Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Money – Servant or Master?

“Money is a great servant but a bad master.”
Francis Bacon (1561–1626)
What will it take to become free of the stranglehold money has on us? Surely everyone has had such a time, a season or state of being so far, or at least the temptation, where money has reigned as a tyrant, lording it over us, forcing our hand, making us work harder or longer than we need to.
We see in life the delicate balance that God has ordained for our days; hours for work, hours for rest, and hours for play. Behind many nuances of burnout is some twisted motive to maintain a crazy schedule—with money or motives akin being the Principal behind it all.
The temptation of want must surely be darker now than ever before, with every sense of modern convenience within our grasp. We must know that none of this will make us happy. Happiness is sourced in God, and where we put God first, with everything else serving that purpose, God gives us the world and everything in it.
Praying for Wisdom
Our very present help in time of need is the Lord our God. We receive help when we pray for wisdom, and we need wisdom in handling those tempting things that are always within grasp.
There is a sense of real power involved in putting the desires to bed. Praying for wisdom—particularly at the time of temptation—is utilising the simple power of God that distracts us from the unhealthy stimulus.
God will help if we ask him.
When money or material possessions or anything, really, takes the place of God, becoming a source of worship, we straddle a tremulous horse as if bounding over a flimsy bridge connecting two great lands with a growling chasm beneath. Things will end poorly if we keep galloping and don’t bring that horse to a gradual stop. Walking the horse to the other side has to be our way, if we are interested in the wisdom way.
If we see ourselves as master of our possessions, such that we are stewards of them, we keep watchful eye over the reversal of such a relationship.
Any hint of awareness stretching into the territory of covetousness—even of one’s own possessions—needs a solid rebuke. Wise is the person who is aware and who acts in order to rebuke themselves as stimulus for repenting.
There is no surer way of being unhappy than placing money as the master over us. Control is not happiness. Indeed, happiness is about relinquishing control. There is great wisdom in stewarding resources—the pinnacle of which is done to the glory of God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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