Some will remember the old Beatles song “Can’t Buy Me Love”. The lyrics tell us that “I’ll get you anything my friend, if it makes you feel alright...but I don’t care too much for money...for money can’t buy me love.”
There is an old poem that expresses a similar sentiment:
Money can buy a bed - but not sleep.
Money can buy books - but not wisdom.
Money can buy a house - but not a home.
Money can buy food - but not appetite.
Money can buy medicine - but not health...
It goes on, but you get the point.
If asked, most of us would agree that there are things money can’t buy - the things that really matter most in life - like love, family, health, peace. But yet, for many, money and getting more of it seems to be the ultimate objective of life. As we discussed in a prior Blog - money is how many people measure and define success.
While it’s true that money can purchase things that bring a certain amount of pleasure, once enjoyed, the pleasure, that was so anticipated, often seems to quickly dissipate - like when you get the first dent or scratch on that new car.
There is nothing wrong with a new car and certainly money is used to purchase the necessities of life - like food, shelter and clothing. So, money is not just useful - it is the necessary medium by which we as a society exchange goods and services.
And Scripture makes it clear that we are to provide for our family - in fact, it says not doing so makes us worse than an unbeliever. God gives us the responsibility to provide for our families. And money is the means by which we provide for the needs of our family - again, like food, shelter and clothing, all of which are essential to our survival.
So, we have legitimate needs that money can help to satisfy - so what is wrong with money? Well - nothing.
Money itself is not the problem - it’s the love of money that becomes the problem.
There is nothing wrong with wanting money sufficient to meet our legitimate needs - but, as 1st Timothy 6 tells us, it is “the love of money” that is the root of all evil.
Sometimes that love for money causes people to do things that are displeasing to God. And although that’s part of the problem, there is more to it than that. It’s when the love of money becomes what motivates us - what drives us - what we rely upon and place our trust in. In other words, money becomes an idol.
The definition of an idol is simply defined as anything we want more than God. In Hebrews 13 we are told that our character should be free from the love of money, being content with what God has provided.
In Exodus 34, we are told that God is a jealous God and He doesn’t want anything to come between us and Him. God becomes jealous just as a spouse becomes jealous when they see their spouse’s affections being directed toward someone else.
In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us that: He knows we need all these things - but we are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to us. Jesus goes on to tell us not to worry about these things.
So the question becomes - is there anything that I put before God in my life? If we’re not sure, an indication may be where do we place our trust - is it in money or God?
If we constantly desire and strive for more money, and there is an absence of contentment with what God has already provided, perhaps money and wealth have become too important.
And, we need to ask ourselves - are we truly thankful for what God has already provided - or do we constantly want more?
Scripture makes it clear that there are things money can’t buy - such as: God’s forgiveness of sins, and God’s mercy and grace, and God’s patience and gentleness, and salvation through Christ alone.
Money can’t buy any of these things. And money can’t buy God’s love for us... because He already loves us - we can’t buy it. And money can’t love us back like God loves us.
God tells us in Hosea 6 that He wants our love more than He wants our money (our tithes and offerings). Basically, if our love for God, in response to His love for us - is what it should be, the tithes will naturally follow. God wants our heart first and foremost.
In Psalm 103 David reminds us that God forgives us...He rescues us from hell...He is merciful and tender to us who don’t deserve it...He does not punish us for our sins like we deserve...He is like a father who is tender and sympathetic...His loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting to those who revere Him.
Money can’t buy any of these things. Yet, have we stopped to thank Him for these things - things that God has provided - for free - no money required?
In fact, you might say these things are priceless.
More to come...
Do you have questions about managing your finances from a Biblical perspective?
For guidance feel free to call Kent Anderson at (239)596-8600, x254.