English Standard Version (ESV)
Money is so powerful. I heard somewhere that money doesn't change us, it just reveals who we are. I like that. Money enables the generous to do incredible acts of generosity, to show love in amazing ways, and it enables the greedy to amass great amounts of wealth and shun the needy. Our checkbooks can reveal our priorities in a way that a survey never will.
We also rank people based on money. Whether we intend to or not, it's often an easy reflex. We'll instinctively react positively towards someone who appears wealthy, while perhaps pulling back from someone who does not. It was true in the first century, and it's still true today -- money makes a lot of rules.
True wealth, however, is continuously redefined in Scripture. If you want to be rich, amassing a great deal of money won't do it. If you surround yourself with people who are rich towards God, some may have great amounts of money, while others may have none. If you seek honor, it may lead to and through money, or it may not. God's Kingdom does not define wealth based on dollars and cents, and if you measure yourself by how much money you have, you'll always come up short.
I'll never forget the anecdote I heard once of a philosopher who, as he was dying, offered half his wealth for another thirty minutes of life. Money can purchase so much, and yet it can buy so little. May we use our money as a resource to show what we truly value, and may we seek the wealth offered freely by God to all, wealth of love and grace that is given to us, revealed in the generosity of Christ upon the cross.