In a conversation with my mothering-friends about motherhood, one of my friends somehow mentioned her crazy rich Asian sister, and this steered our discussion to the talk about value. What kind of value do you hold in your life? What’s the greatest subject you value in your life? Is it love, is it family, is it God, is it money? What is your bigger desire? What is that you really want?
When we talk about money, the first question is who doesn’t like money? Who doesn’t need money? I believe it’s crazy to say – I don’t like money! Well, you might not like it for its potential harm to our lives, but still, we do need money!
I’ve seen a lot of Tiktok or Facebook inspirational videos that bring up this topic about materialistic women (or men), using their partners to gain financial advantages. And rather than loving their partners wholeheartedly, most of these sample cases present the evil hearted will to stay with the other half when it’s gainful for them, but to leave when there’s no more to offer.
It’s easy to despise these gold-diggers. I personally don’t understand how to do it, since I was taught by my mother to never receive gifts easily from men, never let them buy me things, never ask or hope for them to spend their money on me. And I brought this teaching with me all the way to the day I got married – although now I’m the one who holds all the money in this family (hehehe), but basically it’s still difficult for me to use someone else’s money on my expenses.
But then, when I think further about this… we despise people who use others for their personal gain, but unconsciously (or consciously), we often approach God with the same manner.
Many Christias believe that when they give much, they would receive much too. Of course this is not completely wrong. The Bible does state that God would multiply the amount of His blessings to people who are generous in giving. But as my minister often says, our act should be a matter of heart. All deeds must be based on the right motives. What is our motive in praying? What is our goal, what is our deepest desire in doing something?
Do we give because we love God and that way we love our neighbours? Do we give because our heart moved to see other’s needs? Or do we give because the rewards of getting 1000 times bigger blessings have been promised?
But then again, who am I to judge others? Even when I’m not into this prosperity gospel, do I approach God with a better motive? Do I have a true love towards God in my heart?
I personally still struggle to come regularly to pray. The freedom that we as Christians may come at any time to pray to God, and not bound by any certain time or way to pray has led us to take prayers very lightly. Other than praying in the morning (mostly before breakfast), praying for every meal and praying before bed, I never really set a special time to pray, to communicate with God, to be in a synchronized relationship with Him.
But often, I say a simple prayer, when I am going to pick up my kids to school (since I had my car accident, I’m always nervous to drive), or when I have too much pain, or when something is missing and I need it urgently… in such times I do pray.
God, please keep me safe when i drive.
God, please You know that cellphone holds so much confidential datas, don’t let me lose it, please!
God, heal the neck of my daughter. I can’t stand to see her that way!
While I’m not really into His money, I have to admit, in my relationship with God, it is still more often about His blessings, than purely to be in connection with Him.
God please keep us safe. God please help my children grow. God please help our family!
God is indeed the tower of refuge and the source of all good things. But is our relationship with Him limited in our needs for His mercy?
A preacher once said, “Do you love God, or do merely expect His blessings? Do you want Him, or do you want the grace that is made possible in His Name?
What’s the difference? Isn’t it the same? Don’t we come to God because He is our heavenly Father, that is supposed to have all the power and grace to take care of us, to sustain us? No. And Yes. He is indeed our Father, and just as much our earthly parents take care of us, support us, love us and raise us, God does provide us in all things by His grace.
But supposedly your child loves you, and does all good things before you, talks nicely to you, but only because he wants something for you – whether he wants the newest Playstation available in the store, or just because he’s worried that you wouldn’t want to feed him, what would you feel?
Don’t you feel betrayed? You want all of his love, you want to build a real connection with him, you want him to trust you as his real father, you want him to talk with you about his days, you want him to listen to you as you teach him all things about life.
What would you feel when your child regards you only as a source of financial income or daily needs or expensive gifts? What would you feel when the only topic of the conversations between two of you is limited on what he wants to get from you?
I don’t think you would like it. I don’t think you would want it. You would want something MORE. You would want it ALL. You want him to be happy when he’s together with you, not only when he receives something he has been longing for so long. You want a son, you want a child, not someone who’s only after your money.
I believe God feels that way too. He wants ALL from us. He wants our love, our attention, He wants to listen to our stories, to our please, but He also wants us to listen to Him. He wants us to seek Him, the Blesser, and not merely seek for the blessing.
When my Grandfather (from my dad’s side) was still alive, He LOVED to quote this verse:
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6: 33)
He loved that verse so much that we always knew that’s what He wanted to say whenever he started to open his mouth. M 633, that’s what we said about him.
It took me a long time, a very long life journey to completely understand what He said back at that time. And I guess it still takes my whole life to learn every single day, again and again, to seek God, and not only His “money”.
Love Him or His money?