We’re honored to be joined again by author and speaker Paul Tripp, the author of the book Sex and Money. We could do a whole week on money issues, but we have one day. So here it is. What are some symptoms of a life that is ruled by a love of money? What are some prompts that should alert us to this love in our own hearts?
Well that is a huge, huge question. The love of money is deeper than, “I like to hold it in my hands. I like to smell it. I like to have a fat wallet.” Love of money is really about contentment. Love of money is about humility. Love of money is about identity. Love of money is about worship that really roots at deep issues.
Disccontent and Debt
Maybe the most subtle indication of love of money is an ongoing, chronic discontentment in me that, no matter what I have, I am still not content. Maybe the biggest sign in the church of our discontent is debt. It is shocking the amount of debt that the individual Christian is in. If you could view the average debt load of the average Christian, you would be amazed. And if that debt load could be removed, how much more flexibility would we have to participate in and to give to the larger agenda of God’s kingdom?
We now have a system called credit cards where we can actually spend money we don’t have. It is an act of disobedience to put something on a credit card that you could not afford with cash or that you do not have a reasonable plan to pay by cash, because you are now taking sovereignty and ownership over your financial wellbeing.
Stuff Is Not Contentment
Well, no one has that. Only God has that. Only God knows what he is going to provide for you tomorrow. And in places outside of something like a house, where you don’t have any choice, I think we are doing that all the time: we are spending what we have no reasonable expectation to be able to pay.
Why? Because our hearts are discontent, and we are hoping that money will purchase for us contentment of heart. And it will never do that because it is not the role of money. So we love money because we think money is a pathway to contentment. And it is just not, because money can’t buy contentment. It can buy you stuff. But it can’t buy you contentment.