By Donna Gibbs
Money, Money, Money! Money! That little jingle goes through my mind everytime I check out at the grocery store. If I told you our weekly grocery bill, you’d drop your jaw! We’re feeding a crowd of growing boys over here, and let me tell you, calories cost! But, I’m grateful for money. We’d starve over here without it.
Money is a topic covered heavily in scripture – over 800 times! I often hear people reference money as being evil. That is actually an incorrect quotation of scripture. The verse actually says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is our attachment to money, rather than money itself, that is a potential root of evil. We do lots of marriage counseling at Summit. We certainly see the potential of money to create division in a couple – disagreement over how to use the money they have (do we save it and provide security for tomorrow? Do we spend it on enjoyable things today because we can’t take it with us when we die?) Couples may have disagreement over debts, spending habits, spending addictions, or even what to do with an inheritance. Evil is just looking for a place to land….and sometimes money is that place.
My friend, Dr Dennis Swanberg, wrote a book that touches on this topic. He writes in “Planting Shade Trees” about the opportunity we each have to leave a godly legacy. He says that an “X” marks the spot, our spot, of planting a shade tree. A shade tree is something we create, that others can sit under. The “X” marks our point of legacy.
Swan says it better than I could, “The best way to look at money is liquid life, concentrated living, printed personal energy, engraved influence on a piece of paper owned by Uncle Sam. You work, you earn, you invest, you gain – all under the blessing of God. Although those bills have Hamilton and Lincoln and Franklin printed on them, they could just as well have your face printed on them. They are a concentrated evidence of your gifts, your talents, your thrift, your willingness to risk, your education, your influence, and your energy. Money is printed, concentrated life. When you take it out of your bank account and plant a shade tree with it, you have used your energy and your life to do something at the “X” that God has marked for you”.
I’m immediately reminded of an anonymous donor that we had at one point in our counseling ministry. Their anonymous gifts were used to provide assistance for counseling fees for many families. Though I never had the privilege of thanking them personally, they planted many shade trees that have provided hope and healing for their beneficiaries. Their money was used as “liquid life”.
Life is short. Do want to leave a mark? – Do you want to plant shade trees for others? Yes, money has the potential of creating devastation. But, it also provides “liquid life” and is a resource that can make a difference in the lives of others. Watch out for the pitfalls of money – even get help with it if you need it. Then, look for the “X” God has marked for you…and pour in some “liquid life”. That, my friends, is a healthy relationship with money.
For more information about Dr. Swanberg’s book, Planting Shade Trees, see his website at: http://www.dennisswanberg.com/
Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, her blogs are frequently shared in various media outlets, and she is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for more than twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse.
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