Posted by: Esther | January 2, 2014

For the Love of Money

[Mat 6:24 NIV] “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

As faithful Christians, we all know that we will never really have enough. We will always want more. We know that we are not really supposed to pray for “just a little more,” as if there is a magic number that will make us content. It is not in money that we will find contentness, but in the Lord himself. This is all well and good, and in theory we live it, right? I thought I did, but I discovered the truth of my heart during an unassuming test. Here is the story:

For the last 4 years, we have had all that we needed. We were content in our financial standing. We were able to give and save comfortably. We were able to do and buy what we needed, within reason. We weren’t millionaires, but were content and did not have to worry financially.

My husband worked 2 jobs at this time and his soul was becoming weary.  He did his best to keep his family a priority, spending as much time with us as possible, but even then he was torn by the responsibilities his jobs demanded. There was never enough time for it all. My husband was constantly convicted that he should be spending more time with the kids and more time doing more for the church. I was tired of only receiving half of his heart. We both finally agreed that it was time to let the second job go.

While we were making that magical amount of money of which I felt was enough, I thought I had Matthew 6:24 all figured out. I praised and thanked God daily for all that he provided and thought for sure my faith was strong enough to trust him even if He took it all away.

December was our first month without the paycheck from my husband’s second job. This job was about a 1/3 of our monthly income. Everything was blissful at first. I felt my husband really present with us in his whole heart. He was more attentive and available for our needs. He was less stressed too. In the name of Christmas, we decided it was ok to use some savings to make Christmas more like we were used to. This would help us ease into this new reality we would soon have to face. Our Christmas was wonderful and we praised God for lightening our load and giving us more time for Him.

Then the test began. My husband came to me with some newly acquired bills for the sake of investments, which we had previously agreed on. I was watching our savings dwindle away as he invested, and I began to feel guilty about every pleasure I took that cost money. I began to panic and feel completely out of control, and in that split second of irrationality, money became my god. I figuratively took every dollar we had, stuffed it into an indestructible box, locked it up, and hid the key where no one would find it. Then I hid this box in the closet of my heart and crowned myself queen of our financial crisis. I was the only one capable of knowing how to be a good steward of our money. Under my control and great wisdom, my world would be financially sound and free of the careless whims my husband was so good at falling into. As queen, my fits of rage against his carefree response were justified. He claimed, “It will all work out,” but I knew better. It doesn’t just work out on its own. It would only work out if I were in control of the situation.

While I sat insolent on my throne, guarding my god in the box, I tried to ignore the soft knock that seemed to pound on the door of my heart. After-awhile, I could no longer stand it. I cracked the door and peaked my head out.

“Don’t worry Lord, I have this completely under control.”

“Don’t you trust me?” He said as an abundance of mercy and grace streamed through the cracked door until I could no longer hold it closed. The door flung open and my crown fell to the ground as I whispered, “ I do trust you Lord. I praise and thank you all of the time for what you have given us. You have given us so much and I just want to do what is right with it all.”

“Then open the box.”

Trembling, I unlocked the box and opened it.

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes Lord, but he doesn’t have as much self control as I do.”

“Then give me everything in the box.”

At this moment, I remembered all of the times it did work out. I remembered how He brought us up from nothing, living in an 18’ Terry Trailer, to this beautiful house. I remembered how He provided for each child we had, always giving us a bit more in order to provide for each additional mouth to feed. I remembered how He provided well paying jobs for my husband without even a high school diploma. I remembered all of this, so I obediently and humbly put all of the contents, every last dollar in the box, at his feet.

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes Lord.”

“Then know that I will work it all out.”

“Yes Lord, I do.”

And so I have lived Matthew 6:24. I am terrified at how easy it was for me to set up an idol, but I am completely humbled that my Lord did not withhold an ounce of His mercy from me. Even in my deepest sin, He met me there. He loved me there and I am amazed at the amount of peace I now have to enjoy my husband and my children. With money as my god, I was easily condemned and uptight about every cent spent, but now that it is under His control, I can serve Him completely. Only with complete trust in the Lord, will we find true contentness. Praise God for His patience with us!


Responses

  1. Beautiful.


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