Which of the following statements creates more anxiety?
- There is no God.
- There is no money in the bank.
The idolatry of money is not only the love of money, but excessive anxiety over it. And let’s face it, we’re all susceptible to feeling anxious about our finances.
Money is always trying to manipulate itself into becoming something more than it is. It often lures me into falling for three illusions.
Illusion #1: More money will give me more SECURITY.
1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
Have you ever had a conversation with yourself that went like this? “If I could make $55,000/year instead of $45,000, we would be set. We would finally be secure and not have to fight or worry about money.” Of course, all the people who make $55,000 are saying, “If I could just make $65,000….”
How much money do you think you need to be totally financially secure? The answer is the same for everyone. Everyone thinks it’s MORE THAN YOU CURRENTLY HAVE.
Proverbs 18:11, “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they IMAGINE it a wall too high to scale.” It’s not real.
Illusion #2: More money will give me more peace and happiness.
Ecclesiastes 5:10, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with the income.”
It’s true, isn’t it? There are few things that we worry about the way we worry about money. We worry about how to make more, how to make it go further, how to invest it, how to save it, how to spend it, and how to protect it. And we easily buy into the illusion that what we need to keep us from worrying about money is more money!
Enough will never be enough.
Illusion #3: More money will make me more generous.
A number of recent surveys have indicated that lower-income people actually give a higher percentage of their income away than wealthy people do. The more you get, the harder it is for you to be generous. So if you can’t be generous when you make 21,000, you will likely not be generous when you make 41,000. If you’re not generous with 41,000, you likely won’t be generous with 140,000. If you can’t be generous with what you have now, you will probably never be generous with more.