Does Money Control Me?
Money can make slaves of us without us ever realizing it. Keep a look out for these five warning signs.
Does money control me?
I don’t like to think so. In my mind, I am a free. I am my own man. Nothing can control me. But sometimes the reality of my life doesn’t line up with the way I’d like to see myself.
Money has a sneaky way of making slaves out of us. If we’re not careful, money can take hold of us and cause a lot of trouble. It can disrupting relationships and control our thoughts. It can even cause us to do things we know are wrong.
I have to constantly check my heart and my attitudes to make sure money isn’t controlling the way I think.
Nobody wants to be a slave to money. But for much of my life, I was a slave without realizing it. Even today, I have to constantly check my heart and my attitudes to make sure money isn’t controlling the way I think.
If you’re like me, you may find it helpful to take an honest assessment of the role money plays in your life. Ask yourself honestly, “Does money control me?”
Here are five warning signs that money might have its claws in your heart.
1) You’re stressed out.
God created us to live with perfect joy, peace and contentment. That means if you’re struggling with stress, panic or fear about your money, something is out of balance. While most people go through tight financial spots from time to time, it’s not okay to live there. So if your money — or lack of money — is causing continued stress or fear in your life, you’re likely dealing with a heart issue. Debt, poverty mentality, or undisciplined spending can all stem from misplaced attitudes about money. Dealing with these underlying issues will help you eliminate your stress and escape your financial slavery.
2) You’re obsessing over something.
The things we dwell on tell us a lot about the desires of our hearts. God wants our hearts to be delighted with Him. But if you’re obsessing over material things, there’s a good chance that money has infiltrated Your heart.
The love of money will always try to take the place in your heart that that God rightfully deserves. And you don’t have to be rich to fall into this trap. Money can make you a slave by focusing your attention on the things that you don’t have. So to find freedom, set your mind on the things God has already given you, not the blessings you haven’t seen yet.
The love of money will always try to take the place in your heart that that God rightfully deserves.
3) You’re keeping secrets.
Our culture pressures us to keep many details of our financial lives private. Polite people don’t talk to each other about money. But privacy is often a code word for isolation, and this is dangerous.
If you’re hiding details of your debt, spending and financial life from people, you might be a slave to money. And if you keep financial secrets from your spouse, you have a real problem on your hands.
Hiding bad habits and financial mistakes doesn’t make bad situations better. It only isolates you and damages your relationships. So commit to honesty, communication and transparency, the keys to a healthy financial life.
4) You feel like you can’t get ahead.
If you feel like you can never make financial progress, no matter how hard you try, money might be controlling the way you see the world.
In general, people’s incomes grow over time, allowing them to accomplish more and more things with their money. If your income is stagnating, or if you’re having trouble paying off debt, saving for the future or sticking to a budget, something may be holding you back. Maybe you’re not practicing generosity. Maybe you’re spending impulsively, or treading water trying to stay afloat in a cycle of debt.
Whatever the issue is, you can be confident that addressing it at its root will allow you to win in the future. So don’t complain when you feel stuck in financial trouble. Instead, ask yourself “does money control me?” and lean into the situation and dig down deep to discover what’s holding you back.
Our identities are much more than money.
5) You feel inadequate or inferior.
Sometimes money makes slaves of us by corrupting our attitudes. You could be a diligent person who does a lot of smart things with your money. But if you feel inadequate about your family’s lifestyle, or feel inferior to people who make more than you do, money slavery has likely got hold of your heart.
If we’re not careful, money can make us envious of others. It can cause us to constantly compare ourselves to people around us. It can even make us discontent with the things God has blessed us with. But our identities are much more than money. In order to escape this kind of slavery, it’s important to become confident in who you are in Christ. So spend less time thinking about your finances and more time focusing on what He is doing in your life.
So, does money control me? Not if I don’t let it. If you see any of these signs of financial slavery in your life, it’s time to turn to the One who can set you free.