“Follow the money” is a phrase often used related to the investigation of political corruption. We are starting to hear this idea tossed about in relation to our current president and his son. It was prominent in a 1976 movie, All the President’s Men, focusing on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follow_the_money#:~:text=%22Follow%20the%20money%22%20is%20a,examining%20money%20transfers%20between%20parties.
I believe “following the money” will reveal a great deal about each of us. If you “follow the money” in your life, what will that say about you?
Money is important. It is one of the two major resources we have to invest in this life. In my opinion, it’s importance comes in a distant second to time. However, as I observe our culture’s worship at the altar of money and what it can do, I believe my opinion is certainly like a lonely child who has few friends.
Money has been a problematic issue for me for a significant part of my life. As I share in my book, Heaven’s Currency, watching my good, poorly-educated parents struggle with paying bills and raising four children on minimum-wage jobs created an unhealthy anxiety in me. They instilled in me the idea that the way out of this financial trap was to get a good education, a college degree. I believed this and, even as a poor kid, never considered ending my education with a high school diploma. But that would take money, something I knew I would have to provide by myself. Thankfully, my parents taught me how to work, and I was able to become the first college graduate in my family, and didn’t stop there.
The downside of this was, that sense of anxiety persisted for many years until I finally came to the place of deeply trusting God to take care of me. It has been a long journey, but I believe I have learned a some things I want to share with you in this blog.
Here are 3 questions I have attempted to come to some conclusions about. Perhaps, what I have learned will be helpful to you.
Money: Is it an end or a means to an end?
This is a simple question but the answer to it will profoundly influence our life. In my lack of understanding as a youth, I believed money had the power, the actual solution to my sense of insecurity. For me, it was the means to the end of feeling secure. So, in a sense, it was both the means and the end. This confusion causes all kinds of spiritual issues, the biggest one being substituting money for something only God can do.
Money can’t do for us what only God can do but it can do lots of things. What we do with it depends on what we consider to be the end goal in life. What is the bottom line? What is life about? What are the things that matter most?
Money provides an advantage for those who have it over those who do not. It can buy a car, a house, a vacation house, votes and special favors, sex, life insurance, school expenses, life and health insurance, “friendships,” power and influence. It also provides for the essentials such as food, clothing, and housing. It can be used to support the essential services of governing agencies, and support the efforts of churches, and organizations that take care of those suffering with devastating illness or homelessness.
Obviously, money is important, essential for basic needs in our brief time on this planet. But, we are made for another world, heaven. Money is temporary. Possessions can be lost quickly. God has designed us to worship him exclusively. He is the End which our money and possessions are to serve.
Money: What does the Bible teach about it?
Both Old and new Testaments have lots to say about money. Here is a quick summary of my understanding of some of the basic biblical ideas about money.
- God is Creator and Owner of all the world’s wealth and resources.
- We are created in God’s image and are temporary managers of his resources. We own nothing.
- We are to manage and work with God’s resources in ways that honor Him.
- Possessions can bring a false sense of security and obscure the need to put our trust in God.
- We are to give generously of what God has provided to support the ministry of the Gospel and to meet the needs of others.
- We are to be godly in the way we earn money and provide for the needs of our family.
- We are to deal fairly and honestly in all financial matters.
- We will die someday and leave all our money and possessions to someone else.
- God will hold us accountable for how we use the resources He has placed in our care.
Money: What does your use of it say about you?
Money is a neutral asset, there is nothing inherently good or evil in it. The good or evil is in us and is shown in how we relate to money. It’s your choice. You can make it your security god or buy your pleasure god with it. You can hoard it or use it to provide for the needs of others. It is your choice, and the decisions you make about it say a lot about your character.
If your character is important, you cannot escape the necessity of evaluating how you use money and what that says about you. If you are a believer, you and all you have belong to Jesus. You are in this temporary world on your way to another. Which world has the stronger hold on you? Follow the money and you will know.
For further reading on the connection between the choices we make and our character click this link, https://www.cosdavis.com/we-are-the-product-of-our-choices/