The more I study on strengthening my faith, the more correlations I see between “worldly” situations and “faith” positioning. I even discovered a relationship between feelings and money – and how we tend to put too much stock in both…. AND in remarkably similar ways!
First of all, “money” isn’t the root of all kinds of evil, “The love of money” is the root of all kinds of evil [1 Timothy 6:10] “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Likewise, we tend to place too much value on feelings and tend to use those feelings to guide our interactions with others and our own spiritual walk.
The more we have, the more secure we feel. The more secure we think we can feel, the more we rely on finances for emotional stability. So if we had millions in the bank, we must be very stable and happy, right? Wrong.
Money (figuratively speaking) isn’t a destination; it’s a vehicle that takes us to a destination. Money by itself is only good for fuel (fire) or insulation (in your coat). The fact that it can be traded for goods/services marks it as an opportunity…. a “vehicle”. But we tend to correlate wealth with security – only because of the opportunities that money provides. If we hoard money and use it to spend on our own pleasures and desires, we satisfy ourselves for a while; but then we need MORE money so we can have MORE opportunities to feel happy! But since money is a vehicle, WE choose where that vehicle goes. We can either store it up for ourselves, or help those in need. If we choose to bless others with that wealth, the DESTINATION becomes the blessing – NOT the money itself. Case in point (again, figuratively speaking): If we were to see someone on a street corner holding up a sign for a donation, we could either give them money that they may spend on alcohol, or we can “drive that vehicle” to the needed destination of food. This would be a way we could discern between the request and the actual need. We can use that money (vehicle) to reach an appropriate destination of providing for a true need, rather than just “giving them the keys to the vehicle”.
The better we feel, the more apt we would be to help others, or we figure that helping others would hopefully make us feel more important. We will go to church “if we feel like it”. We will read His Word “if we feel like it”. I’ll help the homeless because it will make me “feel good about myself.” Wrong.
Here’s the bane of our existence; we tend to act solely based on current feelings – Or we act hoping that good feelings will be the result of our actions. If we do things only because “we should” or because “we feel good enough to do it”, then we are allowing our feelings to drive our daily AND spiritual walk (causal). But if we act because of the love that has been shown to us, we are neither acting on feelings of euphoria NOR out of obligation. If someone showed me an extreme act of kindness, I would WANT to reciprocate – not out of obligation or out of “feeling good”, but I would WANT to reciprocate because they first helped me.
“We love each other because he loved us first.” (1 John 4:19)
Now the significant correlation between how we treat money and how we treat feelings:
If we store great wealth only for ourselves, we’re hoarding money.
If we store joyous feelings for ourselves instead of sharing that joy with others, we’re hoarding joy.
If we spend money mainly on ourselves, we are feeding our own selfish desires.
If we receive mercy and compassion but are reluctant to “pay it forward”, we are ALSO feeding our own selfish desires.
So if we can see that how we tend to view both impostors “wealth” and “happiness” in the same way, we should be able to see that they are both simply vehicles that allow us the opportunity to serve others in wise and selfless ways.
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)