Have you ever wondered how your life would change if you won the lottery? I used to believe that if I had more money, my life would be easier, happier. I’d pay off all my bills, buy a couple of homes, and put money away for the future. But does money really equate to happiness? Well I can tell you first hand that it doesn’t. Prior to marrying my husband, he came into a significant inheritance, I mean seriously significant. We used it to pay for our wedding, gifts for loved ones, rented and furnished a beautiful home; I saw it as a blessing to the start of our new life together. The truth is, the money was the catalyst for the demise of our marriage. Before his inheritance, my husband and I had in-depth conversations about life, religion, God. Everything. We attended church sporadically but still connected spiritually. I loved that he was well-versed in the Bible because he’d grown up in the church. It led to many conversations on how God had influenced and changed our lives. But…I lost him to the money…and substance abuse. My husband (soon to be ex) had a recreational substance habit turned full-time job once the money hit his account. He turned into a different person. To top it off, I was pregnant with our first child while hiding the misery of my life from my family and friends. He developed a “God-complex,” and was so far down the rabbit hole, I was at a loss as to how to get back to how we were. Conversations about God and our blessings became non-existent.
“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.” 1 Timothy 6:10
I watched this scripture play out in real time. With our earthly riches God took a back seat. When things went south, I had to be honest about my complicity in enjoying the money that was at our disposal. I too had lost sight of what was important – putting God first. I wound up piercing myself with grief. It’s easy to get caught up in money, especially when there’s so much of it. I don’t know…maybe I’d had a bit of “God complex” myself because I could buy anything I wanted. There’s an infusion of self-righteous power that comes with the knowledge that money is no object.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Matthew 16:26
There’s this inherent belief that you do gain the whole world when money is at your disposal. But there’s always a cost, especially when you lose sight of what’s truly important. He giveth and He taketh away, because, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24. The money had me lost in my earthly abundance and my husband in substance abuse. The cost was my relationship with God, our marriage and financial stability. His substance abuse put me and my son in danger, so I packed a bag, my 3 month old and left. I later found out he’d been withdrawing obscene amounts of money to feed his habit. The majority of it was gone. It hadn’t even been a year. To say that I questioned God about my circumstance was an understatement. But it was in Him, I found my salvation. Money and possessions didn’t matter when my life was crumbling right before my eyes. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” When the smoke cleared, I didn’t have money, but I had something infinitely more important – God back at the forefront of my life. I learned many lessons during those darkest days, but the most important one was to always keep God first. As long as we do that, He will bless us beyond all measure.
Written by Nadiyah Albee, Makers Kids Team Staff member