There are four subjects that can cause a conversation to quickly reach a boiling point: politics, religion, music and money. Don’t believe me? Start talking about any one of those things at your next family get together and even your Uncle Fred, who manages to sleep through every football game and gift exchange, will rise up and spew forth an opinion.

Referring to an elected official (any will do), someone will say, “That sleaze is nothing but a liar.” Uncle Fred will pipe up with, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.” If Grandma, trying to clear the air of tension, mentions how much she enjoyed the sermon, Uncle Fred will give his opinion of all things “churchy” with just one syllable: “Humph.”

Just in case you think I’m picking on Uncle Fred, don’t forget Aunt Matilda’s reaction to the music coming from the teenagers gathered in the basement. “Is that what they call music these days? Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams are rolling over in their graves at the shame of it all.” Cousin Gertrude will not so kindly point out that Andy Williams is not dead, but is crooning away with the rest of the “real musicians” in Branson, Missouri. Someone else will point out that the best thing Andy Williams ever did was give Donny Osmond his first solo gig on national TV. Then someone will start singing, "I’m a little bit Country," and someone else will join in, “And I’m a little bit rock ’n’ roll.” At this point, everyone under 40 will bolt from the room.

But when it comes to money, everyone has to have a say. Grandparents lament over the cost of milk, eggs, and bread. Moms and dads lament over the cost of higher education for their kids. Sons and daughters lament over their parents’ constant admonition: “You want to buy something, get a job so you can pay for it yourself.” We may disagree about politics, religion and music, but concerning money, we all agree that things cost too much, and we never have enough money.

We will sympathize with those who paid full price for something only to find that it went on sale the next day. We will console those who find out that buying cheap doesn’t necessarily mean buying quality. We will shake our heads in agreement that the price of everything from movie tickets to automobiles to groceries to a gallon of gas to visits to the doctor’s office is way out of line.

We complain that we make more money than ever before, but we never seem to have enough money to go around. We say we aren’t greedy, but the thing of it is, we love money.

We love what we can do with money. We hate not having money, because we hate not being able to do what we want. We say we aren’t greedy, but we always seem to want just a bit more money than what we have right now.

The Bible has a lot to say about being content with the money we have. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” Hebrews 13:5 tells us: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Paul says, in Philippians 4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

It’s simple, really. The less we lean on God’s providence for us, the more we yearn for money. The less we put our trust in God, who never fails us, the more we trust in ourselves and the money we earn. The more we rely on the power of our money, the less we rely on the power of our God.

Notice I am not saying we should not work to make money. I am not saying we should make unwise financial decisions based on the assumption that God will provide for us, even in the midst of our careless spending.

What I am saying is we should be content with our current circumstances. We who have an eternal security that no amount of money can buy are the richest of them all, no matter what’s in our wallets.

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