FIGHT to ensure that Money NEVER becomes your Master. This is because MONEY can only serve and truly benefit people who understand their place as Master over it. If anyone knowingly or unknowingly makes MONEY master over their life then it will not benefit. That’s how MONEY is wired. One thing no one can argue is the number of rich people that are servants or better slaves to MONEY. This is to say that, most rich people are slaves to MONEY. They don’t know how to live happy, free and healthy without money. All their relationships are determined and controlled by money. Most of their fears is around money issues. Their lives revolves around what money can do for them. They can do anything to get money and to keep getting more money. Many of them do not have any other thing apart from money and the things money helped them get –associations,comfort and pleausres of life, material things, etc. Take money from them and they are dead. That is slavery. Or is there any better way of defining slavery?
But, the worst kind of slavery to money is the enslavement of the poor. Just as most rich people are slaves to money even most poor people are slaves to money. And the poor remains poor because they are slaves to money. So neither being rich nor poor makes anyone a slave or master to money. It’s a choice. The only challenge is that the poor can’t imagine being a slave to money. This is more because of how society percieves the poor. We place the poor on the side of sympathy and pity. They are usually projected as helpless people who have no responsibility to how their lives turned out. Any suggestion that a poor person is responsibile to where he or she is in life attracts negative responses. People just think that such an ‘idea’ is wicked and inconsiderate. We make poverty a ‘wicked lord’ who chooses whoever it wishes, irrespective of people’s personal choices. On a closer look we all know that it is not true. Largely, true riches is by choice and poverty is by choice. None is by luck.
The rich can become poor and the poor can become rich. It’s all about the choices individuals decide to make over time. So, neither riches nor poverty has what it takes to ‘force’ itself on uncooperating and unwilling partners. That’s not possible. Yes, circumstances can turn the rich into a poor person. But, for that same ‘once rich’ but ‘now poor’ person to remain poor he or she will need to consistently make the choices that will result to it. This means that, such a person can also make choices that will turn the tide over time. It may not be as easy as said but NOTHING in life can stop the person who consistently walks the path that results to wealth. It is only a matter of time.
Therefore we can say that, “Slavery to money is not a rich people’s phenomenon.” It is a value issue and so it does not respect financial status. To resolve your money problem you need to see yourself and behave as Master over money. And as Master you need to get hold of the door and determine the movement of money, in and out of your life. If money continues to control your thoughts, values and relationships then you will never be able to resolve money problems. Instead, you will become its slave. We are going to show you how to make room for money. There are ways of making money and empower it to serve you instead of becoming your master. Money is a tyrant as a master. No one has ever gained from having money as master. So, don’t even dare.
The journey to resolving money problems is a choice. It begins and is sustained till success is achieved through the right knowledge and right actions. First, you have to make the choice to change status from being slave to money into becoming its master. Remember that, everything we become is as a result of the choices we make and the actions from those choices over a period of time. To make things simpler for you we are going to share how to know whether you are a slave to money or not. But before we do that, let us assume that you are. It is better to start on that premise than to mistake yourself to be who and what you are not and so miss it even before you start. Let’s go through the guage for knowing whether we are slaves to money. May be it will also help us determine the extent to which we are in slavery.
“To develop a healthy,…relationship with money, we must build on this truth: God owns us and everything we have, and it is only as we wisely steward His resources we discover not only a thriving relationship with Him, but with money and possessions as well.”
Before we continue take a look at these and see where you fall in. Afterwards we shall look at ten signs of slavery to money. In all of these we are driving at giving you the PUSH to ‘seeing’ where you are and what you may need to do to resolve the money problem in your life. Always bear in mind that, not all money problems can be solved with money. Again, the money problem of life is one which everyone needs to resolve. However, the first step to take is to understand more of the silent or easily forgotten and undiscussed aspects of the problem. So, here we go with statements you need to review for yourself.
- Sometimes, I want to buy something I cannot afford but I still want it and buy it even after borrowing money from my friends.
- I am always working overtime because my salary is never enough. Even with that I am always stressed financially.
