46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
Luther was afraid that because of the sale of indulgences some people were spending money that they needed to support their family. Luther makes the point in this Thesis that he felt that buying indulgences was simply throwing your money away! This again brings into focus the fact that we must see all of our time, talent and treasure as a gift from God that needs to be managed properly.
This is true for us today as well. Even as Christians we have the tendency to believe that “10% of all that I have is for the Lord, but the other 90% is mine to do with what I want.” This is wrong thinking, 100% of what I have belongs to God! God is interested in what I do with all that I have not just 10% of what I have.
From Luther we also see that this is something that people need to be taught, it does not come automatically into our thinking. By nature we think that all that we have is ours, one of the first words that a child learns to say is “Mine”. But the fact of the matter is that God does not give up ownership of anything in this world, everything is His! He simply gives up the management of the resources that He puts under our control, time, talent and treasures. We need to learn that we are managers of God’s property.
So with that thinking we come back to Luther’s thought, if you are managing all that you have for God the owner of all, why would you pay money for the forgiveness that God is going to give you as a free gift anyway? How is that good management?
Oh Holy Father, creator and owner of all things. Please fill my heart with the love that allows me to manage my life for You. Thank You for the opportunities that You have placed in my life to be able to manage things for You. Be with me in all the decisions that I make that they may be pleasing to You. In Christ, Amen.