Tag Archives: wealth

Money – and the ugly truth.

5 Jan

God gave me the pleasure of uncovering the truth about money in my life this week to a new level of understanding that I had never really fully uncovered before.

Money is (hopefully on the way to being “was”) my idol.

But not in the typical way that might be popping into your mind.  I’m not talking about Materialism.  I DO NOT have a desire to have “more” of anything.  Sure, there are things I want, like this REALLY awesome pair of boots I have my eyes on, but I know that I will most likely never own them, and I would never sacrifice what is necessary, be a poor steward, or refuse to give where God is leading just to keep or have more for myself.

Materialism in my mind says that you can find no satisfaction in life because everywhere you look you “want” something or everywhere you look people have “things” that you want and you just can’t find happiness because there is always something more you desperately want to have.

That isn’t me.

I’m talking about Money (NOT materialism) being my God.  Money is my idol.  BECAUSE, money is my security.

I have controlled every aspect of the finances since the day my husband and I started dating.  For one, I’m really good with budgets, researching deals and savings, and I don’t mind at all writing checks and getting things paid on time.

But if THAT was why I was in control of the finances, that’d be one thing.  But that isn’t the only reason that I was.  And I JUST discovered this to the full measure this past week.

It’s because I only trust myself to handle the money and that makes me feel secure.

I have the checkbook balanced to the penny, CONSTANTLY.  There will never be a moment in time when I don’t know to the exact cent, how much money we have.

And if major purchases come up and the money goes down, I’m upset, feel unsafe, have anxiety and worry, stress out, and have a bad attitude.  On the flip, if there is extra money put in and I’m able to catch some sales which leaves us a little higher than we were last month, I’m happy, feel safe, take great pride in my budgeting abilities and feel great security.

The fact that I stay home and my husband brings in 90% (because I do babysit and do crochet) of our income, has NOTHING to do with feeling like my husband is my security, provider or protector.  Because in my mind, I handle the money so I make sure I’m safe.

I’ll even go so far as to tell you that, as DISGUSTING as this is to admit, my husband “running purchases past me to be a team” was seriously a very nice way of saying “asking my permission.”  I ultimately always had veto power.

My friend April had the courtesy to help me see this past week that this situation is just an obvious symptom of The Fall of Man. Men are quick to give up power, and women are even quicker to take all the power.

When in reality God created men to be the provider, protector, and leader and the woman to be the helper, receiver and nurturer.  We were never intended to have “Veto” power.  We were intended to come along side them and follow their leading so we could be protected as we both reach the top of the mountain together.

All I’ve tried to create in my marriage is my own security which is a total lack of trust in my husband to make good decisions for us, which is a lack of faith in the Lord to be sovereign of His design of marriage, and to provide our needs without my constant worry and intervention.

So what did I do about this?

Practical Application:

I put everything on Auto pay except one bill.

I paid everything up through the week that I could.

I made a really neat print-out of what my husband would need to know up-front. (I didn’t give him a mess of stuff!)

And I handed him the paper and check book and said “I can’t do the finances anymore. I’m not being respectful, or trusting and am struggling with pride.  I know you can do this and I trust you to handle this now.”

And I haven’t touched the check book since.  And I won’t.  I’ll now hand him all my receipts, stick to the budget he gives me, allow him to give me the “allowance money” instead of me giving it to him, stop balancing the checkbook constantly or evaluating where we are on-line, let him pay all the bills and write all the checks, and give him my opinions when they are relevent and trust him when they aren’t.

No, this isn’t making me a doormat.  It’s letting him carry weight that he was designed to carry, and giving me the chance to be provided for and focus on things that build up the home, instead of carrying stress that the bank account gets to determine my mood and safety.

 

The necessary evil.

15 Sep

Did you know that money is talked about in the Bible 140 times?  If you take into consideration the actual words “gold or silver” you gain another 737 times.

But I’m focusing more today on money.  The idea of wealth and need.

The way Jesus viewed money and taught His disciples to view money is a far cry from the way we view and use money today.  He taught numerous times of the danger involved in loving money.

Some of the main points made about money are:

~money is the root of evil (I Timothy 6:10)

~money is an idol and you can’t serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24)

~people who love money can never have enough money. (Ecclesiates 5:10)

~money is fleeting.  (Proverbs 23:4-5)

~treasures on earth will fade away but treasures in Heaven are eternal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

~it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the rich to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24)

 

Even the most giving Christians in the world today are a shallow representation of the disciples and what they really understood about money, need and the point of this life.

Look at this section of scripture:

Acts 4:32-35

32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all

things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace

was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the

sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

WOW!  Do you REALLY get what was happening?

People were literally selling their houses, bringing all the money in and laying it at the disciples feet so they could distribute it where the needs existed.  No one would have been in need!  No one would have been rich while others were poor.  They were equals, making sure they took care of each other, and using money to meet needs, not gain wealth.

We can’t even fathom that.  We have people in the world today with Billions of dollars and so many homeless and needy people on every continent.  The spectrum has widened to such a level that we admire the rich and think of them as successful, and despise the poor and think of them as lazy.

The world has totally devoured the notion that we love money, not people. We need money, not God.  We live because of money, not because of Jesus’ blood.  We are successful with wealth, we are failures in poverty.  We need entertainment, and it comes at a cost.  The cost of people dying from starvation because we help make the rich more rich and the poor more detestable and unworthy.

This week, I was so depressed to attend a meeting where the whole theme screamed “we need money… and the rich are the ones who have it.”

Where is the trust that God will multiply the offering?  Where is the love for people in the greed for money?

I’m as guilty as the next guy for sure.  My scale is smaller because my money is less. However, I have LOADS of extras that I wouldn’t need to have to live.  And I certainly haven’t taken the steps to sell all of it and distribute it to those in need around me, or in other parts of the world as I could, to do my part.

Shame on me.

Practical Application:

Confess my love for money, even if it only best seen in my hatred that I don’t have enough of it.

Lay down my need to see past today.  God says He’ll provide.  Stop trying to store up my treasure just incase He is lying or lets me down.  Jesus doesn’t lie.  He will provide my needs.  And destroy my unnecessary wants for me, so He can protect my character from taking on evil characteristics and keep the godly ones He is refining me to obtain.

Pray for a way I can take a challenge this week to specifically give beyond what I find comfortable.