A new study (yes, another one) shows that three-quarters of Americans lose sleep over money and a recent gallup poll indicates that, for 58% of us, not having enough money is our biggest fear (above health concerns, divorce, death, and terrorist attacks). We can all relate to those feelings of anxiety, but wouldn’t it be nice to have no fear about money? It is possible and here are several reminders why:
1. You can live on less
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:8
People I counsel often have a debilitating fear of losing their current standard of living, especially when facing the prospect of having to downsize. In almost every case, though, they come back to me and report that their fears were unjustified. Downsizing actually reduces their stress and they find creative ways to have fun which brings them closer together as a couple or family which in turn increases happiness. Don;t spend your time fretting about losing your lifestyle. It’s not that bad.
2. It may be all in your head
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Luke 12:25
The french writer Honore de Balzac, said, “Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation.” Often, our worries are about things that may happen or could happen in some dystopian future of our own creation, completely unfounded in any reality. We worry just to worry or we worry because we think there’s nothing else we can do about it. Free yourself from this kind of angst by taking a deep breath, praying and reminding yourself that your worry won’t solve anything.
3. More money isn’t the answer
“For riches and abundance come hypocritically clad in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be security against anxieties, and they become then the object of anxiety; they secure a man against anxieties just about as well as the wolf which is put to tending the sheep secures them against the wolf…” – Soren Keirkegaard
In the same Gallup poll, those who make over $75,000 a year worry about money just as much as those who make $25,000, so don’t fall into the trap that says, “If I just had more money, I wouldn’t worry.” Many times, money and possessions bring with them a whole new set of worries.
4. God is in control
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:31-33
God PROMISES to take care of our needs as we trust in Him. And He owns everything, so He’s a pretty good ally to have. When we focus on Him and not our everyday worries, He will meet our needs and we will feel a sense of peace, no matter what happens.
5. It’s not good for you
“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” – Proverbs 12:25
Worrying undermines our contentedness and ability to express gratitude for what we have. It becomes a mental burden that can even cause us to grow physically sick. Stop worrying about money or you may have to start worrying about your health as well.
6. Happiness lies in other things
“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12
It’s been said a million times, but, once needs are met, there is no correlation between money and happiness. We all agree with this in an abstract sense, but what if we actually applied it to our lives? The real things that lead to happiness are relationships with people, a relationship with God, life experiences, and helping others.