What’s your relationship with money?  I think we’d all agree money is necessary.  We need money to live.  We need to save money for rainy days, retirement, college and a bunch of other things.  It’s why we show up at work each day.  It’s the product of our toil.  But what’s the source of this money?  Is it us and us alone, making it completely and wholly ours?  Maybe not.

If you acknowledge you’re God’s creation, which we would all like to believe we are, then whatever talents we have come from God.  If we in turn use those abilities to make money, the root source of that money is God.  That’s a long chain of brain dealins’ and maybe part of the reason we struggle with how we view money so much.  We know we’re called to be giving just as God gives to us.  So does that mean money shouldn’t be such a big deal and we should just give it away now?  (Thank you Red Hot Chili Peppers)  On the contrary, money is a huge deal.

Our money is a gift from God; even though it may not feel like it some days as you shell out money here and money there and then try to make more of it.  If money talks and we listen, it might seem like most days it’s telling us we’re enslaved to it; the making of it, the spending of it and (if we’re lucky) the saving or investing of it.  Society tells us that having more money is what we ought to shoot for in our lives.  The world tells us to accumulate money and make sure we don’t give any more of it away than we absolutely have to.  After all, it’s our money, right?  Not so fast grasshopper.

Remember that whole child of God thing above?  Well, along with being made by Him we’re called to act toward his other kids in the same manner he’s treated us.  God’s given us so much, how can we hoard all that those gifts have made it possible to get for ourselves?  God provided for us first and he’s telling us to give it away to others.  He tells us that if we do not only will he replace what we’ve given he’ll give us back “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”  (That’s from Luke 6:38)  Think of it like the best investment you ever made but unlike any stock, bond or mutual fund this one won’t suffer from mergers and acquisitions, market corrections or world calamities.  After all, our advisor put the whole market in place.  You’re going to win, but you can’t win if you don’t invest.  You have to give it away because honestly, money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Money can’t buy happiness (yes, I know, “but you eat better”) and it certainly can’t ensure contentment.  Far from it.  In fact, the constant struggle to get more actually works just the opposite way.  Jesus knew that all too well.  Over half of the parables he told were about material things.  More than heaven and more than hell, Jesus sought to set us straight on this idea of wealth.  Ever the counter-culturalist, Jesus told us that we should give away what we most value.  He told stories advocating the casting about and spreading around of all our talents.  Giving away what we’ve been given is central to Jesus’s teaching.  In the end, you can’t always get what you want but you just might find you get what you need.  Rolling Stones references aside, being your own emancipator might be just that.

When we operate the way Jesus taught, in the direction God wants us to go; we throw off those shackles society says we have to wear.  There’s no better way to diminish the hold something has on us than to give it away.  Giving freely, tithing, will change your relationship with money.  I know that’s a bold statement, Cotton, but it’s true.  So give it a spin.  See if your relationship with money changes.  Who knows, you just might be transformed.

Money is such a charged and personal subject that often we just avoid talking about it.  I think in regards to giving, that’s something we ought to change.  I hope you’ll give more than you think possible for a while just to see if the guy upstairs doesn’t provide even more blessings than you ever thought possible.

I write every week about life and things we wrestle with on a daily basis.  If you want to read more, click here to go to my blog’s home page.  I offer a free subscription if you would like to receive an email on Saturdays with links to the week’s posts.  You can sign up at the blog or here by clicking this.  Please don’t worry, I never sell or share emails so you won’t get a bunch of junk.