Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
“I finally know what distinguishes man from the other beasts: financial worries.” (Jules Renard, 1887-1910).
“Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of all evil.” (Carl Sandburg, 1936)
“Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God; and over these ideals they dispute—but they all worship money.” (Mark Twain, 1935)
The volatility of the world’s stock markets has investors on edge. China has cut interest rates five times since November, trying to boost its sluggish economy; yet yesterday the value of China’s stocks plummeted 8.5%, triggering a wave of major stock market losses worldwide—including the Dow, which fell 3.6%, declining more than 1,000 points, then finishing with its second drop of more than 500 points in two days.
This morning, investors are breathing a sigh of relief as Wall Street stock futures are again on the rise and European markets are apparently bouncing back.
Some financial analysts view this upheaval as a long-overdue “correction.” But many investors are on the verge of panic. USA Today reports that for several hours last night and this morning, people in China were searching for the term “stock crash” on Chinese search engines. They were informed that “in accordance with the relevant laws, some search results have not been displayed.”
Americans who have been regularly investing in the stock market using “dollar-cost averaging”—investing the same amount each month regardless of how the stock market is doing—view this downdraft as another opportunity to “buy low” in hopes that one day they can “sell high.”
As Christians, this concern over money should cause us to reflect on and resist the captivation of greed. Scripture tells us that greedy people are idolaters—pursuing money in place of God, trying to find satisfaction in wealth (Ephesians 5:5). When Rockefeller was asked, “How much money does it take to make a person happy?”, he responded, “Just a little bit more.” Enough is never enough.
It’s difficult to “lie down in green meadows” and “rest beside peaceful streams” if we’re preoccupied with accumulating more money. It is true that money talks—it says “bye-bye.” And no matter how much we have, we know we can’t take it with us when we die; so why let it consume us while we live. Of course, money is important—we need it to pay our bills. But money is not everything; it’s not even enough—our heart restlessly cries out for more.
Martin J. Nystrom’s song “As the Deer” reminds us that God is the source of contentment—“I want You more than gold or silver, only You can satisfy; You alone are the real joy-giver and the apple of my eye. You alone are my strength and shield, to You alone may my spirit yield. You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship You.”
Jesus had a lot to say about money. If we would be truly rich, we would do well to pay attention to His words.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where thieves do not break in and steal. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:19, 20, 24 NLT).
Johnny R. Almond
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity
Interim Pastor, Nomini Baptist Church; Montross, Virginia