- When I shop it has always been my behaviour to buy things I didn’t plan for before setting out. In fact sometimes I end up not buying some of the things I planned to buy because I’ve used up the money with me buying the things I didn’t plan for. Always I just end up spending my money on things I don’t actually need.
- Seeing myself always in debt has not ‘forced’ me to change anything in my lifestyle. Though I know there is need to make changes but it’s difficult for me to do that because I don’t want to see myself below where I am.
- I usually get mad as hell when there’s no more money left with me. It makes me so weak that it’s difficult to even know what to do.
What did you make of the pictures painted above? Well, to help you further and deeper as we journey together to finding a customized resolution to the money problem around your life let’s look at some of the indicators to slavery to money. Slavery to money is the root of most problems of money. The challenge is that many do not see it and so miss out on the right things they should do. With patience, a little honesty or objectivity it will be easy to identify where we fall short. And as is rightly said, a problem identified is half solved.
Here are 10 signs you are probably a slave to money
Remember that, what you do with these 10 pointers will go a long way to determining the foundation you will build for the new financial life you want to build for your prosperity. So, here are the signs;
- You’re obsessed with becoming rich.
Deep in your heart, are you prepared to do anything –cheat, steal, deceive, lie, or any other thing, no matter how wrong or unethical to get money? The concern is about what you are prepared to do, if you were to have your way, to get money or become rich. If you are engaged in or wouldn’t mind engaging in compulsive and sometimes unethical pursuit of wealth then you are a slave to money. When the mindset over money is welcoming to negative influences then it’s only a question of time and opportunity before the person does whatever is possible to get money. That is being a slave to money.
People with this heart attitude set themselves up for temptations and snares—“senseless and harmful desires” that can lead to destruction and may even cause them to “wander away” from trust in God (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Related to this is the obsession of seeking wealth, the Workaholic insanity that lacks discernment (Proverbs 23:4).
2. You never have enough.
This has nothing to do with how much you have or don’t have at this time. In fact your bank balance may be in few thousands or even hundreds, but you can still be a slave to money. Also, you can have multiple millions in your bank balance and not be a slave to money. It’s all in your heart attitude towards whatever you have per time. The heart problem here is constant feeling of “lack” that arises from a discontented spirit. When you have enough to solve some of your problems or to ‘employ’ into something that has capacity to yield increases but you fail to see it because of worry that you don’t have enough for anything good then you are a slave to money. When you have a consistent feeling of lack even when you have enough not to feel that way then you are a slave to money. Being in a state of ungratefulness because of lack of money even when there is enough that has happened or is happening in your life to make you show gratitude then you are a slave to money.
- When your happiness depends on how much you have.
Guess nothing more needs to be said on this. When someone fails to find happiness outside money and the things money can buy then there is danger. Money should never be elevated to the place where the amount of we have or don’t have per time controls much of how we feel. God programmed life in such a way that allows anyone who is interested to find enough of happiness irrespective of how much the person has. So, when you consistently find it difficult to be happy around your loved ones only, forget the free gifts of life but instead worries over how much you want then you are a slave to money.
4. You’re living beyond your means.
A big pointer to slavery to money is consistently living beyond your means. When you over-spend and enter into debts because of trying to ensure that you maintain a particular social level or status then money is your master. Such people are ALWAYS stressed out as they are usually pretending to be who they are not, yet. Just look at your lifestyle and see if you are competing with others and as a result you are keeping your expenditure above what your income can reasonably fund and still leave something for savings. If that is not the case then you are already a slave to money. The truth about money is that there is no income level that cannot accommodate savings, no matter how little, at a time. The one and only determinant is our choice of lifestyle.
5. You’re becoming a show off.
There’s nothing more enslaving than being a ‘show-off’ in the society. This results in several unethical steps and choices just to make or get enough money to keep up ‘the show.’ Some of the people in this category are those who are easily carried away by trends. It could be trend in tech, fashion, auto, and so on. One thing we know from ages is that, trends will never end. When an unhealthy desire for things takes root people like to flaunt what they have. The danger is in the fact that when they see someone else flaunting something better than theirs it provokes them to do whatever is possible to get ahead or feel belonging. In all of these money is the means. Such unhealthy desires of the flesh, the constant cravings for things we see, and the pride in possessions, are tied to money and so enslaving. God gives us many things to enjoy, but we’re not to become “haughty” or proud, setting our hopes on “the uncertainty of riches” and so flaunt them as though we gave ourselves the life we have to get the things we have.
