“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
Money is not your foe, nor is it meant to be your goal; rather, it is a tool you can use wisely! Yet, most people do not understand how money works, nor do they have a healthy relationship with money. It is usually seen with fear, guilt or with the desire of greed. Nevertheless, that is not what money is meant for. It is a means to get us where we need to go. It is not where we go to.
When money is the enemy.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
When money is the antagonist in our lives, it is usually because our fears and wrong ideas get in the way of its true use. It has a lot to do with how we are raised to think about money. It is usually not taught in schools. Our government does not want you to know how money works, so they can take it from you (remember elections have consequences). Parents rarely teach their children about how to wisely handle money or worse model it in an unhealthy way. We need to know; we can do better in our financial management as well as our future. As, how you think about money will determine your future.
How you will become poor or rich, how will you be successful or destitute, is all about the work and mindset you put in.
We live in a country (western world) that you can succeed if you really want to and work hard and smart for it. It is all about having the right mindset and determination. And first off, that mindset sees money as a tool and not an idol. It is not your enemy. It is not your means for greed. It is not a means to abuse or your emotional fulfillment.
If you lust after money you will be hurt by it.
“The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.” Proverbs 28:25
What gets a lot of people in trouble most is the greed mentality, as it can really be hurtful to your family and future. It is thinking, I deserve this… and will do whatever it takes… This all stems from believing that money is the means to make us happy or get what we want. If so, then it is all about having power and control. Yet, this is what is bad in our world and what we are warned of in the Bible.
We need to consider; how does greed work out in the end. It never goes well.
When there are problems or opportunities and we have the wrong mindset, we will use money in the wrong ways. That will only create conflict and discord. In so doing, pushing relationships away or create bad ones. Or we can be trapped in the shopaholic mindset and only feel gratification when we buy something. Which wears off fast and then we have to, again, buy something else, until our debt is out of control. Thus, leaving us with a life of missed opportunities and regret. We have to get out of the idea of wrong thinking about money (Proverbs 15:27; 28:25; Habakkuk 2:5; Matthew 23:25; Ephesians 4:19).
If money is just our goal, then we never will get real satisfaction.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.” Proverbs 14:8
Money does not bring happiness. If all you want is money, you will never have enough. You will never be fulfilled. Money is deceiving, as we can buy something to make us temporarily feel good, but not for long. Because, true contentment is deeper than what money can do. Therefore, goals need to be relationship centered, not just money originated. Such as, if I want to make more money. Ask the question, why? Then, if it is for good reasons, think through the ways to make it happen. Like how I can get promoted or find a better career. This area is more in line with bettering ourselves and preparing for the future with good objectives.
Remember, money is not evil if used right, but it can be used for evil. It can be a wonderful tool to provide so much for ourselves, family, church and others in need, if we are wise with it. A knife can stab someone, or it can carve something beautiful or I can prepare a wonderful meal. It is all about how it is used.
Something needs to be in our life that is greater than money. We also need to be discerning, save, and invest wisely, and find a way to be prudent. Saving and making more money go together, they should not be separated. Then, when we have a something in our life that is greater than money, then wisdom can be in place. As a Christian, what is greater is self-evident; Christ is Lord! This leads us to consider the value of time and relationships. These greater things are what gives real joy and meaning; this is where our goals must be placed. This is to be our “why” as in who we are and what we do. Then, money becomes a method to be helpful, be a provider, so we can spend more time with family, Kingdom goals and so forth.
Money is not to be abused, if so, it will abuse us back.
“Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” Proverbs 24:27
We need to have the right priorities with money. If we overspend, we get into debt and miss what we are supposed to be doing. Thus, we need to get over the guilt of overspending too. Not hoarding our money and not using it, that is just as bad. Think about how the economy works. Money is to be in motion and circulating. There are growers, producers, makers, then there are distributors, and then the retail outlets. All looking for consumers. When someone purchases an item, they are consumers who are also the makers and producers and so forth. It is a cycle; each one needs the other to function. The economy shuts down when people are not producing or consuming in a healthy manner. As greed can take over, which caused every stock market crash and recession. We need to have a healthy balance of savings, retirement planning, which is money for your future, separated from our spending for today. If these get out of balance, you will not have enough when in need and too much when you do not need it.
This all comes down to this point; money is to be a strategy. Then, when used as a tool we can maneuver it and focus on effective solutions. When it is about greed or fear, then it becomes because a tool of oppression, hurt and abuse.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is a licensed and experienced Financial Consultant with over thirty years of experience. He has worked for major banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and families too. He is also an author, pastor, Special Ed Teacher, and financial blogger and holds a doctorate in Stewardship.
For help with insurance, debt management, and rolling over 401k’s to a secure retirement fund with tax advantages, that will not lose your money, give us a shout, we will help you. firstname.lastname@example.org