(Originally Published 9/13/13)
My husband is searching for a job. I was praying about this yesterday because I have a mix of emotions on the subject. One sentence that popped into my prayer (more than once, sadly) was, “Lord, I just don’t want to worry about money anymore.” Every time I said it, I cringed at myself and heard God reply, quite clearly, “Then don’t.”
I seem to think the only way I can have peace of mind in this area, is if we are receiving a hefty income. And after all, as Christians we are called to be wise stewards of our money, so finances are a legitimate concern, right? If I were to stop worrying about money, that would be irresponsible, wouldn’t it?
No, because worry is a sin. I am supposed to trust God with everything. I’m supposed to believe that He can handle the responsibility. God does not need me as a financial adviser.
I’m not even honestly sure what I was afraid of. Whenever I’m stressed about something, I try to find the worst case scenario so I can come to grips with it, a preemptive strike in case it happens. What was the worst case here?
Was it that we would end up living on the street? Not likely since we have many loving family members who would take us in if it got that far. Moving in with family would not be ideal, granted, but it would by no means be a death sentence.
So was my real fear one of death by starvation? Even more unlikely. However, even if that were the outcome, what happens then? I would go to heaven. So I’ll have to strike ‘death’ off the list of ‘worst case.’
No, my real fear was that if God didn’t give us the dollar sign I had in mind, then I would not be provided with my preferred creature comforts. That’s the bottom line of why I was stressing about money. I wanted to be able to buy what I wanted when I wanted it.
I love giving gifts to other people and it’s tough for me when I can’t do that. I like to relax in front of the tv and watch Netflix. I have an addiction to crafts and being without supplies is very uncomfortable for me. Not to mention the lovely new smart phones my siblings keep rubbing under my nose.
But all these are extravagancies and ridiculously unnecessary. And it’s true what they say: you can’t take it with you. And a lot of the things I value here on earth, I wouldn’t want to take to heaven with me anyway; I’d be too ashamed to.
In Mat.6, Jesus tells us to store treasures in heaven and leave our earthly cares to Him. He assures us that we will be clothed and fed. When I don’t take Him at His word, and continue to labor to fill my earthly storehouse, it jeopardizes my relationship with Him because I’m essentially saying that I want these other things more than I want Him.
The reason I don’t trust God to provide is because I know that He will not help me sustain an idolatrous lifestyle. And I like some of my idols. Especially if they keep me entertained, comfortable, and focused on myself.
I can serve money by worrying about it and stressing about attaining more, or I can serve God, by trusting Him to provide for my needs and building up treasures in heaven.
Will I continue to worry about money? You bet ‘cha. But with God’s help, I will be able to cast more of my cares upon Him and tear down the idols in my life until one day, ‘I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.’ (Phil4:12)