True Freedom

"Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you.'"

(Hebrews 13:5)

chained to moneyMost of the children are probably familiar with "reality" TV shows in which people do crazy things just to have a chance to win a lot of money. Ask the children if they have watched any of those shows. List the various activities that people tried as they attempted to win money. Ask the children if they would be willing to do those tasks to win money? Why or why not?

Ask the children why they believe that money is so important to many people. Then ask them, "How much money is enough money?" Point out that if money is a person's goal, then that person will never have enough. (In fact, the average American claims that he or she needs an amount equal to an additional ten percent of his or her gross income to meet "needs.")

The Bible passage teaches us to keep free from the love of money. Encourage the children to share examples of behaviors that demonstrate the "love of money." Ask what can happen to a person if she or he loves money. Some ideas to share with the children include:

  • The person will be greedy.
  • The person will never be satisfied.
  • The person will live in fear of losing the money.
  • The person may wonder if she or he is liked only because of his or her apparent money.
  • The person will depend on money rather than on God.
  • The person who loves money and seeks money as a primary goal forgets that she or he is God's steward of money.

God has entrusted us to manage money in God's best interest. God wants Christian stewards to use all our resources to bless others. We are to use money in ways that please and honor God. A lover of money will be controlled by a desire to hoard money rather than by a desire to please God.

Ask the children how they can keep free from the love of money. Point out that one way to keep free from the love of money is to give away money and possessions to those in need. Giving not only frees us from the love of money, but it also pleases God. "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). A cheerful giver is a steward who knows that money truly belongs to God. Another important way to be free from the love of money is to focus on the blessings that God has already provided. While we may not have everything we want, God will make sure that we have everything we need.

Encourage the children to make a list of ways they can free themselves from the love of money. Invite members of your congregation who are generous givers to talk with the children about the blessings of giving. Close by sharing with the children that God has promised to be with us always and to take care of our needs. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God's faithfulness, goodness, and protection.

Prayer

Dear God, I thank you that you will never leave me. You know all my needs, and you will always take care of me. Help me learn to depend on you rather than on money. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you know someone who has learned to be a cheerful giver? What makes that person different from other people?
  • How can you develop habits of cheerful giving?
  • Since we are stewards (managers) of God's resources, do you think God would be pleased with how you manage money and other possessions?
  • In what ways can you change your attitude so that you can become a steward who pleases God?

Janet Zimmerman is an ordained United Methodist deacon, who serves as Christian Education Director at Church of the Lakes in Canton, Ohio.

Posted in2004.

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