Maximus Confessor: The four kinds of people who acquire money

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You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You. Nehemiah 9:6

“Not so much out of necessity has gold become enviable by people as that with most of them can provide for their pleasures.¬†There are three reasons for the love of money: pleasure-seeking, vainglory, and lack of faith. And more serious that the other two is lack of faith.

The hedonist loves money because with it he lives in luxury; the vain person because it can be praised; the person who lacks faith because he can hide it and keep it while in fear of hunger, or old age, or illness, or exile. He lays his hope on it rather than on God the Maker and Provider of the whole creation, even of the last and least of things.

There are four kinds of people who acquire money, the three just mentioned and the financial administrator. Obviously only he acquires it for the right reasons so that he might never run short of relieving each one’s need.”

Maximus Confessor (c. 580-662), Theologian of Constantinople, in Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings trans. George C. Berthold (Mahwah: Paulist, 1985) 63.

What kind of person are you with relationship to money? The irony is that the only One who sees and knows your situation is the One who made you and desires that you trust Him to provide for you.

Maximus Confessor proclaims truth with candor in spelling out the four kinds of people. Notice the function of the faithful administrator, and that is a key biblical term, administrator.

This word implies the faithful stewardship of God’s resources to accomplish His purposes, which is to care for your needs and those around you. We get to enjoy and share all our Maker provides.

Advent begins today. It’s a season when we welcome the Savior, Christ the Lord, who comes to us. To prepare for His arrival, let show our faith in Him by living as faithful financial administrators.