Published in the San Antonio Express News, 2015 —
We all worry about money…all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. We worry about not having enough. We worry about the death of the goose that lays the golden eggs (i.e. losing our job). We worry about not having the toys others have even if we don’t even like the “others.” Fear of money is an odd, yet very real emotion in America. This money obsession isn’t healthy; it’s an anxiety driven, blood-pressure-cooker, bottle drinkin’ kind of worry. I own several businesses and to say I don’t worry would be completely hypocritical. However, God has done some surgery on my worry gland.
I recall sitting behind the wheel in my parked car asking, “Lord, what now? I’m broke.” I didn’t hear a voice from an old man in the sky. But I do recall Him comforting me as He spoke through my consciousness. I would call His communication an imprint. The imprint I remember was tugging at the way I worried about money. He hit me with a direct shot. I trusted God, but my wallet didn’t. I said I had faith, but my behavior was inconsistent. I gave God my leftovers when the time and money was convenient, but never did I give when it required sacrifice. That morning outside my office, I committed to giving first, systematically, and consistently to ministry work and those who are hungry. This commitment transformed my attitude about money. I know now God is in control of profits. I am not. It is peculiar how when I started giving to God first, my stress level dropped exponentially.
I don’t chalk the behavioral change up as psychobabble. I think God has the game of life rigged in a healthy way. I think He has rigged all parts of our lives to be dependent on Him. My faith did not make me profitable. My faith, expressed in an act of giving, suppressed fear. Trust is the antidote. “Anti” in the original Greek doesn’t mean “against.” It means “in replace of.” We need to replace fear of money with something else. Because fear is a frequent guest in our house, we have to replace it with an alternative immediately when it walks through the door. We have to consistently trust God will work it out. Not random trust or “as needed” trust like a desperate passenger on a turbulent plane. But rather, moment by moment, trusting God to provide.
This act of dependence is a model for all business people and leaders to experience money in a new way. It will overcome the pressure, worry, and messy mind so that God can transform a financial life and a family. The transformation is not a prosperity theology but rather the truth about peace and joy when our wallet is directly in line with God’s will.