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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Family, Faith and Finances

Had a great conversation with Rob Ekno about faith, family and finances on Rob’s radio program, In Your Face, which can be heard on Indie104.com.  Click here if you would like to listen to the conversation.

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The Treasures of Life (The Value of Money – Part VII)

Have you ever heard that there are more important things in life than money?  If so, then what is more valuable than money?  If you can’t answer the question, how do you know that money isn’t the most significant thing in your life?

Three things have much greater value than money in my life – faith, family and friends.

I have very strong convictions about my faith.  You don’t have to agree with my theology, and I respect your right to be wrong… just kidding.  Seriously though, I do believe my faith is real and true.  If I don’t really believe my religious convictions are true, then I’m essentially saying that I believe in a lie.  However, I also respect your beliefs and convictions even though I may not personally agree.

It’s my faith in the true character and nature of God that I know will see me through anything I encounter in this life, and usher me into the next.  It’s been a difficult couple of years for Lady M (my wife) and I. My faith has helped me deal with life, people and situations when I didn’t understand or have a clue.  At times, I just needed to remind myself of the Biblical verse Romans 8:28, which states that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Family is the next most important thing to my faith.  Over the past two years, I have truly come to appreciate the value of a good and supportive family.  I can lose everything and still be okay, so long as I have my family.  Conversely, I also know that I could have all the fame and fortune in the world, but it would be worthless if I sacrificed my family to attain it.  Careers will end, kids will grow up, and friends will come and go.  Lady M will be the one thing that remains… until death do us part.

Your family history may be destructive and painful.  Families can be a great source of strength and encouragement, but they can also inflict some of the deepest wounds you’ll ever experience.  If that is your story, I’m sorry and truly wish it were not the case.  I have no simple solutions to overcome your past.  All I can do is to offer you hope that you can build the family you never had.  Learned behaviors and patterns may be hard to break, but I have seen other people do it and know you can too.

Friends follow close behind family.  I believe we all have an innate need and desire for relationships with other people.  Maybe it goes all the way back to the beginning when God said that it was not good for man to be alone.  The victories and successes of life can become hollow if you don’t have anyone to celebrate with and share the good news.  Furthermore, if you stumble and fall, it can be difficult to recoup and regain momentum without someone to help you.

You can choose to live life alone, but I think you will miss out on so much by going solo.  All relationships take effort, and people will disappoint you.  They are human, and so are you.  Friends can hurt you the way that complete strangers can’t, but like family, they can also bring you greater love, appreciation and joy.

I have a Successories print that’s been hanging in my office for over a decade.  Under the picture of a little boy it reads, “Priorities – A hundred years from now it won’t matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car that I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”  I admit it’s a bit cheesy, and I’m dorky.  However, it can also be a good reminder of what’s most important in my life. 

Call them priorities, values or the treasures of life.  When it’s all said and done, so many things that I expend my energy upon won’t matter.  Money may keep me alive a little longer, but it can’t make me live forever.  All the treasures and possession I accumulate in my life will one day belong to someone else.  With that in mind, I want to invest in treasures that will last a hundred years and beyond.  For me, that’s my faith and the lives of other people. 

What is it for you?

Money: Good or Evil? (The Value of Money – Part VI)

 You may have heard, “Money is the root of all evil.”  It’s a cliché that is actually a misquotation of a Biblical verse.  1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (NKJV)  It may seem like a subtle difference, but the Scripture speaks specifically to the love of money. The Apostle Paul was addressing how the love of money had caused some of the early Christians to stray from the faith. He was not proclaiming money to be evil.

Money is a tool.  It is not inherently good or evil.  It can be used for either, depending upon the person who is using it.  In some respects it’s like medicine.  If used properly, it can be beneficial and keep you healthy, but if used inappropriately, it can kill you.

Money can do a lot of good in this world, and the more money you have, the more good you can do.  Governmental agencies and non-profit organizations recognize this fact.  It’s why the government levies taxes and non-profits raise funds, for without finances, they cannot help other people.

It takes money to feed the hungry, provide clothing and shelter to the poor, drill a well for clean drinking water, pay for medical care, etc.   You may be able to get some of these things donated, but your impact will be severely limited if you don’t have money.  Thus, the more money you have, the more food, clothing, shelter, and medicine you can buy.

Some people may say that they don’t want to make or have much money.  It may sound pious, but if you really want to help people and make this world a better place it doesn’t make sense.  The billions of dollars that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are giving to charity will do far more than tossing $1 into the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas.

The evil aspect of money is what it does to you.  Your need or desire to acquire more money can make you greedy, stingy, ruthless and dishonest.  You may be tempted to compromise your morals and do whatever it takes to acquire more money and possessions.  If you engage in these types of behaviors, understand that the money is not wicked…  you are. That may seem harsh and offensive, but money is an object and can’t be good or bad. It’s people who do good or bad things.

Money is not good or evil.  It’s simply a tool that can be used to do good or wicked things.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I would like to acquire a lot of money.  Not so much because of the lifestyle it will bring to me, but because I know that money is necessary to make this world a better place.

Coming Soon… The Value of Money – Part VII… The Treasures of Life