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What Does Money Mean to You?

| October 26, 2018
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"Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10 NIV).

A typical carpenter’s tool bag has a few necessities: a tape measure, a hammer, screwdrivers, a pencil, and a utility knife; tools that allow the user an opportunity to create, build, and even serve others when the project is finished.

It can be a fulfilling experience when you employ tools in your work, especially when you use them for the good of others. 

The same descriptors(and even the results) can be applied to the concept of money.  In my work as a Financial Advisor, this concept of (for) money as a tool in its simplest form is often overlooked.

That is correct….money is a tool that you can either possess for yourself or you can utilize it for the benefit of others.  And we can also view money as something that gives us comfort, security, power, leverage, and much more.  Money is a tool that is imperative to any pursuit of well-being in our economy.

It is a tool that can cause you to lose sleep or create anxiety or it can provide us with moments of happiness. 

However, money doesn’t make our choices to pursue good or evil, we do.    Money is neutral, it can take no action without the one who has possession of it.

It reflects the emotions and decisions of its owner.  Therefore, it is the owner of the tool who has to be willing to accept both the benefits and the consequences.  I believe that switching up our ability to see and understand money as a tool can free us from being enslaved by money, giving us the ability to unplug emotion, and maybe…just maybe…see money as God the Creator of all things(including money)intended us to see and experience it.

One thing that I enjoy talking about with people is why money is important to them.  It is common to hear “I’m not sure” or “to maintain my lifestyle in retirement.”

The most unique thought I‘ve heard expressed was money allowed the pursuit of that which is good.

As an economist, I can’t help but think about Adam Smith’s “the invisible hand;”  an ever present, active force in the marketplace that works when the individual pursues that which is good for the individual, and the unintended benefit is that it ends up being good for the economy.

A quick example would be: choosing to spend your money on items that bring the greatest value is a win-win.  The buyer is better off because they get their item, and the seller is better off because they sell something at a value they are willing to sell for. 

My goal for this post is not to open up a debate on economic theory(although that would be great if you are so inclined) but to hopefully cause you to think about adapting a new definition, and practice for the way you think about money, as you consider how best to steward the resources God has given you and your family

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