Last Sunday, I was with my family at SM City after attending the 11AM service at Victory Iloilo and was killing time before our 2:30PM Victory Group with some couples at church. Me and my wife decided to pass by an ATM to withdraw some money so we passed by one and my wife (who handles our finances) put in the card. After a few minutes of waiting I got curious why it was taking my wife so long to withdraw.
The ATM had frozen, and after five minutes of just standing there it spat out our ATM card without dispensing the money. We checked our online account and saw that it had deducted. We went to the closest bank to report only to get responses that were of no help whatsoever.
I tried my best to console my anxious wife, telling her, “it’s just money.” But deep down, I felt that uneasy tug as well. I just lost money.
It’s good to sometimes zoom in and look at the real situation of our hearts when it comes to money.
What is it about us that makes us so uneasy about money? It’s because it’s valuable, which may seem obvious at the onset, but many of our problems today have something to do with a mixup of values because we just take them as they are. It’s good to sometimes zoom in and look at the real situation of our hearts when it comes to money.
I am often reminded by the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a story of not one but two lost men. One was lost because he rebelled against his father and the other because he had lost his place in his father’s household forgetting his identity as a son. At the surface, not many see that the problem that the two men had was their distorted value of money.
One son valued money too little and squandered it in exchange for cheap and fleeting pleasures, and the other valued it too much that he tried to keep earning it when it was already his to begin with. So often, we find ourselves in the shoes of either son. Maybe you have little value for money and find it challenging to save, steward and manage finances well. Or maybe you value it too much that you close your fist tightly around your money unwilling to be generous or to even use it generously with yourself.
The whole focus of the story however was on the one character who made all the difference- the father. It was his money, his grace, his love, his acceptance and his mercy that radically defined the whole tale.
Both are flawed views of finances that need to be corrected. How do we gain a proper perspective of money? The answer is in the story of the prodigal sons as well. The two had problems with their value of money because they were too focused on their inheritance, their rights, their money. The whole focus of the story however was on the one character who made all the difference- the father. It was his money, his grace, his love, his acceptance and his mercy that radically defined the whole tale.
That father is God. How many of us can really say that we always have our eyes on our Heavenly Father? I have to admit that there are times that I lose sight of the Father. But when I realize that my eyes aren’t on God, that moment I need to shift my perspective and look back to the Father. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Too often we’re easily distracted by the “things”- the blessings, provisions and possessions- that we forget that that’s not what matters most. What matters most is who’s in charge of your things, who’s giving you the things and why He’s giving you the things. And that all is brought by desiring the Father before we look to His inheritance.
Take time to evaluate your heart today and examine it closely, and make a habit of doing so. Are you fixed on the things or on the Father?
Patrick Mabilog, patrickmabilog.com