Money is one of, if not the most divisive issues facing people, today. Those with a lot of money soon realize it doesn't buy happiness. And those without, discover being broke doesn't either.
Our survival seems totally dependent on how much money we have in our bank account and whether or not we are living paycheck-to-paycheck, merely surviving, or spending it like there is no tomorrow.
Marriages and businesses often fail due to lack of money or financial stress. Stock brokers and investors panic when the stock market crashes, and people lose all sense of dignity and integrity when lack of cash forces them to compromise their principles.
Money creates fear. While some blow it like it grows on trees, others beg, borrow, and bribe just to make ends meet. Out of that fear some have even murdered, stolen, or become hardened criminals as a result.
Why then do we allow money to have so much power? Why do we depend so highly on money to meet our needs?
The answer is simple. Our culture has brainwashed society into believing money matters - and it does - but not in the way you may think.
We are made to believe that money and wealth creates happiness. We measure success based on the size of house we live in, the kind of car we drive, the style of clothes we wear, and the type of jewelry we flash. Living a lifestyle of the rich and famous is not reality for most, and should not be the example in which to base our achievement level or status.
All money belongs to God. He is the owner of all things, and we are merely the stewards who are entrusted by Him to manage His assets. Unfortunately, very few people are faithful and good stewards of God's possessions.
Those same people, we idolize and compare our lives to (namely celebrities), are usually the ones who violate God's principles for stewardship. Those without money are often more frugal, conservative in their spending, and careful (rather than careless) with what they are given. Comparing and wanting the life of a famous celebrity is as unhealthy as wanted to model our health and fitness lifestyle with someone weighing 300 pounds and out of shape! The majority of celebrities and those in the wealthy category are not successful stewards of God's resources - despite what appearances may reveal.
Frankly, the more materialism they have the more it is revealing how unhealthy their financial lives are. Many of them may have fat pocketbooks, but are spiritually and morally bankrupt.
Rather than compare our lives to the lives of the rich and famous, we ought to remember the passage in Matthew 6 that defies materialism where Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Did Jesus mean we shouldn't have possessions or things? No. He was simply helping us understand that material things don't have as much value as the things of Heaven.
I confess, I have failed in this department myself. Each day, I strive to change behaviors that have left me bankrupt and financially stressed.
When I finally realized that all things belong to God and I am merely the caretaker of His provision, my mindset completely changed for the better. I rarely stress over money because God supplies my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus as the Bible says in Philippians 4:19. It is merely my responsibility to choose wisely how to use it.
For more information on this subject, check out my other blog posts: