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An Investment of Trust

January 30th, 2009

Focus Text: Proverbs 11: 28 (NLT)

 28 Trust in your money and down you go!
      But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Economic recessions.  Global downturns.  Negative financial trends.  We certainly are no strangers to these themes.  When money issues arise, the world reacts.  In fact, all that’s really needed to cause an economic downturn is a decrease in consumer confidence.  Of course there are issues of budgeting, over-spending, and poor planning, but a lack of confidence is a real shot to the economy.

It goes something like this: a man watches a news story about the possibility of financial troubles on the horizon.  Suddenly, the desire to spend becomes less-powerful and he skips out on on that big purchase that he was contemplating.  The thing is, though, another million guys saw that same story.  So they decide to skip out as well.  Therefore, less products are bought, resulting in poor sales and decreased income.  This results in increased prices and employee layoffs from companies and producers.  Now there are less jobs, more unemployed workers, and a general lesser amount of money flowing in the economy.  So, the news stations report on these trends and a woman watching the story decides not to make some of the purchases she was contemplating.  The thing is, though, another million women saw the same story and the cycle begins again.

It all begins with confidence.  Trust.

Historically, very few issues affect the daily lives of people more than money.  Just consider the fact that when the stock market crashed in 1929, people were jumping off of skyscrapers.  Now that’s a telling piece of information.  How entrenched is our trust in money when we would rather lose our lives than face life without it?  

Relationally, financial hard times are the leading cause of divorce.  When I do premarital counseling, I always advice couples of the statistics and the need for them to pre-agree on some crucial issues before they hit the ups and downs of managing money in marriage.

Even when it comes to health, money is a major player.  Stress-related conditions and everyday mental health both suffer when one’s life is spent anxiously worrying over money.  Believe me, I sympathize with those who worry.

This issue of financial trust isn’t confined to adulthood either.  Teenagers find their “freak out” in the same issues.  Where am I going to go to college?  How much is it going to cost?  What will I major in?  Will this major produce a job for me?  How much will that job pay?  Will it be enough to survive on?  Will it be enough to support a family?  Thus, questions about money are at the center of life’s most crucial decisions at the most influential moments of maturity.

When it all comes down, it’s still about trust and where we “cash in” on security. Solomon, the richest man who has ever lived, understood this principle when we wrote, “Trust in your money and down you go!”  Notice he’s not speaking about not having any money at all.  At times, scriptures like these produce the temptation to take the extreme road of never giving any thought to money.  However, this verse acknowledges that the person in question has some money; they just aren’t supposed to trust in it.

Trust, not wealth or poverty, is the key.  Trust is internal.  It is the personal choice we make about where to deposit our security and confidence.  It’s like the airbag in my car.  I’m glad I have it and certainly hope that it helps in an accident, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to just take my hands off the wheel and see what happens.  I need the airbag, but I don’t trust in it.

We need money, but security placed in financial stability is unsafe.  It will crash eventually and no amount of money has ever brought real peace of mind in the long haul of life . . . or else why would the richest man in culture’s history have written something as direct as this?

The verse continues with the correct location to place our trust: “But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.”  Placing one’s full trust in God is a different story. He has no “downward trends.”  Spring is a season and that’s exactly what the child of God understands: sometimes there will be seasons of cold winter, but that’s no reason to take dives from tall buildings.  We trust that God is in control despite the news reports and that His seasons will again bring spring.

I really don’t mean to come off pseudo-spiritual and impractical with this concept. Just remember that money is an important component of life, but our source of security is our choice.  It’s a personal priority shift.  Trusting in God is simply a good investment.  He will never be forced to layoff heavenly staff.  He is not controlled or defined by consumer confidence.  All in all, security found in His care has no chance of default.


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