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Money Isn’t Everything, But…

June 20, 2009

I was at a recent business networking event and during a conversation with a group of people the topic of money came up.  An older, successful businesswoman said, “Money isn’t everything, but it ranks right up there with oxygen!”  Everyone chuckled and seemed to agree wholeheartedly. 

I didn’t say anything, but in my head I thought, “This is a blog post waiting to be written!”.  I’ve heard similar comments like this before, but until this post I didn’t realize this is an actual quote popularized by Rita Davenport, an award winning keynote speaker, humorist and author.  

936501_1st_placeMaybe you’ve heard this expression or perhaps even said something similar at some point.  I remember a conversation about money a few years ago with a godly, older Christian businessman who said, “money isn’t everything, but it’s a close second.”  I have a feeling my friend was trying to get a couple of laughs more than he really felt this way, but I’d be fooling myself if I said I never felt this way sometimes.   

On the surface these comments seem like tongue-in-cheek little phrases to joke about the importance of money.  There’s definitely some truth to the comments.  After all, we really couldn’t live without oxygen or money, but is there an underlying worldview being emphasized by these quotes?

Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”  Scripture seems pretty clear about the answer, no one can serve both.  I used to think I could really, really love God and really, really love money, but God has shown me through various ways that it’s not true.  The problem with money as a “close second” is that it’s far too easy for it to become the “everything.”

So, as Christians, how do we balance the fact that we need money to provide for our families, run our businesses, and buy goods and services to simply get by in life with the fact that we shouldn’t be consumed by the desire for more?  What are some things you do to keep a proper perspective on your money?

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