Sometimes I get really sad about the fact that we live in a culture that connects a “good life” with a life a money, splendor and things. As the first month of my six month shopping ban comes to an end, I’ve really been thinking about my relationship with money. In short – it’s an unhealthy one. But this isn’t news to me, I’ve always maintained an unhealthy relationship with money and spending and wanting ALL THE THINGS. To feel acceptance. To look better off than I am. To fill a void of some kind. The list goes on and on. In this little challenge I’ve presented myself, I am learning how to maintain a relationship with money that is healthy and faith enhancing.
I’ve always been anxious about money. Growing up we didn’t have a whole lot of it so when I started making my own I didn’t know what to do with it. Instead of saving I learned how to spend it on frivolous things so that it looked like I was better off than I was. I began to find far more joy in shopping than in most things, which is not how life should be. I let it become an idol in my life. It was and will always be a type of addiction for me, this wanting the money to by the things because if I have the new gadget, the new ‘IT’ sweater or shoes, the latest and greatest then I am living the “good life” to those looking in.
But is that how life should be lived? No, of course not. Unfortunately I’ve always been one to let other’s perception of me be more important than God’s perception of me. I tend to loose myself in being accepted and comparing my life, my accomplishments, my failures to those that I aspire to be like. (FYI, this is horrible for a blogger…) My concern should not be in others but in my identity as a child of our Savior.
Right now, in this time of reflection, I’m asking God to work on my heart and on my relationship with money because in the end it is the issue that is keeping me from living my “good life.” This money that I’m not spending is not being horded but being used for what its intended to do, pay bill, childcare, mortgage, get us out of debt. My hope is that once we’re even keel on all things money then maybe I could do something with it that helps other people.
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