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Christian LivingThe Message

Money-Financial Wellness

Money- Root of Financial Wellness

Money, money, more money. Money can buy food, clothing, and shelter.

Do we think about money? How to make money? How to save and spend it? Work for money or let your money work for you. We give cash for tithes in church or are tight on money. Money can provide us with happiness but can also give us stress. We are lying if we say that money is something we can live without. Money is necessary to live on this planet. We work to earn money to sustain our living, buy what we want, and go places we like. We also save money for unexpected necessities. 

We put our money in the bank to earn interest or if we feel it is safer than keeping it under the bed. We use the bank to safeguard our money and, at the same time, earn a little interest. What does the Bible say about savings? Do we save because we fear we might need it in the future? Yes, we do! Savings are encouraged in the Bible. It is wise to put something aside for rainy days, not for fear or hoarding but as what the Bible said in Proverbs 21:20 (NLT), “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” fools waste what they have, but the wise have precious treasure kept.

We cannot deny that we have a relationship with money. Money cannot buy everything, but it can buy many things. The influence of money is potent. It corrupts our minds, government officials, and even the church leadership. The temptations that money can bring to people have a significant impact not only on our flesh but also on our spirituality. Just imagine agricultural lands being converted to subdivisions, high-rise business buildings, illegal logging, illegal drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, gambling, and many more. It is all about making money.

It is not only because we want money to survive. Maybe we are in love with money, and it surpasses our needs. It shows that money already controls the human mind and becomes more than a necessity but a possession that cannot be brushed aside. We should be mindful of our hard-earned cash since it is a part of our daily lives. We should know how we spend it and the purpose of saving or investing it.

Just imagine, as soon as we wake in the morning, we are already spending money that we have never earned yet—for example, turning the lights on, using water for washing our face, brushing our teeth, cooking breakfast, brewing coffee, toasting bread, filling up the gas tank, and many more that we can think of. Therefore, we must avoid adoring money. Though money is working for us, we are also working for money. I saw people kissing their cash in the gambling place and witnessed others kissing the money goodbye and then saying, “You have to come back” and “See you soon.”

Money also earns respect from people. Respect can also mean love. We respect God because we love Him and do not want to offend Him by doing ungodly work. It doesn’t sound right when respecting money, but the love of money does. The love of money is the root of all evil. Whoever loves money has already surrendered the chance to love something else. Whoever desires more money will never be enough and will want more until he becomes a seeker for money instead of seeking the face of God and His blessings. Always submit to God, and He will guide us in our choices.

Money can leave us anytime. It can give us trouble and cannot give us eternal happiness. John warned us in 1 John 2— “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.’ ‘For everything in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.’ ‘The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15–17(NIV).

To help manage money well, it should not be about us. It should be about how God will work it for us; being a partaker of His divine nature, we have access to His wisdom. We must show love and obedience to His purpose and will, to love Him first before anything else. As a steward of God, He will equip us with knowledge and understanding that eventually groom us to become wise. Remember, God gives wisdom to the wise. God’s ways are so organized that He wants us to be like Him.

Money can control us if we submit to its power. It can give us happiness, and it can also give us trouble. Money can only provide temporary satisfaction and extend for some time, depending on how deep our pocket is. When we fall for money and are entirely in love with it, we are not a perfect candidate for the stewardship of God. We cannot worship money and fight for possessions with growing greed and selflessness, and coming to God to ask for money is an insult. We have to be faithful because God is faithful, and He is a jealous God. Money doesn’t grow on trees. We have to work to earn it.

Money can be a lifesaver. It can change someone’s life. Money attracts more friends and relatives to get closer to us and can make us famous.

Money was invented and first used by China in place of coins. Europeans widely used it in the 17th century. Before money was invented, people exchanged goods and services for other goods and services. We called this system a bartering or barter system. Currency or Barter system makes no difference. The ultimate source came from God. Since the source is from God, the intention is to be of good use. We should be aware that money can make our lives enjoyable and miserable.

There are a few things that we should be reminded of what money can bring:

1 Money can influence people to do something wrong or good. It can be used as a tool to change a person’s behavior.

2. The love of money is the root of all evilness; idolizing cash is a bad thing, but if we use it for godly work, it can avoid the pitfall that will bring one’s destruction and devastation.

3. Honesty and hard work in earning money will give a person honor and integrity. On the other hand, unlawfully getting money is a disgrace to all humanity.

4. Control and abuse of possessions are big things for evil deeds that God sees, and there’s no escape on judgment day.

5. Too much focus on money develops selfishness, self-esteem, and arrogance and is continually evil. We must refrain from that attitude to please God.

