We are in the fourth message in our series “Stuck”. It is no fun to be stuck whether it is stuck in the snow or the mud or in a real-life situation. Thus far we have talked about being stuck spiritually, in relationships and last week we talked about being stuck in marriage. In each of these messages we have looked at how we can get stuck in these various areas of our lives and we have also looked at how we can get un-stuck. The reality is we all get stuck in various areas of our lives, but the hope to get un-stuck always lies in the power of God, Jesus Christ and The Truth of God’s word.
Today we are going to look at how we can get stuck financially and, glean some hope as to how we get un-stuck if we are stuck.
The 2015 American Freshman Survey asked thousands of incoming students about their goals and aspirations. The highest proportion (81.9 percent) checked “becoming very well off financially” as an “essential” or “very important” life objective. But research indicates that if we pin our hopes of happiness on money, we are likely to be disappointed. While the literature is complex, there is good evidence to suggest that beyond a basic level of security, increased wealth is only slightly correlated with an increased sense of well-being, and the correlation tails off after $75,000.
As researcher Jonathan Haidt observes, “Wealth itself has only a small direct effect on happiness because it so effectively speeds up the hedonistic treadmill … As the level of wealth has doubled or tripled in the last fifty years in many industrialized nations, the levels of happiness and satisfaction with life that people report have not changed, and depression has actually become more common.”
I want to make this point very clear that money in and of its self is neutral. Money has no ability to be good or evil until it comes into the possession of a person. Then it can be used to glorify God, or it can be used for evil if the person allows the money to be their passion and drive in life. Money can literally take complete control of a person and can become their identity.
I Timothy 6:6-10, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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.”