Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Living WIth Cash
But back to this God and money business: what does it mean to choose one? Do you have to sell everything you own and live in some intentional community in an urban core or far-off farm? Can't you serve God and also make a decent living? Isn't it possible to live in some harmonious balance where God is your Numero Uno, and you own your own house in the suburbs with modest but tasteful landscaping and a two car garage? Or, in this economy, isn't it possible to serve God and keep the lights on or afford insurance?The problem is not how we spend our money, but who we are, and who we serve. She is sort of on point here when she talks about the money working for us and not us working for the money - but it goes a bit deeper.
Of course it is possible... at least I hope it is.
I'm not sure how it will play out in my own life - at least not yet - but I suspect that on a grander scale it might play out like this: families and individuals still need to eat, to pay the bills, to attend to their own health and well-being - so money isn't completely out of the picture. But perhaps in choosing God over money, money becomes nothing more than what it actually is: a tool. With money or affluence removed from our list of goals, room is created for new goals: dignity, compassion, hospitality, fruitfulness, wholeness. If these are the goals, then money can be used as one tool among many to help achieve them. If these are the goals and money is simply a tool, then rich and poor can move towards each other to fill in that ever-widening gap created by love of money.
Perhaps I'm utterly naive, but I believe it is possible. And I also wonder, what do you think it might look like if more and more of us chose to serve God alone? What would it look like in your own life or the lives of your neighbors and friends? What would it look like for people you've never met who fall into tax brackets you'll never see or live in countries or neighborhoods you've only seen on the news? Or, if you have chosen to serve God alone, what insight can you share?
See I am convince that whether it is money, or any of the other thousands of possible idols in our live, there is not legalistic formula for how to deal with it - there is only Christ and the transforming of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I you have a generous spirit, then the money thing will work itself out naturally.
So that means the answer is not to try and figure out what to do with your money, but instead drop to your knees, confess you don't know what to do with your money and then allow the Holy Spirit to go to work. Next time you have a money decision to make, do it again. You will probably make a number of bad decision, but slowly they will get better,a nd some of the good decision may surprise you.