6. If we are unaware of the mounting debt, the Bible is evident that the borrower becomes the servant of the lender. Proverb 22:7, in Luke 14:28, says, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” It will avoid being in debt or incomplete projects.

7. We must be a blessing to others in return for the fortune that God gave us. Unfortunately, managing our finances can lead to bankruptcy and losing the sophisticated trust environment.

8. A decision is a significant factor in financial wellness and needs the right people and advice. But, again, God is the source and will give us what we need; ask. 

9. The rich have a more significant problem than the poor. The rich fear getting poor, while the poor do not need the fear of being poorer but a dream of being rich. When it comes to the problem, it is equally the same. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. It can result in stress for both.

Money is a legal tender or a medium of exchange and is only worth it when somebody can use it to buy goods and services, pay debt, rent, pay vacation expenses, and many more. But the value is worth nothing if no one will accept it. Like I experienced when we were paying for our community club membership, they did not want to get cash; instead, they preferred checks or credit cards.   As I have been involved in businesses before, there is no reason for me not to understand the power of making decisions, the temptation, and its weaknesses. They probably experienced a significant setback when accepting cash. Being robbed could be one, and dishonest workers can be considered. A saint without a halo is a saint without a shadow.”

Not all currencies are acceptable to certain countries, and not all countries in the world accept other countries’ currencies except their own. For example, the US dollar is widely accepted but not the currency of smaller countries. We can have the whole world to buy everything the world offers. However, there is one that we cannot buy—the Love of God. Jesus said love is the greatest among all the commandments, and we agreed that it is not for sale.

Money can move a person’s life, but it cannot move on its own. It doesn’t have arms and legs, and yet it travels. It cannot act and react but can empower someone to do so. It has life but doesn’t breathe. It can be used to do good deeds but doesn’t have a mind. Therefore, it cannot commit wickedness by itself without the help of the wicked and cannot do good things of its own without godly doers.

Money is so powerful, but apparently, it needs the help of something to survive. It doesn’t matter if it will be used to do good or bad things; survival depends on its users. There are ways to acquire money- the hard and the easy way, one way or highways, and the godly work ticked way. Money is not the root of all evil. But the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).

It is wrong to say that money doesn’t have power. Cash gives the ability to influence or direct people’s behavior or change the course of events. But, if money is so simple, why do we strive to have it honestly? If it is simple, why do you sweat and be stressed over cash? Why do church leaders often raise money in the pulpit or special meetings? Fundraising is one way to collect money; the church does that too often.

Though Jesus talks about money and possessions in his parables, the Gospel also deals with them. Money and stewardship have been preached; some do not want to hear them repeatedly. Many ask why money and possessions have more verses than faith and prayer combined. Money cannot buy our salvation! Forgiveness is not for sale! It’s a gift from God!!

The Bible discusses money to warn and teach us how to handle our money and faith. Unfortunately, some choose to be in the business rather than serve in the ministry. The chance to make money is more significant than serving in the ministry for free. What we do not realize is that business is a chance of luck. Why did God allow money to be circulated when our all-knowing God knows that money can cause temptation and destroy our devotion? Money Temptation lures lust; looking at it, a person cannot resist owning it. Just touching it, there is already a feeling of ownership, and the smell is so enticing, like an aroma that could put somebody under a spell. So why does our nature become so attached to money even though we know that money cannot always bring happiness? Yet we still want to have it due to its spending power, maybe?

Money that leads us to sin from evil hands and good hands becomes the joy of our bones, the structure that makes our faith unshaken and will not tremble. With strong faith and great hope, love will take care of the rest, for where our heart is. There, we will find the treasure that belongs to the greatest Creator, delivered to us by the mighty Master now under the guidance and protection of the Spirit that belongs to one True God.

Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If it is not for God, what do we have? Isn’t it nothing? He is the source, and we are God’s treasure, and all the earth is God’s ownership. He made us His steward to manage the finances accumulated on his behalf, and He gave it to us because He sees our hearts. Whether the interpretation is Spiritual or acquisition, it is the essence of stewardship that made a thing a thing.

Let us pray –God, it is your glory; everything from heaven above and beneath is your own; our life that you gave is a treasure that we should take care of. We thank you, Father, for your trust that everything will be okay to avoid the wrong side of money. We need your guidance to go the right way and help us fight the temptation that attacks our weaknesses. In the Temptation Son, our 2nd and last Adam, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the glory is yours from here to eternity. Amen

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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