Are you familiar with the It? In the book A Wrinkle in Time, a young girl named Meg must face and defeat a powerful creature called the It. The It subdues every creature under its control. The It is rhythmic, controlling, and pervasive. Even the jump ropes of playing children skip to the pulse of the It.
Each of us has an inner It. We have a spiritual pulse governing our actions. Instead of controlling jump ropes, this pulse controls our swiping of credit cards and saving for retirement.
This inner pulse is called fear or control.
Each of us is tempted to try to control our lives through our use of money. Whether we spend it now or save it for later, our motivation is the same: we want to provide ourselves with a good life. We fear the bad things that could happen and we want to ensure good things will happen.
Fear and control manifest themselves in different people in different ways. Some people try to control a home life in chaos by going out to eat again; others save massive amounts for retirement because they fear being bored and poor in their old age. Whatever way fear and control manifest in our lives, they have the potential to govern our spending and saving habits. Patterns develop. A pulse emerges. The jump ropes synchronize.
How was the It defeated? How can the spiritual pulses of fear and control be overcome?
Meg used the one thing the It didn’t have in order to defeat it. She used love. Similarly, Christians can rely on the one thing money can’t provide: the love and grace of God.
The only way Christians can break the power of fear and control is to meditate on the love and kind provision of God. God has promised to provide for all our needs. We do not need to fear and we do not need to control because our God is powerful to work all things for our good. One way Christians have done this historically is to meditate on the Lord’s Prayer. As you confront your fear and your desire for control in your own life, use this prayer guide to pray through the Lord’s Prayer concerning your finances. This second tool is a tool you can use again and again. Each time you sit down to look at your finances, the Lord’s Prayer will be a place you can go to center your heart.
An outline of the entire blog series from Dat Dough Tho is available here if you are just tuning in and would like to start from the beginning or see what’s ahead. Listen to this week’s sermon, God’s Radical Promise, if you haven’t already.
Andy Clare, Member of Church on Mill