“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
I’ve written before about my struggles with materialism. I grew up with a distorted view of money, namely that having lots of it was vital to my happiness in life. Now, I could say that I got that message while growing up in a worldly-minded home. That is true. But it’s also true that faulty thoughts can take root and stay firmly planted, which is exactly what happened in my case.
I’m reminded of this because of a discussion my husband and I had this morning about our budget. This subject has always been a trigger for me, one that I truly thought I had a handle on. For years I couldn’t have a rational talk with him about spending habits, because to me budget = deprivation. But after a lot of prayers and study and just plain growing up a bit, my heart changed – or so I thought.
Then today at the table, it all came flooding back: the fear, the dread, the angst. It caught me by surprise,u but it shouldn’t have. After all, I’m still human, even if a slightly more mature one, and our tendencies always lean toward wanting more than we have.
So, it looks like it’s time to pull some verses out to study again. I love this one from Proverbs in particular. It’s a very wise prayer, one that describes how easy it is to go wrong in our attitude and actions when it comes to money. Honestly, I’ve gone in both those directions the writer describes, and neither leaves me contented.
Only one way of thinking about money leads me to the right place: recognizing that God is my Provider and He gives me what I need, no more, no less. And when I can humbly thank Him for that, I know I’m headed back on track.
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