Putting Money in its place
1Timothy 6:9-11 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Money is defined as “any object or record, that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment. Any kind of object or secure verifiable record that fulfills these functions can serve as money.” For most of the ancient world, land and property (especially animals) were the basis of economy and security. Coinage wasn’t really used until 600-500 B.C. The Lydian coin, minted in what is today Turkey, was perhaps the first. As a result, barter was the basis of most transactions. Today, notes and coins (let’s not forget bills and checks) are already slowly being replaced by digital money. For example, six years ago AC Nielsen said that only 10% of transactions in the US would be cash by the year 2020. From a technological point of view, the cashless society is already here. PayPal has 150 million accounts, which makes it bigger than most national banks. In South Korea, based on statistics four million banking transactions were carried out via cell phone way back in June of 2004.
Money in whatever form is an integral part of our lives and businesses. People during Biblical times operated in similar ways as today with regards to making money. In most cases, in the biblical era people made a living working as servants, laborers, working for a single employer and some went the business route providing services to multiple customers. As Christians workers today we are to utilize money (and our investments) simply as tools for expanding the work of God around the world, for our families and church and, for helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
To help me keep money in perspective; I have on my desk a hammer with the word “money’ etched into the handle. For me, this symbol (hammer) reminds me that money is in fact a tool and should not be idolized. Perhaps, you have other ways to deal with this, whatever it may be; pray that you do not get distracted and always go to God first. He will surely guide you concerning the use of money.