Are You a Slave to Selfishness?

Selfish Eye

Sometimes the things that you do say more about who you really are than you’d like for them to.

Unless you’re a sociopath, you probably like to think of yourself as a good person who generally treats people well and contributes to society in positive ways. This point of view can be great if it’s true. But what if it’s not as true as you’d like it to be?

Truth is that we all struggle with selfishness: It’s the foundational sin that causes all sorts of problems in our lives. In our society, though, and especially in Christian circles, it can be easy to hide our selfishness behind polished exteriors. But it often still remains, and one of the best ways to identify it is to take a look at the ways that you think about and behave with your money. [Read more…]

Are You a Slave to Luxury?

Old broken TV

Within a month, I’ll be giving up my cable television service… and I’m preparing myself for the fact that it might hurt. But I’d rather be a free man learning to deal with the pangs of boredom than to be an entertained man who is a slave to luxury.

Money and its trappings can make slaves of us in so many ways. Oftentimes, this happens without us being aware of it. We can become slaves to greed, slaves to poverty, slaves to debt and even slaves to other people’s expectations regarding our lifestyles.

Sometimes, the things that are enslaving us seem perfectly normal in our culture. But it’s time to stop hiding behind our middle-class idealism and face the truth about what we’re doing with our money: A lifestyle of small indulgences can make you a slave to luxury. [Read more…]

Pursuing Wealth Can Kill Your Faith

Thorny Soil

Money is a sinister thing: If you don’t control it tightly, it can come to control you. If you’re not careful, it can even kill your faith.

As Christians, we all have a sensitive relationship with money. God wants us to be prosperous  workers, diligent stewards and generous givers, all of which involve money. And yet Jesus is also clear that money can make slaves of us. We must walk a tightrope between these two ideas.

This balancing act comes with high stakes: Ignore money, and you could do a lot of damage to yourself and your family. Fall in love with it, and you could do a lot of damage to your faith. [Read more…]

Adultery, Greed and Your Heart’s True Love

Kiss

What do adultery and greed have in common?

If you answer “not much,” it’s easy to understand where you’re coming from. After all, adultery is one of those really “big, bad sins,” while greed seems much less threatening.

But that’s the way that God sees things. He wants us to be just as faithful in our finances as we are in our marriages. And if you let greed come between you and God — if you become a slave to money — it’s just as dangerous as letting another person come between you and your spouse. [Read more…]

Christmastime’s Most Famous Money Slaves

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One of Charles Dickens’ most famous stories is a tale of two slaves.

If it’s December, there’s probably a local production of “A Christmas Carol” going on at a theater in your community. If you take the time to revisit this famous morality tale during the Christmas season, you’ll see a story about two men who have become slaves to money.

Money slavery is nothing new: Jesus confronted people about it during his time, and Dickens wrote about it in the 19th century. We don’t have to look around very far to see examples of people who are slaves to money today, either. Sometimes, we only have to look as far as our own hearts. [Read more…]

Understanding the Difference Between Dreams and Fantasies

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Chasing fantasies can be financially ruinous, but pursuing your dreams can bring incredible fulfillment. So, how do you know the difference?

Last week, we talked about the danger of running after fantasies and how it leads us to poverty. If we let our fantasies set the course of our lives, we become slaves to them, and end up in trouble.

One of the difficult parts of applying this wisdom is figuring out the difference between dreams and fantasies. These two things can seem very similar in our hearts and minds, but they have very different impacts on our lives — dreams inspire us to achieve great things, while fantasies only lead us astray.

Fortunately, wisdom and insight help us to separate the good from the bad in our thought lives. [Read more…]

Are You a Slave to Your Fantasies?

Fantasy World

I don’t want to be the one to ruin your fantasies, but have you ever considered that your fantasies may be ruining you?

Figuring out life and finance is a tough business. Because money is tied to so many things — our work, our families, our homes, our spending, our faith, our identities — our financial lives can sometimes resemble a big, jumbled ball of thread, all knotted and tangled and impossible to unravel.

Because of this, there are all sorts of things that can cause us financial hardship, or even make us slaves to money. Some of these things are so deeply hidden in our hearts that we don’t even recognize the threats that they represent.

Your fantasy life is one of those things. If you don’t deal with your dreams correctly, they could cause you trouble. [Read more…]

Five Dangers of Building Your Life Around Money

Modern Buildings

The structural safety of a building is only as good as the integrity of the foundation that it’s built on. If the foundation is unsafe, the entire building is at risk.

This metaphor from architecture has applications in many areas of life — so many that it became one of Jesus’ most famous parables. It certainly has a lot to teach us about the role of money in our lives.

If you look at our western culture in general, it would be easy to think that financial security is the best foundation upon which we can build our lives. If you’re wealthy, after all, you won’t have any of the problems that poor people do. Right? [Read more…]

How Do You Feel About the Poor?

Visions of Poverty

The way that you feel about the poor people in this world says a lot about the role that money plays in your own life.

No matter whether you’re rich, poor, or somewhere in the middle, money can control your life. The Bible tells us that money can make slaves of us if we’re not careful, controlling our lives and the way that we relate to other people.

One of the best ways of checking our hearts for signs of money slavery is to evaluate the way we react to people whose financial situations are  different from ours. Last week we looked at warning signs in the way we look at the wealthy. Today’s study uses the same approach in evaluating the way that we think about the poor. [Read more…]

How Do You Feel About the Wealthy?

Like soccer…for rich people

Quick: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions “wealthy people”?

If the mere thought of other people’s riches disgusts you, gets your blood boiling or ties your stomach up in knots, you might be a slave to money.

Financial slavery is a trap that is very easy to fall into, and it happens in more ways then you might think. Yes, debt and poverty are obvious examples of financial slavery, but money can creep into our hearts and minds and take our attitudes captive as well. When money affects the way that you think about and relate to other people, it makes a slave of you. [Read more…]

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Disclosures

All content on this site is given on a general basis and is intended for informational use only. The content does not reflect any professional legal, investing, accounting or tax advice, and should not be used as the sole basis for making financial decisions. Always consult a certified financial professional before investing.