Monday, April 16, 2007

The Madness of Money

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil . . ." - Paul (1 Tim 6:10)

Lately I've been thinking about greed a lot. I both love and detest money. I love what it can do for me, how it can make others happy, how it can solve problems. On the other hand, money can truly become one's master. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and I'm always fascinated by how easily (and often) it rears it's head. It's kind of a taboo, so I feel a little strange writing about it. But my sister in law's openness about it a comment a couple of weeks ago inspires me to attempt authenticity:

I struggle with greed every day. When I eat breakfast, I read the flyers. When I serve at Olive Garden, I am always wanting more tips. Then when I go to tip out the bussers, I constantly have to fight against my basic nature that wishes to hold onto my money (even though money was generously given to me!). I look at my old car and start wanting a new one. I own two houses, yet I want more. I want to eat expensive food and go on expensive exotic vacations. I, like most who live somewhere in North America, am in the top 5% of the richest people in the world. And yet, I am not content with what I have, I want more. Sometimes I don't care about money, but most of the time I'm quite conscious about it . . .

What fascinates me most about money is that you can't just ignore it. It's a part of life. Money is not a vice or virtue, but rather a pragmatic necessity. I don't think we are called to attempt life without it, Jesus talks too much about it in the New Testament to go that route. At the same time, we are told to not let it become our master. Somehow we just need to figure out how to control it and not let it control us.

Is there an antidote for greed? What is the best way to approach money? Is the opposite of greed contentment? Is there a way to be radical with our money without becoming either the Apprentice or a hippie living in a commune? These are some of my questions . . .

May Light increase,

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