The Value of Money

It would seem that valuing money is pretty straight-forward, right? I mean, a dollar’s worth a dollar, 50¢ worth 50¢, and so forth. That seems pretty obvious at first blush [and I won’t go into comparing currency values!], but then I think about all the amazing finds I’ve gotten from thrift shops – just because I paid ⅛ of the retail price doesn’t make it any less valuable to me! On the flip side, if I paid twice as much as I should have,… well, yeah, I might be a little more protective of it.

My husband made a great point, the other day: he said he wanted to get on our nine-year-old son’s case about ALL the stuff in his room, the need to appreciate it and and take care of it, etc, but then it occurred to him, ‘Wait a minute, is that really what we want to be teaching our son, that material possessions are so important?’ I must say, I think he’s onto something. The Lord tells us time and again that we shouldn’t rest our affections on THINGS!

Jesus taught,

“Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-4, also Mark 10:24-5 and Luke 18:24-5)

Or the story in Luke:

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And He told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21)

Ok, good, we’ve got that settled: we should not love riches and material possessions. We can say that easily enough to our son, and try to instil this value in him; cool. …But where does that leave us with the abundance of stuff in his room?! 😀

This is intended as a conversation-starter; please, contribute at will!

About Jenn Beiswenger

I'm generally a pretty content person, always growing and loving the journey most of the time. My passion was babies for so long, now I'm recalibrating to figure out what else I want to do with my life. I enjoy preparing healthy food for my family, creating Zentangle-inspired artwork, traveling, learning about the Lord's amazing kingdom, connecting with & helping others. My husband, 10-year-old son and I live in Sydney, Australia, where we happily serve the Hurstville New Church congregation. I'm really grateful for the modern technology which helps me stay connected with family & friends overseas!

2 thoughts on “The Value of Money

  1. I find myself able to argue on both sides of this issue. Practically, it is easier to move around and to find what one wants when things are placed in an orderly way. Then there is the story about Jesus who told a man in the book of Matthew 19:21, “Go and sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven,” implying that earthly treasures are not what matter in heaven. But on the other hand, some of the most innovative people are those who have a giant pile of what most people would call “junk” from which they build and create. So who is to say which is right? I say that if the parents can stand it, let the kid have stuff. But then also give him messages about being useful and having a purpose for things.

    1. Exactly! 😀 There isn’t a clear-cut answer, I don’t reckon.

      …The timing of this – particularly your comment about giving him messages about being useful – is interesting: just ten minutes ago, as my son and I said our bedtime prayers, I was asking what he’d done today that was ‘useful, helpful or kind’. He scoffed, said he couldn’t think of anything, and I rebutted that if he couldn’t think of anything, perhaps he needed to be a little more useful, helpful and kind! He rolled his eyes at me (he does that a lot) and I acknowledged to him that it’s hard to enjoy being useful as a kid, and that hopefully as he grew older, he’d develop an appreciation for being useful to others. He scoffed again and asked why – “Because that’s what the Lord wants us to do, enjoy being useful to others” – but I like to think the message went in. (Of course he wouldn’t admit it!)

      To his credit, he has a purpose for just about everything and can re-purpose just about anything else, and does actually acquiesce and get rid of things, from time to time. I like to think that the Big Picture is getting through to him. 😉

      Thanks for your thoughts, Gerda!

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