In a world where opposites attract, it’s not unusual for savers to marry spenders.
Interestingly, both individuals have an unhealthy tendency to judge others based on their natural spending or saving habits.
Consider the following conversation:
“I can tell she loves money too much.”
“Oh? How’s that” the concerned friend asks.
“She’s always spending money on things to make herself look good. She keeps buying things and those things are just too important to her.”
“And, you?” the concerned friend replies.
“Well, I don’t like to spend money. I get nervous when I don’t have a lot of money in the bank account. I just sleep better knowing that there’s a surplus in the bank.”
Both the saver and the spender have displayed unhealthy fruit.
Is one of them more righteous than the other?
Can spending be a sign of a strong attraction to money? Of course. When we spend money, we can feel valuable, significant, and important. Can spending money be a sign of a heart that is free of a love of money? Of course. You could spend money freely because you’re not concerned or attached to money.
Can saving be a sign of a strong attraction to money? It sure can. You could save because you feel more safe and secure when you don’t buy things. You feel more hopeful when the bank account is padded. Can saving money be a sign of a heart that is free of a love of money. It sure can. Perhaps a person saves simply because they don’t have an interest in buying into all the things our consumerist culture tries to lure us into buying.
The caution is this – don’t make yourself the perfect center.
The other day, I realized that sometimes I show my affection for money in how much time, effort, or energy I spend trying to get a good deal. At times, I think a person who spends his money more freely shows a lesser attraction to money. On other occasions, I see people spending money without any control or any filters, and I recognize that they are serving money.
What’s at the center?
It ought to be Christ. He is the person that give us value, significance, and importance. It’s not what we buy, own, or borrow. He is the person who gives us security, safety, and hope. It’s not what we save, store, or keep.
When we put Christ in the center, we’ll sometimes end up spending more. When we put Christ in the center, we’ll sometimes end up saving more.
Either way, we’ll look different when we put Christ in the middle of all we do as either spenders or savers.