We have all heard or, possibly, even said the statement, “If I just had a little more money, then I would finally be happy!” On some level, we believe the lie that money is the source of happiness. I don’t want to project on you, the reader, so let me just tell you a little about my struggle.
I fight the belief daily that if I had more money, I could have more possessions, and I would be more content. I fight the belief daily that if I had money, I could weather any potential storms because I would have money to solve my problems. I fight the belief daily that if I had more money, I could protect our family because money brings security.
Let me be clear. Having money is not sinful or spiritual. Several passages in the Bible talk about the importance of wisdom and saving money. (Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 13:22, Proverbs 27:23–24)
The problem exists when people put their trust in money and not in God. Look at what the author of Proverbs tells us:
Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
— Proverbs 11:28
When we find our trust in money, we develop an unhealthy relationship with it. We gather up money and hoard it. We are reluctant to give the money away due to fear of losing it. This is why people are stingy with giving money away, It taps a primal fear that they are going to lose security and their source of happiness. Like stale water, we become gross and stagnant.
Have you ever stood next to a tiny river bed or babbling brook? The water looks so clean and refreshing as it flows. Juxtapose that scene with water that has become backed up and trapped. There is no free-flowing water. What eventually happens is the water becomes stale and stagnant. When water doesn’t move, it becomes polluted. When money doesn’t move through us, we become stale and stagnant.
We become fearful and overly protective of something that was never designed to protect. When God tells us to give generously, it’s not a punishment but rather a gift. In essence, God is saying, “Don’t hold too tightly to money or you will become stagnant.” Today, if you find yourself clutching too tightly to money, maybe the best thing you can do is to let it flow!