For the Love of Money
Q. I have a friend who has a real problem with money. He brags about how much he makes from his part-time job and stockpiles money. In fact, he won't take his girlfriend out because "it costs too much." Every time I try to talk about it, he blows me off and denies there's a problem. What can I tell him?
A. I think you have basically done what you can do. You hopefully spoke the truth in love, he heard your concerns, and apparently blew you off. But you did your part. You're not responsible for how he responds.
So now what? Pray for him and be his friend. Period. Sure, you can periodically make comments, but he's stuck in denial. Believe me, your friend heard you. He absorbed what you had to say. Even through he didn't respond as you had hoped, I am sure you laid out the truth in a good way. But his pride isn't allowing him to take it to heart. Sometimes it takes more than one friend sharing the same concern to get through to him. Oftentimes it takes hitting bottom to look for help.
The way we handle money is very much a spiritual issue. Did you know there are more than 2,350 verses about money in the Bible? Why? A book called Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton explains that how we use money is important for three reasons: 1) it impacts our fellowship with God; 2) it's the chief competitor with Christ for lordship over our lives; 3) money molds our characters. Reading what the Bible says about money is challenging and enriching. (For starters, check out: Luke 16:11, Matthew 6:24, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12.)
I once had a guy in my youth group a lot like your friend. He was always bragging about money. He drove a really nice car and always dressed in the most expensive clothes he could get. As I spent more time with him, I realized he was an insecure guy with a really poor self-image. I believe his material comforts and boasting helped him feel better about who he was. He wanted to impress others with his material wealth. Interestingly enough, when God got hold of him, his heart toward money changed radically. He lost his love for money and found his true calling with God. Please pray that something like that happens with your friend.
Jim is an author, longtime youth worker and founder of HomeWord, a group seeking to honor God through strong families.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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