For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
1 Timothy 6:10
It was Tim Keller who said, “It is really hard for us to see our greed. No one thinks they are greedy. In fact, as a pastor, I find that it is easier for people to talk about their sexual sin then about their greed. I cannot recall anyone ever coming to me and saying, ‘I spend too much money on myself. I think my greedy lust for money is harming my family, my soul, and people around me.’ Jesus warns people far more often about greed than about sex, yet almost no one thinks they are guilty of it. Therefore we should all begin with a working hypothesis that ‘this could easily be a problem for me.’” Counterfeit Gods
One of the ways we can discern if ‘the love of money’ is a problem for me is by asking lots of questions that come at our emotions and behaviors around money. You will have a chance to process your answers with your small group this week. And you can listen to my thoughts on contentment and greed right here.
These are a tool to honestly dig out what is going on in your heart. Hope they help you avoid the snares and live in freedom.
- How do you treat people when they ask you for money? Are you proud that you have something they need? Are you annoyed that they can’t figure out how to get it on their own?
- Are you doing a job that you don’t love but you can’t leave because of the income? Are you loving money more than vocational flourishing?
- Do you want to be noticed and recognized when you give generously?
- Do you expect lots of accountability when you give a financial gift– This better not be wasted or used for something different?
- Do you only give to a point that it doesn’t affect your day to day life? Have you ever had to say no to something you want because of the money you gave to someone else?
- Do you get mad about money? Do you fight with your spouse about what the other is spending or who makes decisions or who has control?
- Do you want people to notice what you wear, what you drive, or what you talk on? Do you like it when people ask you— ‘where did you get that?’
- Have you ‘spent all your money’? Are you carrying consumer debt of any kind? Do you live beyond your means? In a weird irony— sometimes the ability to save money is an indication that you don’t love money.
- In a weird irony, sometimes your choice to save is a clear indication that you love money. Are you ‘spending all your money’ by saving it so that you feel secure? How much do you need to feel secure? What’s your number?
- Do you worry about money? Are you distracted because you are not sure how much you have? Do you wonder how you are going to pay that bill?
- Have you ever just given a lot away?
Tim Keller says that money is a surface idol that can lead us to our deep idols– the ones that drive us and we aren’t even aware. Our love of power, approval, comfort, and control. These are the deep idols that shape how we love, trust, and serve a surface idol like money. Those deep idols are the ones that can destroy us. Those deep idols are where we need to be rescued by the grace of Jesus Christ.
God loves you.