Judah Smith on money: 'God wants you to sow, not spend'
Money. It would be nice we didn't have to think about it but for most of us, it's inescapable and Pastor Judah Smith, of Seattle's City Church, says in a new sermon that if we are honest with ourselves, we "probably cannot fathom" just how many of our thoughts each day are about money.
"Does money matter to you?" he asks in his talk, novelly titled 'Swallow Your Saliva'.
"Absolutely and if you say no, you are a liar."
Where does saliva come into it? He gets to that through a humorous anecdote about the long and difficult journey of getting his boisterous kids to bed each night. Just when he thinks he can finally relax for the evening, one of his kids starts yelling for a cup of water and when he makes the effort of going all the way back and giving it to them, all they want is a sip.
In much the same way, we can be calling out to God about something small and even other believers can be telling us we've blown something out of proportion, but God will never yell back at us to "get a grip".
"Here's what's awesome about God," Judah explains. "Whatever is big to you is big to him. You will never hear God yell back in your proverbial room when you are asking for the equivalent of a sip of water. God will never yell 'swallow your saliva'. God will be involved, God will be concerned and God will care...There is God right at your side, aiding, helping and working with you."
So if we're all clear on the fact that we think about money a lot more than we want to, what should we do about it?
His sermon may have a funny title, but Judah makes a serious point in answering that very question: "Before you make money and use money you need to learn how to think about money, and God wants you think a particular way about your money and resources."
While the society we are living in is all about consuming, and investing is only about how much money we can make back, Judah says God believers are called to have a different perspective of money.
Preaching from 2 Corinthians 9, he shares that it's not about spending or saving - and it's not even about spending when it comes to parting with our money for church-related causes.
If we can grasp this concept, he promises that we will feel a whole lot less anxious about our money and our resources.
"There is a higher way to think about your money. It is more powerful than saving, it is more powerful than investing, it is more powerful than earning, it is more powerful than spending.
"And it is: the thought of sowing. Sowing is the single most powerful thing you can do with your money."
He adds: "When it comes to God's work on earth, when you put money towards that, you never spend, you just plant."
And we shouldn't only think about sowing, but "learn to sow more".
"Investing you do cos you want more money, sowing you do because you want to reach more people," he said.
"God says when you have money, think of 'where can I plant it?'. If you change the way you think, your relationship emotionally and literally with your finances will fundamentally change."
Listen to his sermon in full here: