How Do We Handle The Anxiety About Money And Life?
Responsible but Unafraid.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
When Patti and I went to the mission field for the first time in 1973, our total support need was, as I recall around $500 a month. Because we came out of a very mission committed church, that need was met in a matter of weeks.
If we had to do the same thing today, the need would easily be more than 10 times that amount. And, that is to say nothing about setting up a home, factoring in medical insurance, retirement, or buying a car. What took us three weeks to see God and His people provide, can easily take two and three years for missionaries today.
The words from God to us are unequivocal, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So, live free from the love of money. Live free!!
Not an easy thing in our day of thousand dollar mortgages or rent, or hundreds of dollars for car payments, to say nothing of $3.00 a gallon gas, and all that this symbolizes.
Can God really keep up with all of this inflated financial need? Will He be there when I can no longer earn my way through life? Is He bigger than social security and retirement accounts?
He says that He is! As I reflect upon these words of Hebrews 13 again, I come to at least three conclusions.
First, God is not saying be blithe fully relaxed and uninvolved in our own support. Created in the image of God, we were created to work. Paul adds in Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Second, don’t allow fear to take up residence in your mind and heart. Fear and greed move every concept of financial integrity in our nation. We hear it repeatedly in the broader public discourse. Just about everything we are “sold” about education, investment, happiness, etc. are all connected to either greed or fear. We deserve it! Watch out that you don’t miss out!
Third, God is not saying that we should ignore work or fiscal responsibility. We will have to make hard decisions about life work, spending habits, stewarding our assets wisely to the benefit of others, and how to prepare for the day when we will not be able to work with the same intensity.
But, He is saying, ignore most of what you hear around you. Push back in your heart, on the fear that can and does assail us from time to time. Embrace my promise: I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am with you in the journey. No matter how it turns out, I will not only show you a way, I will take you to myself when the earthly portion of journey is over.
In that moment, and in that place, we will wonder why we ever worried!