Sunday, March 8, 2015

You Don't Need More Money

I admit it. I am a workaholic, or I was. Day, noon, night, pretty much anytime I was awake, I was thinking about how I could get more money. Sometimes we were desperate for it, behind on bills and seemingly justified in my quest. The thirst for money didn't go away, though, even when we had enough to be comfortable. That's when I recognized a problem. I was addicted to money.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that work is bad or that you shouldn't accumulate some money. Money's just a tool. There's nothing wrong with tools. There is something wrong, however, when your life begins to revolve around accumulating tools.

When everything you do and say and think revolves around whether or not you're going to be able to acquire your next tool, that's when it's time to slow down and tap the brakes. You've lost sight of the purpose of the tool and have made the tool the focus of your life.

When I sat down and thought about it, I realized that I was living two lives: a life that wanted to be a saint and acted that way, and a life that was driven by the world and its priorities. The two sides of me were in conflict with one another, and one of them was going to have to give. I realized, too, that I was doing the same thing any addict is doing - trying to fill in the gap between God and me with stuff in a futile gesture to create a world that was less disappointing and required less sacrifice and less pain.

I didn't reach this conclusion on my own. It came after I prayed and asked God to show me what I was missing. A few hours after that prayer, I saw clearly my problem but I didn't have an answer for it. I didn't know how to stop doing what I was doing. I literally did not know how to turn off the thirst for money that was driving me. So I prayed again, asking God for help in putting aside my concern for money and embracing Him instead.

He reminded me that it was not by laboring day and night that I had come as far as I had, or was in possession of a small amount of surplus. It was He who had - quite literally - dropped a client into our lap whose need for our work was sufficient to meet the needs of our household. My job at the Church might not provide much in the way of money, but it provided so much in the way of spiritual growth that there was no comparison in pay to be made with other work I might do.

I am human. I will stumble. I will forget. But that's the point of writing this. To remind myself that I don't need more money - I need more God in my life. The more I fill up my life with Him, the happier I will be. The world cannot satisfy my needs, but Jesus can.

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