I have been thinking a lot about money and it’s relationship to society in general and to Christians in particular. I’m not sure we think about (and question!) many of our assumptions about this relationship as much as we perhaps should. At any rate, here are a few quick thoughts…
Our relationship to money often has a religious feel to it, a sort of cultic chill about it. In our day, money seems to have become our Savior, the bank our cathedral, and commerce our liturgy. Money has become for us: The Way (it alone opens opportunities for us; if we don’t have a lot of it, then we feel paralyzed); The Truth (defining us, giving us “better” social identity if we have more).
Indeed, it has become our means to the only Life worth living. But in order to attain this “Life,” we have to burn ourselves out in order to get it. This, ironically, kills off so much of the beauty and joy of living.
While money itself isn’t bad, it is interesting how the Bible often warns us about making too much of it. When our individual hearts (and our communities, nations, and churches) are captivated by it, and when our trust is in it, our faith is actually under dire threat: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Tim 6:10). Money, if loved, can lead us astray and could, in the end, destroy our hearts (and our communities, nations, and churches). The effects are disastrous. And yet, we continue to trust in money, staking our joy, and our hopes in it—again, to the point of paralysis if we lack it and ultimate peace if we have it.
But then there is the one true God. He alone is the Savior—the one who can guarantee the security of of our joy. What if you were to trust him like you trust your paycheck—such that, were you to lose your paycheck, you would not lose your heart? How risky! What if you were to trust God’s provision (though you cannot see it presently) to launch into the deep to follow his calling for your life? How scary!
In the end, give yourself permission to trust in God, not your resources. Worry less. Walk by faith, not sight. God is the provider (Phil 4:19). After all, God can cause coins to spring from a fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:27). I never get the impression Jesus was ever worried about money. And so, here’s a simple way to put it: Let’s give ourselves permission to be Christ-ians. Let us become, if we dare, believers in God.
In this vein, I love this prayer: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24). We believe, but we don’t. How very human! That’s why, when it comes to fighting for our hearts, we must always seek God in our unbelief—one of the greatest and most daring acts of faith ever. What an adventure, the life of faith is!
On this journey of faith, we definitely need travelling partners. We need each other. Will you join me?