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Money: A Bad Master

Faith & Finance

Christian talk radio with Rob West

November 24, 2022

English statesman Francis Bacon once wrote, Money is a great servant but a bad master. Either we can control money or it can control us. Today on MoneyWise, we’ll talk about how you can make money a great servant. We hear a lot that money can’t buy happiness. But it’s often followed by a joke along the lines of, Sure, but it makes misery more comfortable. The truth is that even thinking that money can buy happiness can make matters worse. 1 Timothy 6: 10 reads, For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Expecting that more money will always make your life better is a recipe for disappointment or worse. MONEY AND HAPPINESS The Ron Blue Trust has a great article on this. It points out that there’s a disconnect between what the world says and what the world does. It may tell you that "money can't buy happiness, " but then it tries to convince you that it can. TV commercials are notorious for conveying the message that buying the latest car, clothes, or gadget will make your life better. Of course, you need money to buy those things, so what is the commercial really saying? That more money will make your life more enjoyable. But often the reverse is true. More money can actually lead to less joy in your life. The greater your wealth, the greater the burden it can put on your life if things begin to own you instead of the other way around. How do we know it’s true? We can listen to folks who had more money than they knew what to do with. John D. Rockefeller, who amassed about $420 billion with his Standard Oil Company, said plainly, "I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness. " Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and at his death in 1947, he was worth around 200 billion in today’s dollars. What did he say about having vast wealth? "I was happier when I was doing a mechanic's job. " Of course, Scripture has its own story. King Solomon, whom the Bible tells us was the richest man who ever lived, writes in Ecclesiastes 5: 10, He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income, this also is vanity. So those are all people who experienced great wealth but none of the joy that we expect to come with it. In his book, Generous Living, Ron Blue says this is based on two wrong assumptions. First, that more money will give you more freedom and satisfaction. Second, that more money will take away your fear of not having enough. But in reality, more money often just creates new problems. Ron put it like this, quoting now "Since there are always unlimited ways to spend limited dollars, it doesn't matter whether you make $20, 000 or $200, 000 per year. You will always have choices to make. More money simply means more choices. And more choices mean more complexity, more confusion, and more time spent mulling over options. Taken together, all of these things add up to less freedom. " Okay, so instead of reducing fear, having more assets can actually increase it, because the more you have in your home or investment accounts, the more you have to lose. We see that panic every time the stock market takes a dive, as it did this year. WHAT’S THE ANSWER? So what’s the solution? It’s what we say time and time again, the only way to get rid of your financial fears is to acknowledge that it’s not your money. When you fully assume your correct role as steward of the resources God entrusts to you, you begin to put your trust in Him, not money. The Lord will always provide for your needs. What He expects in return is that you honor Him with the way you use it. And that includes managing it wisely and being generous to those less fortunate. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying God’s provision. He wants that for us. But things quickly turn bad when we expect our bank accounts to take away fear and give us peace and security. Only God can do that. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is there a way to get out of a timeshare? ● Should a church invest money? ● What is the best way to invest for retirement as an entrepreneur? ● What’s the wisest way to sell a business without paying a painful amount in taxes? ● What is the best way to invest money in the current market? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Betterment ● Wealthfront ● Schwab Intelligent Portfolio ● National Christian Foundation

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