There’s just something about money that the human heart struggles to overcome. Of course there are plenty of theories out there as to why “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). Is it idol worship, self-pride, self-reliance, a combination of them all and many more? What makes the video below so interesting is that some of the experiments in it reveal how instantaneous the affects of money often take affect (although probably not fully developed).
What mechanism is in place, lurking beneath the surface? Where does that switch that resides in us live, that can be turned on or off at will as it relates to money?
God has been changing my heart in this area for years now. My home bookcases, once filled with hardbacks about stock market trading, investing, retirement savings, are still there. HaHa! That last sentence threw you off a bit, huh?! 🙂 What, you thought I was going to get all dramatic and burn them?! Heck no! I paid alot of money for all of those books! LMBO. They are now hidden on my bedroom bookshelf. I can’t have people coming into my house and thinking that I’m materialistic. Hee Hee!
The key is not so much in my book collection, but what I have stored up in my heart. The idea of being the “Millionaire Next Door” (bestselling book a decade or so ago) once occupied a place of high value in my heart and mind. Although it’s still a distant goal of mine, it rarely ever draws the attention of my mind. It went from being a frequent thought to an afterthought. I went from checking the stock market two or three times a day, in order to monitor my retirement or stocks to maybe only checking it by happenstance once every three weeks, if that. To be a wise steward of my finances I should probably think to check it more often, but the desire just isn’t there like it used to be. In fact, as the Word of God began to consume my time and thought life, it was quite literally as if the desire was SNATCHED from me. Change in life is common, but I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed such a sudden turn so quickly in my life before. It left me to credit God alone, especially for something that I practiced and loved for so long. More on that in a moment……..
What’s comical at times, is that I still have friends call and ask for stock market, or retirement planning advice. Because, at one point I was a little walking stock market encyclopedia. Especially as it related to retirement savings and investing strategies. I have never been an expert, but I do have at least 20+ books on those subjects, having read all of them cover to cover, and my careful study of it extended from late in high school and beyond. Now, when friends often call frantic about the Dow having dropped 100 points, I have to tell them that I haven’t been watching for the last few months, and only glance occasionally to see how my retirement plan is doing 😉 I do believe God placed a gift of financial wisdom in me, because something about it naturally appeals to me, and business concepts and ideas just seem to click well with my mind. Lord knows there’s plenty of other things that don’t work so naturally with my mind. No ego-stroking going on here, just telling my story.
The most glorious thing about it however, is that it took no personal discipline to get where I’m at now. I never weened myself off of checking the market or reading articles from Forbes or Money Magazine. Nope. I started reading the bible and studying it, and my affections divorced my previous desires. I never looked back.
My goal now is to find some happy medium. As you know, I love balance. The enemy is crafty. He’s great at getting us to wane from one extreme to the other instead of finding firm, Godly footing on solid ground. Although the desire for pursuing wealth seems to have evaporated from my heart, I still hold at arm’s length, or perhaps in the back of my mind things that I believe God has for me. Sometimes I sense that my lack of desire to have money (within reason of course ;-)) has almost brought me to a place of complacency. I’m still trying to find where I’m really at. Are there sediments of my previous desires still lurking, hiding in the bushes? Or, have I allowed my lack of desire to also become an excuse for doing nothing. Sheesh, Lord help me/us! May the power of the Holy Spirit continually fill me, so that I can navigate the treacherous desire/deceitfulness of my own heart. Only God can search me out (1 Corinthians 2:11).