The last few weeks have been crazy busy and busyness tends to lead to a blogging drought but as the level of activity resumes more normal (and sustainable) levels, space for reflection opens up again. So today I was recapping on the discussion I led at the recent Breathe conference on finances and it makes me wonder what is it about money that ties up in knots so much? How did this form of exchange gain such power and influence?
Here are a few hunches (shot from the hip), let me know what you think. Money becomes tied up with our dreams, in fact they become inseparable. Money is the key to my early retirement, my travel dreams, my home, my family aspirations. It's not that I begin by wanting money but that I can't achieve my dreams without it, so begins our search for more cash.
At the other end of the spectrum is a different but related issue. Money is tied up with my survival, without I cannot buy clothes, food, shelter, basic provision for my family. Without money, my options are limited and unlikely to be lawful.
So money feeds my dreams and keeps me alive but it also soothes my fears. When I'm old, I'll be OK because I'll have a good pension, because I'll have bought my home, because essentially I'll have money. Without those things I become anxious, nervous and fearful of the future, fearful of illness and loneliness.
In the end we invest ourselves into money, it is the road we must journey on to have hope, to live without fear and to survive in our world. Yet Jesus holds out something different - he calls us to have a new hope, one founded on his kingdom, one that stretches into eternity, He calls us to live without fear - trusting that our Father knows what we'll need and is able to provide. Death has lost its sting so we are freed to live fully in the present moment. More than that we are born into a family that cares and shares its possessions with each other because they are not mine or even ours but His. No widow should fear loneliness or lack, no orphan should worry about a life without love or food, no family should struggle to survive. And our dreams become renewed, of an earth without pollution, a society without sin, a life without guilt, a kingdom of justice, mercy and grace.
When our hopes, dreams, fears and lives are placed in Christ, money can no longer be a master or even a servant but instead another gift given, received and shared. Then we are free.