Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York, in his book Counterfeit Gods, gives four questions to ask about your money:
Archbishop William Temple once said, “Your religion is what you do with your solitude”. What he meant by that is what does your heart run to when it has a spare moment to think privately?
Author and finance teacher Ron Blue says, “A life story could be written from a checkbook. It reflects your goals, priorities, convictions, relationships, and even the use of your time. A person who has been a Christian for even a short while can fake prayer, Bible study, evangelism, going to church, and so on, but he can’t fake what his checkbook reveals.”
Your Functional Savior
I just recently did a post asking if money is your functional savior. I encourage you to check out that post. But, these folks view money or what it brings as what will save them from their misery and bring them ultimate joy! What is it that you are viewing as bringing you the ultimate happiness and joy?
Anger, bitterness, fear, doubt, despair, guilt – are just a few emotions that we can rattle off here. Emotions aren’t wrong – they are good – in fact they help us express what we are feeling. Have you ever thought about the emotions you have surrounding your money? Keller says that our most uncontrollable emotions reveal what kind of idols we have.
If you’re angry, ask yourself, “Is there something here too important to me that I must have at all costs?”
If you are fearful or despairing, ask yourself, “Am I scared because something I view as so important is being threatened that I think is a necessity when it is not?”
Ask, “Is this thing (promotion, money, etc.) so important to me that I must have it to feel fulfilled?"
Keller says, When you ask questions like that, when you “pull your emotions up by the roots as it were, you will often find your idols clinging to them.”