Why Do We Worry About Money?


moneyAs a Christian is worrying about money ever an issue for you? Be honest! Jesus specifically instructed us not to worry in general, and we can presume that includes money:

âSo do not worry, saying, â˜What shall we eat?’ or â˜What shall we drink?’ or â˜What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.ââ”Matthew 6:31-34

So why do we worry about money (or anything else) if he told us not to worry? I have some theoriesâ¦

The world tells us to worry

Advertising uses all kinds of methods to sell products, and one of them is fear. Fear generates worry, and worry moves us to actionâ”which in this case is buying what the advertiser is selling.

If you watch TV, listen to the radio, or even surf the internet you’re being bombarded by messages of fear–but here’s our Miracle Brand X will give you a better life (by making your fears go away). If you doubt this, pay close attention to advertisements for prescription drugs, legal services, political ads or those ambulance chaser commercials that are all over TV.

Much of the news media operates the same wayâ”it’s called shock value. It’s a sad fact but news that’s most likely to get and hold our attention is that which stimulates fear. We listen with baited breath as the professional looking anchor gives us the daily litany of murder, mayhem, war, terrorism or that Product X that might be kill us.

The financial universe does it’s own dog-and-pony show at the worry mill. You need to prepare for this, and prepare for that, and by the way, you probably don’t know about this but you should be concerned (worried) about⦠At some level it’s even implied that if you aren’t worried, you might even be irresponsible.

Worry is one of the dominant messages of the world we live in and it’s hard to ignore it no matter how great our faith. And since the world sees money as the answer to all problems, worry in general translates into worry about money.

Strike One against us.

The crisis on the horizon looks more imminent than our salvation
does

Worry is an emotion, not a product of logic. I may be a person of the deepest faith, but if there’s a runaway train coming at me, I’m worried. That’s how we often see life. Our salvation is out there at some point in the future, but crisis often surrounds us in the now.

It’s not that we doubt our salvation, but before that comes, we still have to still have to deal with this week, this month, this year and all the way through to retirement. It all requires money, and that’s why we worry about money.

Worry is an expression of our deepest fears

We grow into adults, but there’s always that little child inside who’s at least a little bit scared. When we grow up however, we replace words like fear❠and scared❠with worryâ; worry is what adults do when we’re scared. But I think that we’re hard wired for fear and worry; like sin it’s part of the human condition. It does however serve as a survival skillâ”by worrying we can move ourselves out of danger.

And once again, since Man believes that all problems can be solved with money, we spend a lot of time worrying specifically about money. To worry about money is something of the catchphrase that summarizes all that we worry about.

I think Jesus knew this when he gave us the passage above, and that’s why the theme is repeated in so many ways throughout Scripture. We need to constantly be reminded not to fear, not to worry.

Preparation can go a long way toward eliminating worry

Jesus told us not to worry, that much is clear. But at the same time, he didn’t tell us not to prepare. Perhaps we worry most about what we are least prepared for. For example, how will I survive if I lose my job? Will I be able to get another job? Will I be able to afford to put my kids through college? Will I have enough money for a comfortable retirement?

I think the key here is to spend less time worrying and more time preparing for these, and that’s even Biblical. In Proverbs 22:3 God tells usâ¦

âThe prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.â

In this verse, the person described as prudent is preparing by taking action (taking refuge). The simple person ignores the problem and suffers a predictable fate. We don’t know if worry figures into the prudent persons thought process, but he’s moved enough to take action so it may well be.

How does that relate to our modern day worries about money? We can reduce our worrying by taking action, such as getting out of debt, saving up money and living within our means. Those steps will give us some sense of control over the unknownâ”we can never be ready for anything, but we can be prepared to deal with most problems that money might solve. And those that money won’t solve or those that are beyond our financial ability to deal with?

That’s where we need to trust God for the outcome. We can only do what we can do, and beyond that we have to let go. Money, after all, won’t fix all of our problems, so there’s no point worrying about it. All we can do is prepareâ¦and trust.

And maybe that’s the answer to balancing worry with trust. Worry enough to do what you can, and trust enough for anything more.

Do you worry much about money? How do you reconcile that worry with your faith?

photo by imagesofmoney

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Written by Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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