It used to be that when people asked me what I write about I would respond with something vague about money, materialism and the attitudes that get us into debt. Though that is true, I’ve come to realize that these things were nothing more than band-aids covering up much deeper issues. I know, duh. But, hey, I’m a slow learner. The funny thing is that once we got our finances under control, the real work started. I don’t know about you, but in my life there are layers and layers of “issues” that God has been picking away at.
Today’s post is the first in a series of three regarding the main reasons for why I have found myself in some of my financial predicaments over the years. Let me be clear: these are my mistakes; not an attempt to blame anyone or anything. They are my actions, my responsibilities. With that said, I have to take it all the way back to Eve. Poor Eve. She’s been dragged through the mud for centuries. She believed Satan’s underhanded lie that somehow who God made her to be was not quite complete, like He was holding out on her. But one bite of that apple and she’d be set for the life she really needed and deserved.
Good grief! I can totally relate. I can’t tell you how many infomercials I’ve succumbed to being totally convinced that whatever product they’re selling will somehow complete my life. So out comes the credit card that I’m already behind on paying, and on it goes another useless purchase all in the name of completing me. We always hear about how visual men are. It’s true. They are. But what about women? We have eyes too for heaven’s sake! If we didn’t the commercials would institute much different marketing ploys to sell their wares to us. If we weren’t so visual we wouldn’t spend so much time looking at each other and secretly wondering why God didn’t give us her hair, her figure, her perfect skin.
I know I talk a lot about money, but I have been $25,000 in debt on a $30,000 salary. I have bought houses, clothes, cars, vacations, all manner of things in an effort to improve on myself and my life, believing the lie that this is the stuff that matters and the stuff that will make me matter. None of it delivered what it promised.
Satan has spent all of history studying human nature. He’s smart. He knows his enemies, and he has enlisted an army of minions to attack us knowing he has the potential to destroy what God has so carefully and lovingly made, us. He can’t take away our salvation, but he sure can paralyze us with insecurities and unnecessary comparisons rendering us completely useless in bringing other people to Christ.
So what does God say about me? Well, for starters I’m made in His image (Gen. 1:27). He could have stopped there, and it would have been enough. But He didn’t.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).
And for the piece de resistance, John 17 should do it.
“I pray also for those who will believe in me” (vs. 20a)
“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (vs. 23).
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am” (vs. 24a).
Maybe we should bold print the entire Bible! At the risk of sound trite and cliché, it’s all there in God’s love letter to us. Why is it so much easier to listen to and believe the voices around us rather than God’s? I’m still trying to figure that out. In the meantime, on the days that I am feeling less than lovely, poor and frustrated, these are the verses I cling to for dear life.