Understanding Money

Money is what we receive in exchange for the value we give. It is also what we accumulate if we know how to save, manage and invest what we earn. Thus, money is a means of exchange and a store of value. It does not have any intrinsic value. It has value only because of the guarantee of its value by the one issuing it, oftentimes, the government. For as long as we trust the issuer, it retains its value as a means of exchange and store of value. Hence, its value rests on us. If we can’t trust it, it is worthless.

The more we have of it, the more freedom we have in choosing the kind of life we live. We have the freedom to use it for God’s purposes or for evil. Thus, the more we know how to manage it, the more freedom we have. But where that freedom brings us to is a matter of choice.

Some accumulate it without producing any value at all. Some even make money by taking advantage of other people. So, more important is to understand where real value lies. From there, we will be well aware of the distinction so we can do the right thing. That is an important key to creating wealth.

The first thing to recognize is where freedom comes from. We are free to create wealth because of the ability that God gave us. We must not forget where that ability came from and for what reason it was given to us. It was given to us by God who brought us to earth for a purpose. If we put that to heart, then that defines how we are going to use the freedom that we have. Here, we see where real value lies and that is where we should fix our eyes on in order not to lose that freedom. Our identity is in Christ and that is where real value lies. Identity brings purpose. We were given the ability to create wealth for God’s purpose. We were brought to this earth for a purpose. But if we forget God and make an idol of the wealth we produce, we lose that purpose.

So, how much wealth is enough? In the bible, 3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you are prospering and in good health, even as your soul prospers.” Let’s look at how our prosperity is connected to our health and soul. Work to produce wealth can affect our health, whether positively or negatively. Thus, God desires that as we prosper, our health does not become poor. This may happen when we violate certain principles. When we lose our dependence on God, we chase wealth rather than create it. The bible says that when we cling to worthless idols, we forfeit the grace that should be ours. (Jonah 2:8) That is why we get stressed. We must be aware that as we create wealth, we can either maintain our dependence on God, or put our trust in the work of our hands.

The other more important aspect is the prosperity of our soul. Indeed, we can have all the wealth in the world, at the expense of our soul. Thus, Jesus warned, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?” (Mk 8:36) So, let us make no mistake about it, money does not automatically equate to real value. There is no value in finding a big treasure in the deep sea, but drowning in the process. Look at it as reward from God as you work to create value because He wants you to live a fruitful and purposeful life here on earth (Col 3:23). God wants us to create wealth but He gives infinitely more value on us than what we create. That is why he warns us about harming our well- being and our soul or those of others in the process.

But how do we make sure we are not sacrificing the prosperity of our soul? It means not being enticed to replace our true God with the wealth we produce. It means using it for God’s purposes, establishing our family’s present and future well- being and finances, blessing the community we belong to, and honoring God with our wealth without losing our priorities, such as marriage and family, So, watch out, you may be driving a BMW but you are losing friends who care for you. That is a red flag.

When you begin to accumulate wealth, will that become your idol or will you continue abiding in Christ?