Is Money a Priority?
Why am I writing a series on money?
First, I’m writing it to exorcise my own demons concerning money.
Second, I’m writing it for those who have hangups about money too.
In 2010 I went to a conference about money. Something to do with millionaire mind. I distinctly remember it dawning on me while listening to one of the speakers: “Holy smokes! I have really serious hangups about money!”
During the conference we were asked to separate ourselves in to four groups related to our different attitudes about money. I ended up in a group whose hangups about money were spiritual, people who believed that money was dirty and polluted spiritual matters. Our group was by far the smallest. It was interesting to me how so many people also had hangups about money, and it was fascinating to me that the people in my group really understood each other. I knew I had work to do. I simply had to heal myself of this disease about money. I’m doing well. That conference was many years ago, and I still wonder how the others in my group have progressed, or if they’re still back there crippled by their unhealthy beliefs about money.
Around that time I read a book about money. In it, the author says something like, “If you want money in your life, you have to make it your number one priority!” My Christian belief reacted vehemently to that advice. God is supposed to be number one! For me, it felt like I was doomed forever to my money disease because I would never make money number one in my life. I recently read another book on money that said the same thing: money had to be number one if I wanted it.
And I just couldn’t do that. I still can’t.
I’ve asked myself about these money experts: “Do they literally mean money has to be my number one priority in order for me to succeed with money?” Surely, if they have spouses or children, they would come before money. Surely, if they’re religious, their love of their God comes before their love of money.
This is how I think: Perhaps what they mean is that we need to have a healthy relationship with money in order to enjoy it properly. We can’t obsess over not having it or having it. It’s like any relationship, isn’t it? I love my wife dearly and she’s number one in my life, but if I constantly and totally fixated on her 24/7 and obsessed about her without ceasing, that would drive her crazy and raise deep concern about my mental health. Would it not? My wife and I have a good relationship. On the one hand I say that she’s number one in my life. On the other hand, I have other priorities too. In other words, our relationship is healthy, functional, and fulfilling. We are serious about one another, but we appreciate and respect one another’s spaces. Lisa is an amazing woman. When I’m at my lowest and pitying myself, I might think I don’t deserve her. But when I’m thinking clearly, I don’t only believe I deserve her, but I acknowledge that I must be pretty amazing that she chose me above all others to spend the rest of her life with. I also treat her with respect, dignity, love, and generosity to keep her in my life.
Likewise, by having a healthy relationship with money, it means not fixating on it or obsessing about it, but appreciating and respecting it for what it is. It means I value it. It even means overcoming self-pity to acknowledge that I really do deserve it in my life.
What’s your relationship with money?
Do you need help getting over your money hangups so you can get on with your life? Are you a pastor leaving the ministry? Or are you someone who’s going through deep changes in your faith? I facilitate an online community for people like you. But I also coach people one-on-one through these traumatic transitions. Read more about my coaching HERE.