Samson and Samuel (1)
Samson and Samuel are mentioned in the same Scripture, but there are big differences between them and the way that they lived their lives. The first difference between them is based on how they dealt with their finances. Samson was greedy and manipulating, whereas Samuel practiced integrity. One day Samson bet thirty Philistine princes that they couldn’t solve his riddle, saying, ‘if you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes (Judges 14:13 NIV). The words ‘you must give me’ say a lot. Not only is he trying to demonstrate authority, he’s also making up business transactions which would benefit him, and just him. Many people, including Christians, in business today use unethical practices. And some people in ministry twist the Scriptures and resort to emotional manipulation to raise money. Samuel was totally different. After forty years of his exemplary leadership, the people paid this tribute to him: ‘You have not cheated or oppressed us’ (1 Samuel 12:4 NKJV). As Christians, we should have integrity in all aspects of our lives, including our finances, just as Samuel did. The Bible says: ‘Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone’ (Romans 12:17 NIV). We need to show the world that as Christians we live differently. Jesus knew how much money could be an issue when He said: ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21 NIV). When money becomes too high up in our priority list, our hearts can be focused on the wrong thing. Let’s keep God at the highest place in our lives, and practise integrity when handling our finances.
Read Matthew 6:19-24 and spend some time thinking about how you handle your finances. What are you putting first in your life – God or money?