This Week in Church: Money Money Money

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

Usually, when there is a sermon on money in church, it is about how we are supposed to be giving more money to the church. Maybe that's where this sermon series will go, but this first one didn't even touch on it.

This week in church we talked about satisfaction.

The equation for satisfaction: whatever the thing is + more = satisfaction.

I have been reflecting lately on how I always feel tight for cash. I felt tight for cash back when I was living on $1,000/month and I feel tight for cash making a lot more than that. Why? Partially, my life expenses have gone up. When I started earning more money I stopped living in moldy basement suites and even started saving for when I'm old. But also, I seem to expect myself to be able to do just a little bit more, all the time.

It's whatever the thing is, and more. Whatever I can truly afford, plus a little more, that I want.

This week in church we talked about abundance.

I still struggle with this notion, to be honest. The "abundant universe" or "abundant God" idea.

Here's the part I fully agree with: if you approach your life from a place of gratitude and abundance, believing that you have enough, then you will be more likely to feel like you have enough and experience that elusive satisfaction described above. It takes off the "plus more" part of the equation and lets you take joy in what you've got.

The part I struggle with is the part that says, "God is a God of abundance. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Trust him and don't worry about money." It's a perfectly fine middle-and-upper-class philosophy. But what about the poor? The truly poor, I mean? Sure, I can say that they still get what they need, one way or another, so look at God providing for them! But that rings a bit hollow when people can't afford medication or have to choose between groceries and rent or are begging for scraps from indifferent passers-by.

This begs some questions: is it their fault for not trusting God enough? Is it God's fault for forsaking them? If they can be forsaken, what about me? Are they supposed just be grateful for being alive and that's it? Do I need to broaden my definition of what it means for God to "take care of" someone to include the child who pretends he's not hungry so his mom will eat something? If so, I don't know that I want that kind of care.

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