Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Money and Fear

Reading my morning newspaper or watching the morning news these days is hazardous to your health. With each passing day the news seems more dire than ever. The sky is falling and so is the stock market. Money and fear seem to be great partners. For 30 plus years I have heard people worry and fret over money more than any other subject; more than the fear of war, or the fear of cancer, or the fear of divorce, or even the fear of growing old. Whether people want to admit it or not, most people put their trust in money. Somehow we think that if we get enough money everything will be fine.

I have been reading again all that Jesus says about money and about fear. Both are deadly to our spiritual life. The love of money and the prison of fear will take away your joy quicker that the morning news. See what Jesus says in Matthew 6: 19-34. Recently, I prayed with someone who was literally terrified about all the "bad news" on the money front. What we did together might bless you - we read and prayed through this text in Matthew 6.

I was so blessed by listening to Jesus on this subject rather than Bloomberg. I don't want money to be my mistress and cause me to be unfaithful to my gracious God who provides all my needs.
Jesus said the most outlandish thing; a persons life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions. (Luke 12:15) That is about the most "un-American" statement I have ever heard.
Everybody knows that it is the responsibility of all Americans to accumulate the maximum amount of stuff that they can in a lifetime. The more stuff you have the happier and less fearful you will be, seems to be the theory. Jesus did not buy that.

I know people who have lots of stuff who neither love money, nor live in fear. They hold all the stuff very lightly and give it it away in abundance. I am not sure I could do that. God in his grace has never let me have a bunch of stuff, so I have been spared that challenge. I truly admire people who can keep money off the the throne of their heart.

One more word for today; Don't be afraid - God is gracious and will provide for our needs.

Just thinking, Steve

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