Is Money the Love of Your Life?

Is Money The Love of Your Life?

Valentine’s Day often brings the ooshy-gushy feelings of LOVE that get us all excited.  It’s like (or can be) Christmas for Adults.  While you might be celebrating February 14th with the love of your life, do you have a second lover? Is money the love of your life?

The History of Money

While there are many (good and bad) money references in the Bible, possibly the most popular verses is “For the love of money is the root of all evil” written in 1st Corinthians.

Money in itself isn’t bad or evil.  We work so we can eat, have a warm house, and take vacations with our loved ones.  In our current time, money is a paper bill or metal coin with a number stamped on it.  The larger the number, the more valuable the coin or dollar bill.

Today, we use U.S. dollars, British pounds, Pesos, Euros, etc.  A hundred years ago, you would have had to use pesetas in Spain, liras in Italy, and francs in France.  Still a form of paper currency, but, now these forms of money are more valuable with collectors than banks.

Before the days of currency, cultures and civilizations traded with physical goods.  The Pilgrims used beads when they first landed in America, agrarian societies predominantly favored livestock.  We think of this as barter and it still thrives today.

Is Money the Love of Your Life

This bill is more valuable to collectors than a retailer.

Think about it, if you were stranded in the middle of Timbuktu and only had American dollar bills, they are pretty worthless to the local people that cannot exchange them for their local currency.  But, if you could pay them with chickens, cleaning their house, or cooking them a meal in exchange for helping you, you are “rich.”

The Love of Mammon

When we hear “the love of money” it’s easy for us to focus on the number of figures behind the $ sign in our monthly bank statement.  For several generations, paper currency has been the preferred source of payment.

A more accurate portrayal to understand the love of money is to actually view it as the love of mammon.

I know, you’re probably asking, “What’s mammon?”  No, it’s not some exotic animal or food, although I suppose it could be.

Wikipedia defines mammon as material wealth.

Our predominant form of mammon is the # of dollars in our bank account. It can also be the # of cars in the driveway, the big screen tv with NFL Sunday Ticket, climbing the corporate ladder to become more wealthy, or spoiling your children.

Is Money The Love of Your Life

Your “Mammon” might be what money can buy…not money itself

The Many Forms of Mammon

Real estate tycoons might want to own an entire town (think Potterville from It’s A Wonderful Life or the board game Monopoly).

Ranchers & farmers count their wealth in heads of cattle, arable acres, # of farms, etc.

Look into your own life.
Analyze why you work & how you spend your money and time.

 

Our Life Priorities

We make time for what’s most important to us.  People all the time say, “I want to start doing that but I don’t have the time.”

Why don’t you have the time?

Is it because you have to watch every football game on the tv each weekend?  Is spending 2 or 3 hours each afternoon at the gym that necessary?

Taking a second to analyze and tracking how you spend your time at work & away from work can be a great indicator of your life priorities.  Or you can ask your loved ones.

I’m not saying you need to be reckless or irresponsible.  You need to do what it takes to care for your family and pay the monthly bills. Don’t quit your job on a whim to spend more time with the kids when you need the income to live.

Gradually Shift Your Priorities

One of the reasons I accepted the job offer I did when graduated college was because it paid the most & I had bills to pay.  After paying off my student loans, I stayed because I was addicted to the paycheck and didn’t think I could live without it.

Despite leaving this job, my wife still needs to gently remind me at times that my initial focus of each conversation returns to money.

Here’s my real-life example (as I recall the dialog):

Wife: Do you like teaching or your old supervisor job more?

Me: I like the flexibility of teaching and being home each evening, but, I still wish I had the old paycheck.  Living on less now, I realized how much better I could have spent the money than.

Wife: Josh, you got paid all that money because you sold your life to them.  What you make now isn’t great, but, you don’t have the stress, politics, and long hours as you used to.  You’re happier now & won’t die of a stroke when you’re 50 either.
Stop thinking only about the money!  How many times have we gone without food or couldn’t pay the bills because you don’t work there anymore?  

Sure, we can’t go on fancy vacations to Europe or Hawaii, but, in this chapter of life with babies in diapers we really wouldn’t go anyway.

Thankfully I got a good one with my wife.  She continually challenges to make me out of my comfort zone in every facet of life.

Is Money The Love of Your Life

What I say at the end of these conversations!

Wealth Is Addicting

See a recurring theme?

I (& many others) value success by the size of our salaries.  It’s human nature to want more.  That’s good when harnessed for the correct purpose.

The want for more is what helps us understand more about the world and improve our quality of life.  It’s how we went from the Wright Brothers initial flight, to Charles Lindbergh’s trans-atlantic flight, to supersonic passenger flight.

I have been reading a book lately about life purpose called The Call by Os Guinness.  Truth be told, I bought this book in June 2013…I finally got past the 2nd chapter almost 4 years later.

One chapter of the book talks about famous business leaders & some of the motives behind their empires.

For example, Sam Walton was begged by his wife not to scale his Wal-Mart franchise beyond a few stores.  After the 18th store, she realized her request was futile.

One of Andrew Carnegie’s primary motives was to return to his hometown in Scotland as a hero as his family left because of financial hardship.  Early on, he told his mom one day they would be rich & ride around in horse-drawn carriages.  In reply, she said, “That would do us no good over here if no one in Dunfermline can see us.”

Use Your Wealth For Good

While there is a certain stigma if you make less than a certain dollar amount each year ($35,000/$50,000/$100,000 depending on your community and social circles), it’s okay to not make a lot if you are happy.  We are all blessed differently.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to do good.  Use the wealth you have to take care of your family and have a good quality of life.  Give to a charity at Christmas or for your children’s birthdays.  Start living within your means to finally accomplish your life goals.

