Don't let your money master you.
"He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, 'Ah, that fire feels good.' Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. 'Rescue me!' he says. 'You are my god!'"
- Isaiah 44:16-17 (New Living Translation)
We look at the Bible examples of idols thinking we'd never create some graven image and bow down to it like they did back in the day, but that's exactly what money is for some of us. An elaborately crafted idol made of wood. Look at what Isaiah 44:13 in the NLT says:
"Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine."
If that ain't a picture of how these Benjamins are made & designed, I don't know what is. The reality is, if you had 3 million dollars in cash, it would be as heavy as several blocks of firewood. Because, at the end of the day, that's all that money is: wood. Yet we look to it to "rescue us" day in and day out.
As asinine as it was back then, that's how we look to God today when we bow down to money like it's our savior.
I recently read Rich Dad Poor Dad and the author's "rich dad" referred to money as an "illusion" that is only "held together by billions of people who believe that money is real." (Ch. 1: Lesson 1, pg 38). Whew! Isn't that the truth though?! Money, especially today's dollar, is literally paper that we have all agreed has value.
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't to shame money or to pretend that it doesn't hold the value we've ascribed to it; I'm just saying that in order for us to have the healthiest relationship with money possible and shift into deeper, Kingdom-sized levels of God's "radical provision", we have to take money off its pedestal in our minds and see it for what it really is so that we don't become (or stay) enslaved to it; we master it.
Still hungry? Eat some more //
- Isaiah 44:9-20 → Read this entire passage in the New Living Translation for further context because it is SO good.
- This devotional I wrote a few years ago talks about us going to God vs other "gods" for our help and is a good supporting read for this week's message.
- Highly recommend listening to this sermon for more mindset around the role and purpose of money.