How much money do I have? Not enough! What do I need? More! These are the answers that I am bombarded with every time I see a commercial or advertisement. In my judgment, we live in a very materialistic culture and time. So, how do I react? I start to resist. I hear the well-known expression “money is the root of all evil.” Have you heard that before? This phrase has become an accepted piece of wisdom and antidote for our hyper-capitalistic society. How much money should I have? None – give it all away! But how will I live? Is this really what God wants me to do? My head starts to spin with conflicting thoughts!
Thankfully, the Apostle Paul’s advice to the young disciple Timothy is helpful for me. He wrote “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil – some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1Timothy 6:10).” Paul did not write that money is the root of all evil. Instead, he wrote that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. If I have a controlling desire for money, I will do all kinds of evil things.
Good money management entails budgeting, earning, spending, saving, investing and donating. When I was younger, the fact that I gave away any of the money I had earned was a big deal. As I matured, I thought I was acting generously and doing the right thing by God if I donated 10% of what I earned. Now, I ask for God’s help throughout the whole money management process. How should I earn it? How should I spend it? How should I invest it? How should I donate it? How much should I budget for each?
When I think that I am managing God’s money, I behave and feel differently. I experience a feeling of freedom and a separation from the anxiety I usually associate with money. I believe God wants me to manage and use (not love) the money he has given me. The money isn’t really mine, but rather God has entrusted me to use that money wisely. When I ask myself “How would God want me to use this money?” my decision making becomes easier. – Bill Ernstrom, Director of Operations