Don’t Do It Alone

Sometimes we can’t see the forest from the trees in regards to our own shortcomings.  Other times we can and don’t know how to change.

If you want to change your “love” ask your spouse, a close friend, or mentor to help. If you are spiritual, pray.  Maybe they have noticed your flaws and have been waiting for an opportunity to help you become a better person.  Sometimes you just have to ask. 😉

Is Money the Love of Your Life?

You don’t have to do it alone…remember that “One is the loneliest number.”

Remember, it’s okay to have money & wealth.  But, know when to be happy with what you have and to make the most of it.  Also, don’t squander what you have, whether it’s a lot or very little.


What is your second “love?”  What are you willing to do to solely focus on what’s truly important?

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Josh
I'm a personal freelance writer.

17 Comments on "Is Money the Love of Your Life?"

  1. Chris Salamone | February 12, 2017 at 8:23 am | Reply

    Money first love my life, Well – the question is how it will last… but at as you say, the home brew will last longer, so a great achievement!

  2. I have to admit having money makes life a little easier 🙂

    Interestingly enough Os Guiness lives close by to me and actually came over to my house. We invited a bunch of people and honestly I don’t remember the topic now but I do remember thinking he is way smarter than I’ll ever be about the truths of the Bible. 🙂

    • That’s pretty cool! His writing is pretty deep, I will say there are a few sections I have re-read to fully understand it. Given his background, he has a perspective of life & the world that many of us don’t. I feel blessed to have been recommended his books a few years back.

  3. I’m Parker from Leverage – I LOVE money. Love love love it. It’s finally been relegated to second seat in my life after my family, partly because I’ve learned that it’s ok to take the risk of loving mortal creatures which was hard to accept after several devastating losses of family and friends over the years, and partly because my little family is pretty darn lovable.

    I still adore money and spend hours of the week thinking about it, and how to make more, save more, invest more, but it’s my hobby, hence blogging about it for a decade. It’ll always afford me some amusement/entertainment, and it’s good to keep my brain active even while it goes gooshy over adoptions, or rescuing animals or even trying to foster kids if we can make that happen in our future.

    • I love it too, if I need reminded I just ask my wife. There is plenty of great things to do with money & a disposable income. There’s charities we wish we could support now if we made more. The important thing is knowing when to live with what you got & appreciate it before you are too old to enjoy it or the people in your life move onto things or others that do show them the love they seek.

  4. Really great things to think about here. I think the love of money can look different ways for different people. Thanks for sharing your own examples and struggle with that. I know for me it’s the feeling of security that I am very drawn to. But real security doesn’t come from money, which is so important to remember!

    • Well said Kalie. The sense of security is why I stayed at my job AFTER I was debt-free. I liked making it, but, it was nice to know I didn’t have to balance my checkbook each month or live paycheck to paycheck. But, instead of worrying about the lack of money I found other worries instead like meeting the expectations of my boss, getting home in time to see the family before bed, etc.

  5. Like you and Kalie mention, it’s not money I love, per se, but the illusion of security I associate with it. I like the comfortable feeling of being able to handle emergencies and unexpected expenses, and I like the idea that it gives us more freedom of choice. That said, my family, friends and time are all priorities.

  6. It’s hard for me to find that balance between financial awareness/wisdom/vigilance and contentment. I used to have the idea, “We’ll pay off our debt and then be content.” But I’ve come to realize that there is (and good thing too!) contentment while paying off debt – and there will be a need to be financially vigilant once we’re debt-free and even financially free. It’s not an all-or-nothing thing. Thanks for this post. (And very sweet to acknowledge your wife as you have on Valentine’s Day : )

    • I’ve realized that I’m never content either whether it’s earning money, paying off debts, or saving money. I always want to do more than I physically can. And, thanks for the kinds words about Valentine’s Day, she enjoyed it.

  7. I love the security and the sense of peace money brings me. But after reaching a certain point, with an ample cushion, having more of it makes no difference whatsoever to me.

    I’m so happy for you that you have a smart wife!

    • That was a primary reason why I left my old job. It was great making all that money but our lifestyle didn’t require it. Of course, it is real difficult at times seeing what you left when you still do want to make a major purchase or investment & can’t because of the reduced income.

  8. I think we are obsessed with feeling “safe” and “secure,” though once you hit that level of financial wealth it typically doesn’t stop. I do think I obsess about money but a lot of it has to do with my desire to work on a startup full-time. The startup I have in mind right now would almost guaranteed to lose a couple hundred k before it was scaled to the point of breaking even, but obviously I can’t pursue that with my current finances!

    • The classic entrepreneur’s dilemma. You need to have a lot of capital & time to prove yourself before others will start investing in you & until you establish a presence in the community. We lost money getting started up last year so I can completely relate as our book launch is one of our many “side hustles” until it can be scaled to making some cash.

  9. Another great post, Josh! I haven’t read that Os Guinness book – will have to do that! I’ve been focusing really hard this year on making God the first love of my life, Rick and the fam second, and everything else third. And you know what? It’s reaped amazing results. Financially and otherwise.

    • Thanks Laurie! This is the only Os Guinness book I have read, very deep insight into many topics. My wife & I have had a similar discussion of keeping God as the center of our life. We have realized that not only are our days more peaceful but we are also more productive as well! Life’s not a cakewalk but a slight shift of perspective is amazing.

      I’ve mentioned it before in my other writings, but our wedding verse was Matthew 6:33 “Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be given to you.”

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