- Sheleena Boulianne
WEALTH | March 27- April 1
Feast or famine. Some propose that this saying can be traced back all the way back to Genesis 41 when Egypt experienced seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. Even so, it sits on the psyche of different generations, cultures, and socio-economic realities differently. For some, it may bring them back to memories of the Depression Era, war times, or different recessions. For others, it might speak to their experience as a seasonal or gig worker. For me, it represents my life as a farm kid.
Though as a child I was not acutely aware of the financial realities that existed in our family, the rhythms of feast or famine certainly shaped my relationship with money. It was only a few years ago while I was talking to my dad about what it was like on the farm that he articulated some of those days of struggle – quietly stressing about whether there’d be enough to put food on the table or pay the bills and mortgage.
In the middle of this conversation, Jesus revealed something in me. In an attempt to shield myself from the anxiety I had internalized as a kid about hovering around the poverty line, I had created my own poverty line. As Jesse and I hit different financial milestones as young adults -- paying off student debt, starting to save RRSPs, buying a home, etc. -- instead of looking at these assets as blessings and resources for generosity, I would put a wall around them in my heart and mind and then live month to month as if we were barely making it. I would hoard, and worry, and stress about unexpected expenses. Though we had plenty, were investing wisely, and were spending responsibly, I had no sense of freedom in our wealth. It was never enough. The line would just move.
I had made wealth into an insatiable idol, less by pursuit of accumulation and more by fear of decease. Once I accepted the limits of my control and chose to trust God as my ultimate Provider, finances were no longer the anxiety trigger they had once been. I could spend by faith. I could save by faith. I could invest by faith. And I could be generous by faith.
What are my human limits when it comes to pursuing wealth?
How has the pursuit of wealth taken the place of God in my life?
What meaning have I been deriving from wealth?
As you say aloud these confessions, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender.
I confess that I am human and that I have limits.
I confess the ways that I have been chasing after a vapour.
I confess that you are God and I am not.
As a way of living into your confessions, consider fasting from non-essential purchases this week.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:11-13.
Psalm 23 tells us that God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies, even death itself. He gives good gifts to his children.
Ask the Spirit to reveal what God wants to set your Table with.