The #1 Thing You Should Do With Your Money (And Probably Don’t)

by Jason on May 13, 2010

If you’re into reading personal finance books, sites or blogs you will be inundated with free financial advice telling you to do all sorts of things.

Most of these tips are very solid independent financial advice from people who care!

What I love about the web is that you can find free financial advice on any topic at any time and get some really good perspectives on things.

So I started thinking about what is the one thing, the absolutely best financial advice I could give to someone to help them get ahead…

Initially my mind quickly jumped to “Spend Less Than You Make”, which is what you’ll hear everywhere – there’s nothing new with that.

In fact, I wrote about that in a post called The One Thing You Must Do To Get Ahead.

But is that really the Numero Uno?

After thinking about that for a bit, I decided that spending less than you make is actually number two on my list.

The Best Financial Advice I Can Give

Remember, this is free financial advice – no charge, gratis, pro bono – so take it for what it’s worth, but here’s the best financial advice I can give to you is:

Detach Yourself From Your Money!

Huh?! Detach yourself?   That’s it?

Hang with me a second –

Two Masters =  A Big Mess!

There are some scary passages in the Bible that talk about what happens when we are so attached to our money.  Here’s Luke 16:3:

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Did you notice that?  It’s a love/hate relationship.

You cannot, I repeat –  cannot – love God and love money.  You can’t be attached to your money and expect attachment to God.

God won’t allow it.

Ananias and Sapphira

Remember the story in Acts 5 about Ananias and Sapphira?  They sold their land and brought the proceeds to the church, but they kept some for themselves.

Their error though was telling the apostles that they gave everything!  They lied.  They were attached to their money!

What happened?  God wouldn’t allow it – Struck dead!

The Rich Young Man

The story of this guy in Matthew 19:16-30 is pretty famous.  He was young and rich – a combo we all want right?

He asks Jesus what he needs to do to inherit eternal life and then later tells Jesus he’s kept all the commandments (he’s young and rich – and he’s suffering from immense pride!)

Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”. (Jesus knew this was the barrier in his heart, that he loved his cash!)

What does this young, rich dude do?  He leaves Jesus – saddened – because he had great wealth!

He was more attached to his wealth than he wanted attachment to Jesus!

For the LOVE of Money…

One of the most misquoted verses in all the Bible is 1 Timothy 6:10, which says:

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

Ok, so money is not the root of all evil, the LOVE of it is a root of all kinds of evils!

The love of money – attachment to our money is a root of all kinds of evils!  Notice what happens to those that are attached to their money – they pierce themselves with many pangs!

What’s the Answer?

Detachment!

But be careful – detachment doesn’t mean asceticism.

It doesn’t mean getting rid of all money and thinking you are detached.

What it really means is loving the Messiah more than money.

Severing your heart from it’s natural desire to love coin more than Christ.

Now, why do I say you probably don’t detach yourself (Notice the title)?

Because I know my own heart and I struggle with detaching myself all the time and my guess is – you’re just like me!

And we are just like the Rich Young Man – we need to check our heart’s love.

This is the BEST financial advice I can give – and also the hardest to apply and measure.

What Are Your Thoughts?

How have you tried detaching yourself from money?

What is the best financial advice you would give?

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