Yesterday we started a series of short posts about how the enemy proliferates our fleshly desires and causes our downfall. Identifying each trait and breaking them down into 7 parts to make it easier for you to understand and protect your loved ones from falling prey. Our intent is not to create fear or pass judgement on those with medical conditions but simply to state the truth as presented in the Holy Bible. We are passionate about your welfare, emotional, and physical wellbeing. We welcome your request for prayers, individually or in a group setting. God bless you and me.
LOVE OF MONEY: Our minds and money are deeply woven together and most people don’t understand how important this relationship is to their overall happiness. Your financial picture is greatly influenced by your internal attitudes and beliefs (your psychology) you hold to be true about money. Most people don’t know this and live in their sub-conscious blind-spots way too long. Do you know your intelligence has little to do with how financially successful you are?
All wrongdoing can be traced to an excessive attachment to material wealth. This saying comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is sometimes shortened to “Sin is the root of all evil.”
PSYCHOLOGY: Studies show that money is the no. 1 reason for divorce in the early years of marriage and a common area of conflict for couples. Even before the recession, 3 out of 4 Americans identified money as the no. 1 source of stress in their lives. Financial strain has been found to reduce relationship satisfaction, worsen depression, and lead to emotional problems, health difficulties, and poor work performance. With record high debt and record low savings rates in the years leading up to the economic crisis, the average American seemed to suffer from a money disorder.
PSYCHOANALYSIS: Money disorders are persistent patterns of self-destructive and self-limiting financial behaviors. They result from distorted beliefs about money we develop from our financial flash-point experiences. Financial flashpoints are painful, distressing, and/or dramatic life events associated with money that are so emotionally powerful, they leave an imprint that lasts into adulthood. Financial flash-points become the foundation of our financial struggles.
The Bible makes it quite clear that sin is the root of all evil in the world (Matthew 15:19; Romans 5:12; James 1:15). However, when we reflect upon the correct citation of this verse, we see that it is the love of money, not money itself, that is a source of all different kinds of trouble and evil. Wealth is morally neutral; there is nothing wrong with money, in and of itself, or the possession of money. However, when money begins to control us, that’s when trouble starts.
"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." - Matthew 15:19 NKJV
Here names many of the attributes associated (in psychology) today with the greedy personality we are all becoming more familiar.
"Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." - James 1:15 NKJV
The Science of Psychology and Money:
1. Money Avoidance Disorders (also includes Underspending and Excessive Risk Aversion): Financial Denial: When, rather than face financial reality, we try to minimize money problems by refusing to think about them all together (e.g. avoiding looking at a bank statement or paying a credit card bill).Financial Rejection: The experience of guilt whenever money, of any amount, is accrued. People with low self-esteem are particularly prone to this disorder, and it leads to a whole host of financial and psychological troubles.
2. Money-Worshiping Disorders (also includes Pathological Gambling, Workaholism, Overspending and Hoarding): When stockpiling objects or money provides a sense of safety, security, and relief of anxiety.Compulsive Buying: Compulsive buying is overspending on steroids. Compulsive shoppers are consumed by their money worries. They often learned, early in life, that the ritual of shopping provides a temporary escape from worry and anxiety. When they think about and anticipate the pleasure they will feel when they shop, dopamine, a "feel good" chemical, floods their brains-only to wear off quickly, leaving them craving another fix.
3. Relational Money Disorders (also includes Financial Dependence and Financial Incest):Financial Infidelity: Telling "little green lies" about one's spending or finances to one's partner, like making purchases outside an agreed-upon budget or lying about the cost of a big-ticket item. Extreme examples might include taking out a second mortgage behind your partner's back or opening a secret bank account.
Financial Enabling: Giving money to others whether you can afford it or not; giving when it is not in the other's long-term best interest; having trouble or finding it impossible to say no to requests for money; and/or even sacrificing one's own financial wellbeing for the sake of others.
A common example is when parents support adult children who should be able to support themselves. Financial Enabling becomes increasingly common among family members in a down economy, when there is sense of guilt about less fortunate relatives.
The basics of financial health aren't complicated, and we are all capable of mastering them, no matter who we are, or our level of wealth. When we identify our financial flashpoint experiences, challenge our distorted money beliefs, and practice healthy financial behaviors (e.g. maintain reasonable and low debt, have an active savings plan, as well as following a spending plan), we don't just become materially richer-we become emotionally wealthier as well.
