Is Money Your Functional Savior?

by Jason on February 27, 2010

There are many good things in life that bring us joy!  A beautiful sunset, a great relationship, a good Fillet Mignon and yes, even money!

There is nothing wrong with good things, in fact, it’s my belief that God has given these things for us to enjoy!  Yes, to enjoy!

I wholeheartedly believe that Christians should be the biggest hedonists in the world, but our hedonism is of a different sort.  We live for pleasure through a right relationship with God.

God should be ultimate in our lives and everything else is secondary.  Those things become a tool to glorify Him when we are using them properly.

John Piper says it best, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied with Him”.

Christians should be some of the happiest people on earth because God has given good things for us to enjoy so that when used and viewed rightly we bring glory to Him.

This includes money.  I love talking about money and happiness.  In our culture, it seems that we’ve gone off track somewhere though.

Most Americans seem to believe that if they could only get that next promotion or the bigger raise, then they’ll be able to afford a nicer car, a bigger home, more stylish clothes and be happier.

To some degree, more money does make us happy, but don’t you see what we’ve done?  We’ve made money the ultimate!

Any time we take a good thing and make it ultimate, it becomes our functional savior!  It becomes our idol!  We think that particular thing will save us from our problems, calm our anxieties and fears, and satisfy our search in life for something more.

But here’s the thing – money is not our savior!  Christ is!

So, if you’ve been defined by your money and have viewed money as ultimate in your life, whether that has shown itself through workaholism, greediness, frugality, obsessions with saving or buying or even, dare I say, an obsession with becoming debt free – you need to re-evaluate what is ultimate in your life.

What To Do If Money Has Become Your Functional Savior

Repent  from the Idol

We always need to start here any time we discover we’ve been worshiping at the feet of another god.  Turn from your idol worship and turn to God and worship Him.

Replace the Idol

We can’t just simply say, “I’m going to stop loving money so much” at the surface level.  There is only one way to deal with this issue correctly and that is a reorientation back to the gospel of Jesus Christ – to see in the gospel the wealth of God to give us the Son.

2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”

Any effort to break the grip of money as your functional savior will fail if you do not deepen your understanding of what we have in the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Rearrange your priorities

Instead of thinking, “what’s the next level of income, job status, house, car or TV you can achieve” – think about the next level of using your money for the sake of the gospel!!

In a sense our priorities should be set on simplification, not accumulation.

Our priorities should be the advancement of the kingdom of God, the reign and the rule of Christ here on earth, and how we can store up treasure for ourselves by giving to those in need.

What are some practical ways to rearrange priorites and strip money from being a funcitonal savior?

  • Build generosity into your budget
  • Give time and money to local shelters
  • Become a tutor for a local child in need
  • Have a garage sale or sell junk on ebay and give the proceeds away to a hurting family
  • Adopt a child
  • If you’re good at handling money, then serve at a shelter & teach financial skills
  • Instead of accepting a promotion based on money think about whether your job will allow you to invest into others

Agree?  Disagree?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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