I’m a saver. No surprise, I’m sure, to longtime Line readers.
I used to think that was a great thing. Now, I’m thinking it’s a good thing with a caveat.
The caveat? I see more and more how Satan wants to lure my natural money inclinations and pervert them. To turn me into an independent, I-don’t-need-my-daily-bread-I’ve-got-a-thousand-loaves-in-the-bank-thank-you-very-much, kind of gal.
- Insecurity: “Jesus prays that God will give us our daily bread, but the idea of waking up every morning to see what God will provide is petrifying. So we stock pile. We save. We collect. Just so we can feel safe. The reality is that if God can take care of us today in abundance (so we have enough to save), he certainly can provide our needs tomorrow.”
- Pride and Status: “… sometimes people save more than they need in order that they might be noticed, recognized, or honored. They thrive on the attention that comes from the status of wealth. God has been removed from the center of their lives, and like those who participated at the Tower of Babel, they seek only to make a name for themselves.”
- Greed: “Associated with pride is greed. Greed is the love of accumulation without regard for anything or anyone else. Greed is a machine that destroys anything in its way to get what it wants. Some people are the modern day Silas Marner or Scrooge. They save to feed an inward beast called greed.”
- Fear: “Fear is insecurity on steroids. Some people fear the idea of not having savings. This is typically because they have experienced some type of traumatic event. Perhaps they grew up in poverty … So they save everything they can because they are petrified of what might happen if they are ever found to be without.
I probably struggle with #1 the most. And I cringe even as I read the “daily bread” reference. The finance nerd in me wants to yell at the screen, “Oh yeah, what about the ant?” And considering that the American savings rate was actually in the negative not so very long ago, I tend to think of analyzing whether we should save with the same attitude as I would think of analyzing whether we need to breathe.
But, as Ford points out, there are good reasons for saving — including avoiding becoming a financial burden on the church and to participate in generous giving.
So, I just need to check my attitudes and my account balances on a regular basis. My attitude: Am I seeing my needs taken care of during a spiritually productive retirement or am I seeing Bora Bora? My accounts: Is my storehouse overflowing (or on target to overflow) with more than I’ll ever need? Is it time to put some of that into use for God’s kingdom right now? Good questions.