According to Professor Glenn D Wilson, money is more than just a means to an end. It prompts behavior that cannot be explained by its utilitarian value. People rolling in money still seek more of it, as though they can never get enough. They will sacrifice other values such as family and friends in favor of accumulating money. They chase money for the sake of money or perhaps to keep ahead of the Joneses.
Money evokes conditioned emotional responses. We become attached to its form and resist changes in notes and coins. People become obsessive about money – it gives them a buzz like an addiction (Lea & Webley, 2008). It has commonalities with food, which might suggest an evolutionary origin for our craving. When hunger is aroused by delicious aromas people become fiscally tighter (Briers et al, 2006).
The mere thought of money seems to make us mean. Reminders of great wealth (e.g., a money-themed screensaver in the background) seem increase feelings of social detachment (Vohs et al 2008). Money-primed subjects seek greater space from other people, in the manner of an animal that has acquired a kill and wants to protect it from competitors. This may underlie the stereotype of the wealthy miser (e.g., Scrooge).
Factor analysis of questionnaires has identified various attitudes with respect to money and their personality correlates. For example, people who value money for the power and prestige that is brings tend to be Machiavellian in personality, those who are future and security oriented are more likely to be anxious types and those who are concerned with retention of money (hoarding) tend to be obsessional in personality (Yamauchi & Templer, 1982). People high on “Work ethic” are inclined to be obsessed with money and to believe that it can be gained by effort and ability (Furnham, 1984). Income relates negatively to frugality and anxiety and positively with forward planning and saving (Baker & Hagedorn, 2008) though the directions of cause and effect are unclear.
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." - 1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV
The most effective way to derive happiness from money is to give it away (Dunn et al, 2008). This ranges from small gifts to close family and friends to major organisations contributing to the wider society. The “warm glow” that comes out of voluntary donations to charity, as against involuntary payments (“taxation”) has also been demonstrated in brain responses within the dopamine reward system (Harbaugh et al, 2007). Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are among the extremely wealthy businessmen who have recognized that philanthropy is more satisfying than hoarding. Misers are indeed miserable.
Friends, even Judas betrayed Jesus for a meager 30 pieces of silver. Today we can say, Judas was evil and how could anyone betray GOD or Jesus? Judas should have known better. Truth is, we are weak in our own flesh and it is a sinful nature of man that is fallen - until we recognize our Mighty Lord God, His Son Jesus and HIS HOLY SPIRIT we remain fallen. Turn your hearts to knowing what is right, who deserves our loyalty and where we are going after we die.
"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him." - Matthew 26:14-16 NKJV
Please stay tuned for the next part of this series that will cover: BOASTERS.
God bless you and your family. May you keep on guard and protect your heart and minds from the slick enemy who is always on the prowl to grab an unsuspecting soul. Please share your thoughts and views in the comment box below and share it with your family and friends. You can share your love and save someone from falling into a trap.
References and footnotes:
Flashpoint meaning: a place, event, or time at which trouble, such as violence or anger, flares up.
Ariely, D. (2008) Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions. NY: Harper-Collins.
Arkes, H.R. & Ayton, P. (1999) The sunk cost and Concorde effects: Are humans less rational than lower animals? Psychological Bulletin, 125, 591-600.
Baker, P.M & Hagedorn, R.B. (2008) Attitudes to money in a random sample of adults: Factor analysis of the MAS and MBBS scales and correlations with demographic variables. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37, 1803-1814.
Black, D.W. (2007) A review of compulsive buying disorder. World Psychiatry, 6, 14-18.
Bouissac, P. (2006) Hoarding behaviour: A better evolutionary account of money psychology. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 29, 181.
Briers, B. et al (2006) Hungry for money: the desire for caloric resources increases the desire for financial resources and vice versa. Psychological Science, 17, 936-943.
Bruner, J.S. & Goodman, C.C. (1947) Value and need as organising factors in perception. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 42, 33-44.
De Martino, B. et al (2009) Frames, biases and rational decision-making in the human brain. Science, 313, 684-687.
DeVoe, S.E. et al (2009) When is happiness about how much you earn? The effect of hourly payment on the money-happiness connection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35
Dunn, E.W. et al (2008) Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319, 1687-1688.