The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is about forgiveness and restoration, of course. But it is also about money. The prodigal son had many flaws, but one of them was a sense of entitlement. He thought he should have everything his parents had without having to work for it, or be responsible for it. He believed he was entitled to it, and the spirit of entitlement brings us too to the field of despair, filling our belly with the husks meant for the pigs.
But the central image of this story is the fatted calf, which the father sacrificed and the older brother resented. You see, this story is not just about being a bad son. It is also about being a good father. And the father here tells the big brother that “it is meet that we should make merry, and be glad, for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again.”
Money has power. You can use this power for self, as the son did. Or you can use it for celebration, as the father did. You can buy a new fishing lure for yourself, or you can buy a flower for your wife.
But from the patriarchs to the pilgrims, godly men and women have seen money as a channel of grace, a way to enrich the lives of others.
One of the first things we have to learn about money, or about anything we own, is how to share it.