When it comes to money, I sometimes feel like a child who is familiar with the Easy Money game in a world dominated by Monopoly players. The salary my husband receives is decided on by the people we minister to, and its use is open to inspection. Even when the rules seem different, I need to guard my attitude toward the money.
Differences I know that it is hard for a layperson to understand what a pastor's job entails. But, as his wife, I see how my husband lays down his life for the congregation and the energy it takes. At congregational meetings where his salary is discussed, I think things like, "You should pay him a million dollars for doing this." I am thankful that we are not in a situation, like I know some of you are, where the church can barely afford to pay its pastor. I need to combat a sinful attitude of resentment toward the church and discontentment toward God.
My compulsion to justify purchases is another area where I differ from church people. I see it in other ministry families, too. I say things like, "Yes, it is a Kate Spade purse. I got it at a consignment shop. Ten years ago. On sale. At 50% off. With a $10 coupon." This is not an effective way of communicating a godly attitude toward money. Yes, I am trying to be a good steward of the money the congregation gives us. Yes, I want to be a good example to that same congregation. However, I need to acknowledge God's blessings in my life and repent of my touchiness and self-justification.
Commonalities Even though a pastors' wife has a different way of receiving money than other Christians, she shares their need to obey the Bible in regard to money. All of us are called to be good stewards of what we possess, make wise choices with our money and be content. Here are some commonalities.
- Store up treasures in heaven and not on earth. (Matthew 6:20)
- Acknowledge that everything you have belongs to the Lord. (Haggai 2:8)
- Give cheerfully. (II Corinthians 9:6,7)
- Be generous to those in need. (Proverbs 19:17)
- Practice contentment. (Hebrews 13:5)
- Thank God in all circumstances. (I Thessalonians 5:18)