Social media provides us the platform to share humanity with other people. However, we know that many have taken this ‘sharing’ beyond just sharing. So, to know if you are a slave to money, also consider where and how you seek acceptance. Listen to your conversations. Check out what you post on Social Media especially Facebook. Do these posts truly represent who you are especially financially? Are you praising God for His good gifts, or bragging; just a show off?
- A life characterized by selfishness.
You may not feel you are selfish or greedy, but how would others characterize you? Do others see you as selfish or greedy, lacking a desire to give? Do they think you are generous and doing good to others? Sure, we should be ruled not by what people say but by the convictions of our hearts. However, people can help us see ourselves better. The person is wise who knows how to sieve society’s opinion and fashion a better life by them. When it comes to generosity or giving, there is no way to hide a generous person. Slavery to money will not allow the mind to see need enough to sacrifice for even from the little the person has at a time. A slave to money will always find a way out of giving to someone even when the need is genuine and the means available. Slavery to money will always flood the mind with thoughts and feelings that will not allow it release the little it can to help someone in need. Slavery to money denies or shies away from responsibility when it is monetary. You are a slave to money when it is always heavy for you to release the resources in your hands for the good of others.
- You’ve forgotten your source.
Another way to know slavery to money is when we seldom remember our source. When God comes into the money equation of our lives ONLY when we want Him to provide more then there is a problem somewhere. It is a sure sign of slavery to money. This is because it shows that our hope and security are misplaced, rooted in our financial accounts rather than the Lord. Those who find their security in their possessions may come emotionally unglued when their valuables fall apart or “thieves break in and steal.”
Sometimes money draws us away from trusting God in subtle ways. If you’re not sure you’re wandering –just along the drag of ‘master money’, ask, “Does money bring me more joy and satisfaction than loving, obeying and serving the Lord?”
“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.”
Forgetting the source implies no reference to that source in the way and manner your income is expended or managed. That is slavery to money. Remember the source of your wealth and you will be less likely to misplace your hope from Christ to cash.
8. When your loyalties are divided.
When money or possessions drive you—like a slave-driver, like an addiction—you likely serve the idol of materialism.
John Calvin wrote,
“Where riches hold the dominion of the heart, God has lost His authority.”
Again, the Bible says,
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No
one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money”
9. If you’re consistently falling into sin because of money.
The love of money can lead us to many choices for sinful gain: cheating on taxes, short-changing customers, padding expenses, lying on receipts, cheating on family, etc. Love of money clouds good judgment. Blinded by greed and lusts, it becomes easy to get caught in “a snare.” There are few areas where many people fall into sin more than in the area of money. We all need to guard our hearts else money will run it and leave us empty of life. The good news is, even when you find yourself always making sinful financial choices, you can repent of losing your “first love” and so return to the Lord!
10. Your life is starting to suffer.
The love of money which shows in slavery to money is a sinful root problem that bears bitter fruit. It’s not just problems with your bank account. If you may, please give some time to see or trace the root of some of the problems you have. Some of them may be associated with your unhealthy relationship with money. This is just to say that, slavery to money comes with many problems. But, what makes it ‘very bad a problem’ is the inability of many to link those problems to it. So, they keep looking to the wrong places for the solution to those problems. When money is master it can bring problems with relationships (family or friends). Problems may arise with your health because of the stress of obsessively pursuing wealth. Keep money and wealth in its proper place.
In Proverbs 12: 15 we learn that fools don’t see the need for advice, but wise people listen to and even pursue it. If you’re beginning to see problems arise because of your financial choices, first pay attention to the truth about finances in God’s Word and then place your confidence in the Lord. But don’t fail to see that money may have become master and played controlling role over the choices you’ve been making. Again, do not underestimate the havoc slavery to money can cause both in the short and long run.
