Summary: Part 8 and final in series Relating to God: What We Can Learn About God Through Our Closest Relationships On Earth. Thinking about money in a spiritual and relational way, do we often live financially as if we expect God to sign some kind of prenuptial.
Part 8 in series
Relating to God: What We Can Learn About God Through Our Closest Relationships On Earth
Wildwind Community Church
March 28, 2009
I haven’t talked to you about money since January of 2008! It has been a long time. But as I was thinking about this series we’re in, where we’re trying to see what we can learn about God by looking at various aspects of close human relationships, I realized that this might be the best possible way to talk to you about money. I also realized that in this series it would almost be a crime not to talk about money. Because we’re talking about relationships.
See, 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce, and a huge number of those divorces occur because of arguments about money. My guess is that there are a fair number of couples in this room who had an argument about money in this past week. And for some portion of those who didn’t, it wasn’t because they agree on money so much, but rather because the ice hadn’t really thawed yet from your last argument about money and you’re not really back to speaking to each other much yet.
For some of those couples who didn’t argue about money, I would guess there were many who stressed out about it – maybe a lot. For those who didn’t stress out about it, I’ll bet you made some plans this past week where money was crucial, and you were either depressed because you didn’t have enough to do what you wanted to do, or perhaps surprised or ecstatic that you did. And in case I haven’t covered everybody yet, some of you this week had a conversation with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc., about money where there either was or was not some amount of tension. To be in a close relationship with a human being is to be in a particular kind of relationship with money. That’s why I think we absolutely have to hit this topic as we close out this series today. Money is huge.
In fact money is sexy. And money is romantic. Trips to Paris and Italy. Nights in Las Vegas. Cars that are fun to drive. Nights at the movies with the person we love most. Cruises. All of this and more, delivered compliments of sexy, romantic, money. But do you know what isn’t sexy at all? Money management! As sexy as it is to think about coffee under the Eiffel Tower, or an evening spent over dinner and a movie, it totally drains the fun out when we start asking ourselves the question, “How am I going to budget for this? How will I pay for it? Where will the money come from? How can I do this and still meet my basic needs for survival?” Money can be sexy. Money management never is.
Now I’m not going to preach a sermon on money management tonight, all I’m trying to say is that we can’t leave money out of any serious discussion about relationships. And I really believe that we stand to learn more about God on this topic of money than perhaps anything else we’ve talked about, because I believe more of us are living in denial and illusion about money as it relates to God than about practically anything else.
So let’s start by getting our heads around what matters most. I’ve already said money is absolutely, positively a major player in every serious relationship. If you dismiss money, if you think money doesn’t matter in a relationship, you are headed for relational Nagasaki. You will soon see that money and how you handle it will be a determining factor either in your happiness, or in your misery. I’m not going to stand here and say that money is what makes every single bad relationship bad, but I can say with some measure of confidence that no good relationship is good unless a couple has figured out a peaceful way to manage their money. In other words money isn’t always the door to unhappiness, but if you’re happy in your relationship, you have probably at some point walked through a door called “Money and How to Manage It.”
This is because money is connected to your soul. Money is not just a thing, but it is the thing that grants you access to nearly all other things. If you live inside instead of outside, that’s because of money. If you ate a bologna sandwich instead of a roasting a stray cat for lunch today, that’s because of money. If you drove a car here instead of walking, that’s because of money. If you’re wearing pants right now instead of a giant leaf, that’s because of money. If you talk on a phone to communicate instead of sending smoke signals, that’s because of money. If you’re going to dinner or a movie tonight for fun, that’s because of money. Or maybe you don’t have money for dinner and a movie, so you’ll just play cards instead. The cards are compliments of money. Money is connected to your soul. Money delivers the things you need to survive, and so much of what you want to enjoy. Think of money not so much as a thing, but as a power, and you’re starting to get it.