This post is more questions than anything else. (And the second part is more ranting than anything else.) I want to know what you guys/gals think. In short, I need help. It revolves around the spending of money.
Money. How much of it is enough? Anette and I talk a lot about this because at the moment we do not have enough of it, or perhaps I should say, we do not generate enough income for ourselves, but we have enough because God provides for us. But in a few years, if everything goes according to plan, Anette will earn a huge salary and I am already weary for when that happens. How will we know where to stop buying stuff? How much stuff do we NEED? What car to buy? What home to buy? WHEN IS “WHAT WE HAVE” ENOUGH? Is there a place where we are happy with what we have, or do we always need more and more and more? Is there a point that we can reach in our lives where we have enough and then start to give all the excess away?
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
I ask these questions because I believe we have to decide on money before we have any, because when you get used to it, it becomes the worst drug of all. It is my observation of human nature that we are never satisfied with what we have. We always NEED more or better. Take cell phones or mobiles as they are called in some countries. Do we really NEED an i-pod? Why? Will we feel more valuable if we have one? Take the cars we drive. Do we need the newest model? Can I forgo a new car to buy a good second hand one in order to help where there is need? Where will we draw the line and say we have enough?
Our town had a building boom the last few years. What mostly happened is a house or three would be demolished and then flats of townhouses would be built in it’s place. Each inch of space would be used to cram in as many living units as possible to make as much money as possible. Now we have something we never had before. Traffic jams. Our roads were not made for these loads. People’s tempers are starting to flare up and they need more time to get to work. At the root of it all, lies the love of money.
The Bible of course says “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Timothy, 6:10.” Or “all sorts of evil” as some translations say. Of course somebody will point out “the LOVE of money” not money itself. Let me tell you, there really is no difference. Money is the means to do stuff. We look to money to save us. If only we had more of it. Ask anybody in ministry that is helping the poor. What will help them the most? God or money? I believe if the church had a choice between God or money, it would choose money. You can do so many good things with money. Almost all ministries are DEPENDENT on money. God? Well in would be nice if He joins us…
I cannot recall a place in the new testament where Jesus gave people money. What then did He give them? And more important, how are we like Him?
There is a bigger reason for these questions. Look at what is currently happening in the world economy. I find the word “growth” very interesting. Companies need to grow they tell me, but grow to where? How much is enough for any company? How much money do companies need? What drives growth? Is it all the little people like me that do not know that the love of money is the root of all evil? Does our growth depend on our love for people or on greed? Greed is a vicious circle. Work to have money to spend. Spend to create jobs. Grow, grow, grow, more, more, more is our mantra. To what end? Where will it stop? When the earth is consumed? (Please go and read MORK on this if you haven’t already.)
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” Ellen Goodman
I believe we need people who will draw a line and say, ”We do not need more.” I believe christians or followers of Jesus are in a position where we can draw such a line. Jesus makes it possible for us to let go of money because we have Him. He did not come to free us from 10% of our income but all of it. Yes, we need money. Yes, money is important. But where do we draw the line, because a line will have to be drawn by someone and that someone might as well be us.
Also see Out of Ur on this topic.
For something very scary, go to Jesus People Pray That False Idol Will Save God’s Economy. (Look long and hard at that picture.)