Does anyone ever talk about their hammer?

No one ever talks about a hammer. Build a house and you don’t pull out the hammer and say: ‘Look at what my hammer did!’ No. Build a house and the hammer (nor any other tool) will get a mention. Instead, you will say, ‘Look what I have here! Isn’t it a beautiful house?’ Your focus is on the completion of the dream, the ‘end product’. Not the tools used to build it. Money is like a hammer. It is a tool. You use it as a tool to do things. The only time you talk about a hammer is when you don’t have one and you need one. Money is very much the same. The only time people talk about money are those who don’t have money. They will talk about it ad nauseum in all kinds of ways: ‘I can’t afford that.’ Honey. We’ll take that trip when our credit balance drops’. ‘That was an expensive trip but worth every penny.’ People who have money don’t talk about money. They will talk about accomplishments. Next time you hear someone talking about money you might want to note that they probably can’t teach you how to make, manage or keep money. They don’t know how to keep it or use it properly themselves. Could be the person next door even! And they are probably bankrupt and don’t even know it. Money is a gift. It comes from stewardship of God’s resources. That is why Jesus says… ‘everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Stewardship is not to be taken lightly. We only go round once in this life and so we are encouraged to seek excellence throughout. Not survival. Not resignation. Not greed, Not quitting. Likewise, the Apostle Paul writes to his young friend and helper Timothy to ‘command (those who are rich) to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.’ Use well what you have received. Money is not a gift of course if you gain it from stealing, engaging in illicit activities or deny belief in God. It has been well said that money itself is neutral. It is nothing unless a human puts it to use. Money only has three uses. You can use it to acquire things. You can use it to accomplish goals and dreams. You can contribute to causes and people in need. Most of us get caught up on the first one and trip up on the other two. Truly financially successful people know that money is a tool that makes it possible to do the latter things in ways that the lack of money prohibits. It has also been shown that happiness is tied to accomplishing all three with our resources whether we consider ourselves wealthy or poor. A poor person can be as greedy or benevolent as a wealthy person. God’s stewardship is a serious and fun business to make life better for all. Money is generally viewed as having intrinsic value. Everyone seems to know how to make money but not to keep it. And as we earn more money we need even more money as our debt loads increase. Our Government institutions follow the same pattern of insanity. Who is learning from whom? Those reading these words are among the richest people in the world and yet most of us would say that we need more to ‘make ends meet’. There is not a shortage of abundance nor opportunity in God’s world. But there is a shortfall in how we are thinking and being encouraged to think and live with our wealth. You can make that change by learning to think differently about wealth. Wealth is not an evil nor a good. It is a tool that can be used. It is possible to learn how to use money as God’s gift, a tool to be used in life. As Jesus said, Where your treasure is there is your heart also. Money is not a treasure. It is a tool. Place your life on the top of money as a treasure and it is the same as placing your life on top of a hammer. Really now? Would entrust your life to a hammer? I hope not.

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