Tag Archives: money

A Far Better Story Line

Story of the Day for Tuesday January 3, 2012

A Far Better Story Line

                 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich . . . When you so much as glance at riches, they are gone. You can be assured they will sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. 

                                                                  Proverbs 23:4-5

 Six-year-old Kristyn was enjoying a special time with her grandma. Her parents were spending a few days out of town, so grandma agreed to babysit.

While her parents were gone, Kristyn lost a tooth. And, as we all know, the tooth fairy doesn’t go off-duty just because a child’s parents are away. That night, Kristyn put her tooth under her pillow. The next morning she could hardly believe what she saw.

“Grandma!” she shouted, as she raced downstairs, “the tooth fairy came last night and gave me A HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL!”

Grandma gasped, “No! The, uh – the tooth fairy made a mistake. She meant to give you a dollar.” Grandma snatched the hundred dollar bill, fished around in her purse, and handed Kristyn a buck.

Kristyn was appalled! Her own grandma just stole her money! To a six-year-old, the transaction between a tooth fairy and her clients is a private one, and grownups have no right to broker the deal and horn in on the profits.

When Kristyn’s parents phoned that evening, their distraught daughter launched into a passionate recitation of the robbery.

A few days later, Kristyn got a letter from the tooth fairy. (Even though the tooth fairy’s penmanship eerily resembled Kristyn’s mother’s handwriting, grandma kept her opinions to herself.) The tooth fairy apologized for mistakenly slipping the wrong bill under her pillow and thanked Kristyn for her understanding. And then, in her abundant generosity, the tooth fairy lavished Kristyn with a ten dollar bill.

 

From the time we are young, we learn that our fortunes can slip away as quickly as they’re acquired.  Money has wings, and when it wants to soar like an eagle and disappear over the horizon, you’re not going to stop it.

And, while there’s nothing wrong with money, we must be careful not to make it the focal point of our lives. Or, as Donald Miller puts it in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, we should not make money the main theme of the story we’re living out.

Imagine, he says, watching a movie about a man whose highest desire is to own an expensive sports car. Throughout the movie, the hero pursues his dream, and at the end of the movie, buys a Volvo.

Would you cry because you found it so moving? No, you’d feel like you’d been cheated. What kind of a movie is that? What a dumb theme for a story.

Miller gets personal. He wants to know if that’s the kind of story we’re telling with our lives. If it is, Don Miller suggests there’s a far better story-line out there . . . and God is urging you to live it.

                                                                 (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)


Competing Loyalties

Story of the Day for Saturday December 10, 2011

Competing Loyalties

 

                     No servant is able to serve two masters. He’ll hate the one and love the other, or he’ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve God and money. 

                                                                                                 Luke 16:13

Those who value love tend to prosper in mental health and human relations. Intriguingly, however, those who value money, but not family, also suffer little mental or emotional stress.

“People’s mental health,” a psychological study (Burroughs & Rindfleisch, 2002) concluded, “is harmed when they value both family relationships and the possession of material objects, because the two values conflict and cause mental stress.

 

Money is a good thing. But when we try to combine priorities of both money and relationships, it doesn’t work.

If someone accidentally spilled a handful of pencils in front of you, would you help pick them up? Professors Kathleen Vohs, Nicole Mead, and Miranda Goode, performed this experiment. These researchers found that if the participants had just finished playing the board game Monopoly, they were less likely to help pick up the pencils.

Vohs, Mead, and Goode then gave participants two dollars in quarters. Later, they were given the opportunity to donate to the University Student Fund. Those participants who had been given tasks thinking about money gave 39 percent of their money. Those who hadn’t been focused on money gave 67 percent.

 

Money isn’t bad. Would you work your tail off at a fast food restaurant if they paid you by giving you a hug at the end of each year?

Jesus doesn’t condemn money; he just wants us to know where our heart lies. If our priorities are caught between service to God and money, our loves will tear us apart.

 

Switzerland gets about forty percent of its electricity from nuclear power. That means, of course, that they must find a place to store the radioactive waste. When the Swiss were asked if they were willing to allow a nuclear waste dump to be built near their town, surprisingly, half of the citizens said, “Yes.” They knew the property values on their homes would go down, but they felt it wasn’t right to expect other communities to bear a burden they were unwilling to share in.

Then, in order to increase the percentage of citizens willing to allow a nuclear waste site in their area, they sweetened the deal. They offered a financial reward. Would they be willing to have a waste disposal site built in their community if they were paid an annual salary worth six weeks wages?

Instead of half the citizens agreeing to the proposal, the offer of money caused the percentage of willing Swiss to drop to twenty-five percent.

 

You can do things because it’s the right thing to do. You can do things for money. You just can’t operate well with competing loyalties.

                                                   (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)