“Money makes the world go round.”
“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of things.”
“The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
“You cannot serve both God and money.”
In childhood most of us quickly learned that having some money, some coins (in the 60s) or a dollar bill , meant that we had the power to get things from a store, like penny candy or a cheap toy.
And so we got excited about birthday cash, tooth fairy leavings, or getting paid for taking out the trash.
Some of us were spenders and some were savers, but we each felt the thrill of having the power that money brings. I sure did.
When I was eleven I started babysitting for the neighbors for $1 an hour . I quickly became rich! My mom took me to the Buffalo Savings and Loan and signed me up for a passbook savings account.
I excitedly deposited $10 and $20 at a time, only to withdraw it just as fast to buy things. I can still remember the feeling of writing down entries in that little passbook.
My parents taught me to give some of my earnings back to God. I would put a dollar in a tiny paper offering envelope and feel like it was not enough, but I hoped that it was something and that God was pleased.
Back then I didn’t really grasp the true purpose of the offering. I did it because my parents said that this was what Christians did and I was a baptized believer. In my mind I was giving something to God. I didn’t understand that I was getting something from God every time I gave, that giving was a way to grow in faith and protected me from the sin of loving money too much.
I trusted God, but I did not yet see that money could become an idol that people would worship, that I was in danger like everyone else of trusting in the power of money more than the power of God.
For myself, money isn’t really an idol. I have had other idols. But I do believe that money is the number one idol, with sex being a close second. All idols, such as approval and power and looks and security and control and relationships, stem from one root, putting ourselves in God’s place.
Worship of SELF is the true idol. All these others are ways to protect the self from the knowledge that we are sinners! What a frightening realization this can be.
If we truly understand how weak, gullible , and ignorant we are, we won’t put our faith in ourselves.
Realizing our sinfulness can lead us to repentance or it can drive us to create idols. God wants us to come to him for forgiveness so our relationship can be restored! But too often we seek every other god first before we submit to Him.
As for money, it’s an illusion of power created by this world system. It’s a tool for doing business with other people, nothing more. God can give it and take it away.
As long as we live in this world we will have to use money, but we must not put our faith in it. As the world system grows more powerful, we will see the love of money grow. But all these things will pass away and be burned up like grass.
Put your faith in God. If you have money, always be careful to keep an open hand.
What do you think about money? Did you have a savings account when you were a kid? Did you earn money as a child?