Undoing the Magic of Money

Money is magical.  It is hard not to be enthralled with its power.  Try to rip a dollar in half–its a psychologically difficult thing to do.  Yet as Christians we must live according to a different economy, an economy based on love and charity in which money is at best a passing convenience, at worst a dangerous idol.  The tendency is for the latter so it is critical in our Christian spiritual practice to break the power of money.  There is no better way to break the power of money than to give it away.

Today give away your money–just enough to be significant to you (that could be $20 for some, $1000 for another).  Give it away freely, without strings attached.  Leave $20 on a park bench.  Let a handful of bills fly out the window as you drive to work.  Put some in an envelope and in the mailbox of someone you do not know.  Whatever you do, give it away without any of the attachments of prudence.  When the voice of Judas begins to tell you that there’s something better that could have been done with it, that you could have sent that hundred to save the children or something, remember that we win through love not money, and that to make space for love sometimes we have to free ourselves of our dangerous attachments.  We serve God not Money and we should also remember in this that we serve with God not Money.

What will you choose to do to break money’s power?  How did it go?

About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us, Farming as a Spiritual Discipline and a contributor to the book Sacred Acts: How churches are working to protect the Earth’s climate. Ragan’s articles and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines including Triathlete, The Oxford American, and Books & Culture. He works to live the good life with his wife Emily and daughter Lillian.


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