Money is covered in 2000+ verses in the Bible, and it ranks high on the list of topics Jesus covered in His teachings. Yet even with all that instruction, we are blinded by the light of the shiny objects that money can give us. Even Jesus tells us that money itself isn’t the issue…it’s our love of it. And we all have a money story connected to it.
Once upon a time, I thought money would save my family. That it could have saved my single-mom and my siblings from living on food stamps and hand-me-downs, and it would be the savior for my own family as I worked hard to create a different future for us. That was my money story, and it kept me in chains for 50 years. Until I gave my life to Jesus.
Here’s the rest of the story that I pray will inspire you to turn your eyes to Jesus to break free. Listen to episode 196 of Redefining Hustle: Pursuing Success as a Christian Woman for the deeper story.
I’ve been a driver, striver and achievement chaser my whole life, which was borne out of growing up without much and having a lot of responsibility at a young age. I remember my mom wringing her hands sitting at the kitchen table, talking about trying to make ends meet. I remember her fighting with my father about child support so that we would have enough. And I remember my grandmother and aunt always being there to help in these hard times. This upbringing gave me a strong work ethic but also a hunger for a different, “richer” future. It taught me two things which then formed the the theme of my money story:
- Money was the savior our family needed. It would have saved my mom a lot of heartache and us kids a lot of hungry nights. It would have given us more options, and I was determined to provide that for my future.
- Hard work was the only way to make a lot of money, and the only way to do this was with a degree a stable job. In the mid- to late-80’s, that looked like climbing the corporate ladder.
So, I grew up, I got a degree, and started on the corporate track. Over the next few decades, I made a lot of money, achieved a big title, started a family, then started my own business because I wanted more quality of life plus more money. And the money story continued because no matter how much money I had. I still wanted more.
It was an addiction, and I savored every penny.
In my transition from corporate exec to entrepreneur, the addiction got worse: only a six-figure income would quench my thirst and solve everything, and with that came reckless spending because I needed more to erase all those years of having less. And our lack of Godly stewardship led to poor decisions like living well beyond our means to keep up appearances, and draining my 401K to stay afloat when times got tough.
Money was my idol. It was my savior.
Does this sound a little like some Old Testament characters you know?
Deuteronomy 8:18 MSG: If you start thinking to yourself “I did all this and all by myself. I’m rich, it’s all mine.” Well think again. Remember that God, Your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth, so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors, as it is today.
Just as Moses reminds the Israelites who truly brought them through the wilderness and gave them everything they needed; we too need this reminder. It is GOD who gave us the gifts, talents and skills, who called us to administer them in the marketplace, and who provides every single dollar we earn in walking out His assignment.
If you find yourself spiraling in your own money story, here are two questions to ask yourself:
- What is my money story and how is this shaping my life and business?
- Am I defining myself by my monthly revenue and all the outward evidence in success or am I trusting God to define me?
And here are three things you can do today to begin changing your money story:
- Pray: Lord, show me where I’m not surrendered when it comes to money.
- Work in your business for God, not for man, trusting where God guides, He provides.
- Understand your finances to be a good steward of them.
I spent a lot of time trying to fill a hole that I didn’t realize was the Jesus-shaped hole. I was trying to fill it with money, titles, promotions and shiny things. dollars in titles and promotion. Once I let Jesus be my true Savior and gave Him the reigns in my life and business, the true calm and peace came. So much so that when He led me into coaching ambitious women, I was able to step into this assignment without overwhelming worry about how much money it would bring, what stages I could get on, and how this path would promote me. I am not that person anymore…yet I am still a work in progress.
Please hear me: there is nothing wrong with earning at a level with one or more commas! It is the love of money and the position of savior we give it that are. the issues. I’m also not endorsing the “prosperity gospel” that God is going to give you everything you want so you can be exceedingly happy. That’s not what the Bible says either.
My backstory is a story of redemption: this is what happens when you give your life to the Lord and let Him change the desires of your heart. I hope my hindsight can be your foresight with God’s insight. Please message me and tell me how I can pray over your money story because it is a tricky topic, and there is a lot of noise in the world about it.
If this story sounds like you, I hear you. I see you. And it doesn’t have to be this way. God made you to be ambitious, but He didn’t make you to work the world’s way. I’m the coach that can help you break free from that mode of operation. Let’s chat about working together: https://erinharrigan.com/discoverycall