5 Healthy Desires for Financial Success

5 Healthy Desires for Financial Success

One of the most misquoted scriptures is 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

The way that we hear it, though, is simply, "Money is the root of all evil." That sounds like a very different story!

As someone who grew up in the church, surrounded by those who misused this verse, I've been made to believe that money is sinful and it is wrong to want more of it. But is that what this verse is actually saying?

The word for "love of money" is philargyria, which means avarice: extreme greed for money and material gain. I read that as the love of money for money's sake. The love of money simply for your own gain.

And then, later in the verse, the word for "eager" is oregō: "to stretch one's self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something" or "to give one's self up to the love of money." Interestingly, the word oregō is used two other times in the New Testament to describe healthy things to long for – aspiring to be an overseer in the church and longing for a heavenly country.

So we can see that longing and desire in itself are not wrong. But it very much depends on what your heart is longing for. Is it for power, comfort, or security from worldly things? Or is it for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?

Both can require money! So, money in itself is not evil. It is a neutral source. But the spiritual impact of this source depends on how you use it.

As I'm processing my own beliefs around money, here are five ways I'm training my brain not to feel guilty about desiring money:

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  • paying for medical care

    1. More Money Means I Can Be My Healthiest Self

    Health and wellness should not be a commodity, but unfortunately, it is. Healthcare, testing, supplements, medicine, exercise memberships, and therapy are all very costly. And if it were my life calling to fight against the worldly system that makes having a healthy body something that practically only the rich can afford, the trick is that I would have to be my best, healthiest self to do so.

    I was reminded recently of the Butterfly Effect in the context of doing your life's work for others: acts of goodness and kindness have infinite ripple effects. When I am my healthiest self with energy and overflow, I am able to impact others, and then they are able to impact others, and so on.

    2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT says, "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."

    Having plenty left over to share with others can look like enough housing, enough food, enough energy, or enough mental space to share with others. When I wake up with energy, I can tackle the day and walk in my purpose.

    Of course, God can generously provide without money – but he can provide through money, too. And that's okay!

    I don't have to be guilty for wanting more money so that I can be my best self. I want to be able to pay for supplements to meet my body's needs, for exercise programs that feel fun and empowering, and for holistic medicine techniques as I prepare one day to have kids. I want to be healthy not just for myself or my ministry work but for my family one day, too. Money is simply a means to this good end!

    What could a few hundred extra dollars every month do for your health and, therefore, others?

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  • Hosting friends

    2. More Money Means I Can Be Better at Hospitality

    I love my home so much. It is beautiful and well-decorated and just the right space for my husband and I. But when we have friends visit for the weekend or my entire family over for a pool day…we feel the squeeze. People are climbing over each other in the kitchen and fighting for seats on our small couch.

    Of course, God still works. Memories are made, and glory to God is given for our blessings. But it's also not wrong to not want this cramped lifestyle to be forever.

    One day, I want to be known for my warm hospitality to people visiting from other churches. I want my house to be the fun house for all my kids' friends so that I can keep my eyes on my kids and witness to their friends at the same time! I want my children to feel like our home is safe, beautiful, and enough for them so that they can carry that safety in their bodies for the rest of their lives.

    In Genesis 18, Abraham is visited by spiritual beings. He sets a beautiful standard for hospitality as he says, "'If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat so you can be refreshed and then go on your way — now that you have come to your servant.'"

    He then proceeds to prepare an absolute feast for these men! He blesses them abundantly. And it would have taken money to do this.

    Wanting a nice home to cook delicious meals in and serve others will take money (or a miracle). I'm happy to rely on God for either situation! But wanting money for these reasons is not wrong.

    Do you feel guilty for wanting nicer things? What ministry opportunities could open up if you grew in your ability to be hospitable?

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  • quality time with family

    3. More Money Means More Quality Time with Family and Friends

    In the modern age, at least some of our friends and family likely live elsewhere. Facetime and other technologies are certainly a blessing for keeping us connected, but there is nothing like having dedicated time to spend with people who know you and love you deeply, and vice versa.

    And this takes money. It takes being able to afford to take time off, travel, and have places to stay. As worth it as it is, it is expensive to stay connected.

    This summer, my husband and I traveled or hosted 8 out of the 12 weekends from June-August. And our bank account shows it. But so do our hearts! I feel so strengthened by this time with our friends and family. I feel loved, supported, and ready to share with my ministry at home.

    But how much of a blessing would it be to one day be able to afford to see my friends and family even more often? To be able to bankroll them coming to visit, or vice versa? To provide a vacation home where we can all gather or pay for plane tickets or food for everyone.

    These are the kinds of things I dream of.

    How could your relationships, and therefore your ministry, be positively affected by more quality time with the people closest to you? What would it cost to make this happen, and how can you start to pray for it?

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  • grandpa and grandson

    4. More Money Means More Time with Grandkids

    Because of the way that our economy works, most people aren't able to spend as much time with their young children as they'd like because they can't afford to completely stop working. But by the time you're a grandparent, you've had more time for your money to grow, and hopefully, this affords you more time and travel money to be really involved with your grandkids because, eventually, you can afford to stop working.

    Proverbs 17:6a says, "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged." And if my mom as a grandmother is any indication of what it's like to be a grandparent, it's absolutely amazing. Her face lights up when she is able to be a babysitter for her granddaughter, and she takes so much joy in growing her collection of toys and books for when she comes to visit.

    Having the health to still be active in her granddaughter's life took money. And being able to be generous towards her takes money, too. And this is very okay.

    I want to be the kind of grandparent one day who gets to see my grandkids all the time –regardless of if I have to travel to do it. I want to have the energy to chase them around. I want to be able to spoil them with birthday gifts and fun outings that they'll remember for the rest of their lives. I want to be able to have the health to make a lifelong spiritual impact on them.

    I know that God will bless me and my grandkids, regardless of my bank account. But if money can afford this quality time together, then I have nothing to feel guilty about by wanting more of it.

    What do you want to be able to do for your grandchildren one day or now? What positive impact could you have on their lives by being able to afford more?

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  • inherited money

    5. More Money Means I Can Leave an Inheritance

    It could be easy to believe that leaving money for your kids could make them lazy or entitled. And there is certainly that reality. But it could also afford them a nicer home, a brighter future, and more of an impact in the long run.

    Due in large part to the money my grandparents left to my parents, I don't have any student debt, and this is huge for my husband and me. If we play our cards right, this will help us to be able to afford to buy a home and have children sooner, which means we can have more happy, healthy years with them. And hopefully leave goodness for their children, too!

    Proverbs 13:22 says, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children."

    I want to be able to do this – but it will take a lot of money. And that's okay because there is a lot of money to be earned fairly and with integrity. It just takes a mindset shift to believe that God is an abundant God and, therefore, money is just one more way he can show that to me.

    What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children? What do you want them to never have to go through because of financial strain? What kind of long-lasting impact could your generosity have on their lives and, the lives of their children, and so on?

    There are many, many more godly and spiritual ways to use money than those listed here, which is a beautiful thing!

    If you are hesitant to apply for a new job, invest your money, or change careers because it feels selfish and you are afraid of money destroying your life, keep these reasons at the forefront of your mind. Or better yet, write out your own! Keep these reasons where you can see them every day so that you can work towards this goal with God as your ultimate provider.

    The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.

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    Kelly-Jayne McGlynn is a former editor at Crosswalk.com. She sees the act of expression, whether through writing or art, as a way to co-create with God and experience him deeper. Check out her handmade earrings on Instagram and her website for more of her thoughts on connecting with God through creative endeavors.