By Barb Mazarakos
Money. At times it can seem like the answer to all of our problems. It pays the bills, puts food on our table, and helps us send our kids to camp. But sometimes money can be the cause of our problems as well . We spend more than we make thanks to high credit limits and fill our lives with “things” that we think will make us happy instead of experiences. There is always a newer phone we can buy, or a better “deal” on that new car we’ve had our eye on. Even Christmas has become more commercialized over the years with sales starting well before we purchase our Thanksgiving turkey. The almighty dollar does indeed seem to be king in our current society, but while we have given rise to this monetary leader we seem to have forgotten the place of the one who is truly King: Jesus Christ.
It is often misquoted that money is the root of all evil, but 1 Timothy 6:10 actually tells us “…the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” God doesn’t want us to be poor. In fact, we know that He wants us to succeed. ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” We have everything we do not by our own actions, but by the grace of God. The question is, what do you do with those gifts He has given you? Are you being a good steward with His bounty? For many of us, “want” overtakes the limits of what we truly need in life. Do you really “need” another pair of shoes, or that upgrade on your vacation, or the latest tech device? Before you answer that, think about whether you have met your priorities first. Have you paid your bills, fed and clothed your family, and tithed your church? Is there someone else who could use your money more urgently- possibly a family in your area who lost everything to a fire or a child who could use your donation to help them get clothes and supplies for school? “The generous will themselves be blessed for they share their food with the poor”, according to Proverbs 22:9. Try to be a blessing to someone every day and see how much richer your life will be.
Once you have met all of your obligations and done your part to help those who are less fortunate, I encourage you to go back and look at those wants in your life. Will they truly make you happy? Then by all means, indulge in the occasional new pair of shoes or nice family vacation. Enjoy your life and the people around you and all of the blessings you have received. But remember- this earth is just our temporary home, and what we have been given while we are here is only on loan from Him who provides us our every need. Use your money wisely. Work on getting out of debt, help your brothers and sisters where God places the chances, and take comfort in knowing that your needs- your true needs- will always be met. Money matters, of that there is no doubt. But we have been given a great gift and with that gift comes great responsibility. Use it wisely.