser of the brethren is working hard in building a case against you also. Do not load him with tools that he will use to bring you down.
temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa.