Thursday, May 31, 2012

On a Personal Note: money matters

Sometimes I wish money didn't exist.  It feels like the world is run by it and honestly it takes so much time.  We have to work to earn it, keep track of it, pay bills, purchase things, return things, report money fraud, lose our wallets, find our wallets, cancel credit cards, sign up for credit cards, check investments, decide if we need life insurance, plan a budget, try to keep to our budget...I'm tired just writing this.
And I'm a little biased right now since purchasing a home was definitely the largest purchase of my life thus far and it cost a little bit of money or should I say "continues to cost."
I don't think it's a coincidence that Jesus talked about money a lot.  I don't think it's because he cared about it more than anything but I do think he wants to redeem it as he does with everything that gets distorted by us.
These are the things he keeps reminding me of again and again:
~ Lauren, I am your ultimate provider.  Not Dave or you or your employers or even your generous parents.  I am.  So trust me.  I will not forget to take care of you.  Worry doesn't add anything, it only subtracts. (Matthew 6)
~ Lauren, everything you have belongs to me.  Take joy in getting to use it!  I love when you delight in the gifts I've given you.  And when you use them to delight others. (James 1)
~ Lauren, money is part of my plan to make my name known to the ends of the earth.  Be strategic with what I give you. (Matthew 28)
~ Lauren, seek first my kingdom and everything else will be added to you.  If you try to save your life you will lose it.  (Matthew 6)

In Genesis 4 is the story of the first murder committed by man.  Cain kills his brother Abel.  I've always thought his jealousy led him to kill but I noticed the other day that Cain's jealousy began because he withheld from God what belonged to God.  Abel gave God his best but Cain kept his best for himself.
Now, it's not too inspiring to follow Abel's example since he ends up dead, but my point is that if stingy-ness or greed can lead a heart to become so hard that one murders his brother, I want to stay far away from that.  I know you do too.

Lord, help us hold things loosely.  We can never out-give you.