Why Is Money So Powerful?

By Ryan Weber

Author Oscar Wilde once said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”

Why is this? Why do the Lincolns and the Jacksons and the Franklins hold so much weight in our lives? To cut to the chase: More money puts us in the position to do God’s job. I don’t have to rely on His provision and sustenance at all when my bank account is padded with cash.

This human condition goes all the way back to the very beginning. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted the two as they were frolicking naked in the Garden, without a care in the world, how did Satan frame his temptation to make it the juiciest and most enticing he could?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” (Genesis 3:5, emphasis added)

We’ve wanted to be like God since the very start. And money is the most tangible way that we Americans feel like we can get there. With money, we have a highway to security, power, prestige, honor, comfort, stuff. These are all things that should be ascribed to God. Our security should come from our dependence and reliance on God; power, prestige and honor should be given to God, the Lord should be our source of comfort.

If you’ve been in church for any length of time, you understand and are aware of our need to cast our desire for independent success aside and fully rely on God for our existence. And if we’re honest with ourselves, this has the potential to suck. A lot.

When I was out of work for seven months, all I could think about was money. How the savings I had built up was evaporating before my eyes, I couldn’t go out to eat like I used to, whether I would be able to make next month’s rent payment, how to pay for the unexpected car issue at the wrong time. Money consumes you when you don’t have it because you want it to feel ok. Continue reading