Finally, don’t rule out wise financial counselling from a biblically-wise financial advisor or ministry specializing in financial wealth-building to the glory of God.
Money is not always the solution
We hope you won’t be too disappointed if we rightly inform you that,
“You cannot resolve several of the money problems we have today with money only.”
Whenever people hear this in a seminar suddenly the hall gradually goes quiet. But, within seconds many of the participants burst into laughter. Soon, the laughter catches every other person. Sometimes, few of the participants, who are courageous enough will speak up for others. Some of the things they say include,
“If we are not here to learn how to get money to resolve money problems then why are we here?”
“If what you just said is correct then what are we here for. I mean, we know that opening more doors for income will help resolve most money problems. So, what are you saying?”
“It is strange for me to hear that money does not resolve money problems. So, I need more explanations. Thank you.”
However it is expressed, people don’t really accept that the solution to their percieved money problem may likely not be more money in their bank account. This is why many people have reamained like tied to a tree, never able to break away from the cycle where they are confined financially. Resolving money problem begins in the mind –it’s a value issue. For example, most people are yet to understand the fact that being rich or poor is not a matter of how much money people have or do not have only. In the real sense of the word many among the people society consider rich today are very poor and some poor people are rich. It’s all about the values we decide to use to build the pillars of our lives. So, take your mind away from money so as to access the tools you need to resolve the money problem in your life. Except, of course if you just want money. Yes, we have met people who are only interested in how they can make more money as a solution to their problems.
Let’s talk a little about Money
To begin, we must acknowledge the fact that, many people have too many misconceptions about money. And only a few realize that resolving their money problem begins with correcting those misconceptions. Most of these misconceptions are acceptable generally and that’s why it is a big challenge talking about them –exposing them what they really are. If we fail to correct them any progress made in resolving any money problem will only produce short term results. It may seem to be working but it won’t last. Soon, everything goes back to square one. This is because the engine that controls movement is faulty. It is our knowledge, belief and perception that control the value we place on money and how we relate to it subsequently.
Going further, we all know that money has a huge meaning in our lives. However, only a few people have learned how to earn money and how to spend it. Only a few ever really know. How many learn it at school -college or at university? Though on most cases what some students get is more of theory, but not a lot of specifics and practice. As a result of this huge gap a lot of things, which we need to know and make use of regarding money can only be accessed through personal effort. Now, how many people have the time, resources, discipline and patience to go that road? This is a fundamental problem resulting to several money problems both at personal level, family and even in private and public sectors.
So what are the few things we need to know about money?
We are going to be making Power Statements that can help you in this journey. We are focusing on personal knowledge as it has to do with how we relate to money. Let’s begin.
- There has to be recognition of the fact that money yields best returns when it is earned and put to proper use or rather invested.
- Beyond knowing how to earn money there is need to learn how to control the money earned.
- Most of the differences between the rich and poor are not so much about how much they earn but more about how well they control their money. Most truly rich people can control money better than the poor.
- Decide to have better control of money right from NOW. Don’t ever wait or expect to start controlling money when it comes ‘big.’ Begin with the one you have with you. This is a good money management tool.
- Money does not work well within a cycle made of one.
When money is not changing hands in exchange for values addition; in goods or services, then it dries up after a while.
- Your personal cycle –the values of the people in your network including business partners and friends will affect you in the area of money. One clear aspect of the truly rich is that, they can make profitable trades and get maximum benefits from the cooperation with the right kind of people in their network.
- Understand that money is only ONE of the things that can help us reach our goals. It is not and should never be the goal. To sustain wealth over a long time it is important that you have a channel through which you give back to society or for the benefit of humanity.
As we round up this chapter and enter the next we would like you to zero down on the fact that, money problem is more about how to make the little or the much one has to benefit maximally. Only a small amount of the money that comes to us is for direct use. Most are for investment to increase our base. Learning how to make this real in our personal money management is important. For it’s the art of making money, no matter how little, to add value to your life that makes the difference. This way you will not consume all that comes your way. When this ability or discipline is in place you will be amazed at how the small amount of money in your hands can benefit you and also grow your personal financial base.