Ah, Fridays. The day I write about my least favorite subject: finances. Ugh.
Well if you’ve been reading my blog you may have picked up on the fact that I’ve been experiencing a little anxiety attack over the past few weeks, and it’s centered around money. The trigger is this aggressive savings plan that we’re in now that moves money from one place that I see a lot to another place I don’t see as often. This makes it seem like money is disappearing and that gives me panic attacks, even though I know it’s just in a different place.
But if truth be told, there’s something else going on. Now, don’t roll your eyes, but: I’ve been a God-slacker lately. It’s true — I’ve been sleeping later lately and cutting my quiet time with God short. I give the Bible a compulsory look and barely read my devotional. And I’ve realized it’s robbed me of the peace I had come to know when God and I were tight.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re still tight. And it’s funny, because yesterday as I began to realize what was happening, my daily devotional said this:
Time with me cannot be rushed. When you are in a hurry, your mind flitters back and forth between Me and the tasks ahead of you. Push back the demands pressing in on you; create a safe space around you, a haven in which you can rest with Me. I also desire this time of focused attention and I use it to bless you, strengthening and equipping you for the day ahead. Thus, spending time with Me is a wise investment.
Bring me the sacrifice of your precious time. This creates sacred space around you — space permeated with My Presence and My Peace. — (Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young)
It’s just like my Jesus. This beautiful devotional helped me to understand that not only was I missing out on the peace of God by not investing my time wisely, but also that He missed me. He wants to spend time with me. I was, after all, created for His enjoyment. And He loves to spend time with me, and for me to spend time with Him. The choice of words here, too, is interesting. When all my anxieties were around money, He called time with Him an investment.
Then today, the scripture in my devotional led me to Job 22:21-25 (MSG):
Give in to God, come to terms with Him and everything will turn out just fine. Let him tell you what to do; take his words to heart. Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life, clean house of everything evil. Relax your grip on money and abandon your gold-plated luxury. God almighty will be your treasure, more wealth than you can imagine.
You’ll take delight in God, the Mighty One, and look to him joyfully, boldly. You’ll pray to him and he’ll listen; he’ll help you do what you’ve promised. You’ll decide what you want and it will happen; your life will be bathed in light.
Just like my savior, to know exactly what I needed to hear. Perhaps the most important lesson we can all learn about money is that it gives us a false sense of security. The first thing we probably need to learn in order to become good money managers is to not give money the wrong kind of power in our lives. Good money management is important. It’s Godly and right to manage money well, to be smart and educated and responsible with money. But true security comes only from God. And when we forget that, as I seem to have done over the past few days, we are robbed of God’s peace. I was placing the power of my peace in my bank account and investing the power of my time and my energy in the wrong place.
God brought me back to Him, gently guiding my mind and my focus back to where it belongs. Anxiety has been lifted, peace restored, and my bank account I know will be blessed for it.
I want to hear from you. What’s the toughest lesson you’ve had to learn about money?