Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Role of Money 2
In the last post I gave the foundation for why we at Neighborhood Church were talking about money. In this post I'll give the 10 indicators I shared on Sunday night that money might be a god in your life.
1. There is constant anxiety about money. It's something you are always thinking about, and you might even be losing sleep over it.
2. Debt determines your decisions. We're told that buying things leads to happiness and freedom, but debt leads to bondage.
3. Most of the arguments you have with your spouse center on money. I know, that's a tough one. In our economy today, lots of people are struggling paying mortgages, looking for jobs, and paying ordinary bills. There's a great deal of tension in that.
4. Discontentment marks your life. Discontentment is simply a dissatisfaction with what you have. Your focus in all about what you don't have.
5. Therefore you're not thankful to God for what He's given you, and neither are you truly enjoying those blessings.
6. Consumerism has a grip on your heart. We've been talking a lot about consumerism as we enter into the Advent season. Here's how you know if consumerism has a grip on your heart: After a hard week at work, you go shopping and buy something, and suddenly you feel ok about yourself. This is why people say that shopping can be an addiction just like drug addiction.
7. You never delay gratification. You see something, you want it, you want it now, and so you go get it. There was a day not too long ago when, if you saw something on tv that you just had to have, you had to get off the couch, put your shoes on, and drive to a store to make your purchase. But today, you just log on to amazon and instantly purchase what you want. And with things like books, music and movies, not only do you instantly purchase it, but you instantly get it. Delayed gratification is so yesterday.
8. You have no plan. This goes for getting out of debt, spending money, saving money, and giving money. No plan.
9. You're stingy with your money. If you're honest with yourself, you're not that generous.
10. You are generous with your money. You might even give 10% away (what the Bible calls a tithe). However, because you do this, you feel that you're free to do whatever you wish with the remaining 90%. You never ask God what he wants you to do with that money. One point here: your theology matters here. If you think God frowns when you spend your hard earned money on things that you enjoy, then you have a distorted view of God. See this Old Testament passage for more. This passage, which is actually tied to tithing, shows us that God wants us to enjoy what we have, and that's it's actually tied to worship.
I'm sure that everyone reading this can check off at least three or four of these. Money plays such a huge role in our daily lives, and we all struggle with it in some capacity. If that weren't the case, Jesus wouldn't have talked about it as much as he did. Rest in the fact that he knows your struggles and wants to help you.
In tomorrow's post, I'll give 5 indicators that money is a tool in your life.