I've taught a series on a biblical view of money, and it's called A Two-Sided Coin, because money really is a two-sided coin. It can be an incredible blessing that is used for great good, or it can be something that brings a lot of trouble in our lives. It can actually be a curse if we're not careful. I want to ask you, where are you are getting your input as far as money is concerned? Who are you listening to? You've got to figure out early on who you're going to listen to. The two sides of influence in this modern day are culture and Scripture. You can listen to the culture, or you can listen to Scripture. Here's a short quiz so that you can figure out how you're doing as far as what you're listening to.

Number One: "Find a purpose greater than yourself." Scripture or culture? The answer is: culture. It's actually a direct quote from David Bock's book, "Smart Women Finish Rich." Now I just want to point this out because that statement, "Find a purpose greater than yourself" — that's a good thing. That sounds biblical; you probably could argue it is biblical. The point is that some of the things that you read in these books are great ideas. Some of the things our culture says are very wise and good to listen to. The problem is that our culture doesn't just include books. It includes all the books, radio, television, movies, and advertising, and when you put it all together, some of what the culture tells you about money is true, and some of it is way off base. The problem is you don't always know which is which. This is why Scripture is so superior! Scripture is always true!

Number Two: You only go around once in life. Scripture or culture? Scripture. This is a paraphrase of Hebrews 9:27, which says, "It is destined for man once to die, and then to face the judgment." The truth is the biblical truth; you only go around once on earth. You only get one chance to live this life. How are you doing so far?

Number Three: "Truth creates money, lies destroy it." Scripture or culture? That is culture, too. It is a direct quote from Suze Orman's bestselling book, "The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life."

Number Four: Christians should give ten percent. Scripture or culture? That is actually church culture. God doesn't tell you to give ten percent. He would never limit you to that. He is smarter than that!

Number Five: Money is the root of all evil. Scripture or culture? That is a misquote of Scripture.

Number Six: The lack of money is the root of all evil. Scripture or culture? It's culture. It is, in fact, a direct quote from Robert T. Kiyosaki's book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. "The lack of money is the root of al evil." Can you imagine?

Number Seven: The love of money is the root of all evil. Scripture or culture? This is Scripture and a direct quote from 1 Timothy 6:10, one of the misquoted verses of all time from Scripture. That verse is twisted so many ways, it's amazing!

Number Eight: The poor work for money; the rich have money work for them. Does that sound like a proverb to you, maybe? It's not! It's from Kiyosaki's book.

Number Nine: You can't serve both God and money. Is that Scripture or culture? Scripture: Luke 16:13.

Number Ten: There are three baskets into which you should put your eggs — the security basket, the retirement basket, the dream basket. Is that Scripture or culture? Culture. David Bock actually learned that from his grandmother and he encourages us to learn it as well.

Sometimes it's not easy to know what Scripture says and what culture says, unless you really know what the Bible says about money. Unless you know what the Bible teaches you about money, it's very easy to get confused; it's very easy to get misled; it's very easy to get yourself in huge trouble as far as your finances are concerned.

As far as money is concerned, ninety-nine percent of it is extremely easy to understand. Understanding is not the problem, applying is the problem! Jesus was absolutely convinced that money would be a key issue for us. As a result, the Scriptures are full of instruction for us...beautiful painted boundaries and wonderful green freedom. Do you know how many times the Scriptures talk about baptism in the New Testament? 40 verses. Prayer? 75 verses. Faith? 350 verses. Love? 650 verses in the New Testament are dedicated in Scripture to love. Do you know how many verses in Scripture are dedicated to money and financial issues? 2,350!

Do you think Jesus realized this might be a problem for us?

The messages in Pete's 8-part series, A Two Sided Coin, are available online at tellingthetruth.org as free mp3 downloads or CDs. You can also listen to the daily broadcast online anytime or sign up for podcasting so messages are sent directly to your computer.