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March 23, 2009

Quote for the Day: C.S. Lewis on Money


One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give and so fail to realise your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. 

-- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Is it possible that one of the hidden blessings in our current economic meltdown is that many of us will turn away from worshiping the god Mammon, and instead turn our hearts to Yahweh? That is my hope and prayer, for myself and for others in my country. 

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Indeed, my prayer is that God will save us from our foolishness, but not that he will restore us to where we were! Yet, even as I say that, I must confess to some anxiety concerning what that might look like in my own life. (I wonder if I can love God when I am sleeping under a bridge?) It is so hard to let go…

There is another article posted at The Point right now, “A Recession Only Steinbeck Could Love”, that speaks of how our society’s ability to acquire “stuff” has damaged our national character. Lewis takes this one step further – to how it gets in the way of the ultimate relationship. It is a continuum. The love of money, love of stuff, has led us away from our best selves, away from one another, and, ultimately, away from God.

It seems we have also gotten very confused about time. Many of the laments we hear these days concern time, such as “… college plans dashed”, “having to grow up too soon”, etc. Lewis’s quote reminds me that we are not just dependent on God for “stuff” at every moment: we are dependent on God *for every moment!* It is not an accident that we all use the phrase “time is money”. We love them both; we feel entitled to both, and we often waste both. We need a new investment strategy.

I find myself drawn more often to this simple invitation: “Be still and know that I am God”. I pray that others will hear and respond to that invitation as well.


I hope you are right.

People who have gone through deprivation tend to become hoarders instead. Consider depression babies. Or the curious food-hoarding habits of formerly starved children.

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