How the heck does one’s attitude toward money reveal the life of his soul? Bit much you claim there, isn’t it?
Only if you begin with the assumption that money and the spiritual life are two separate, distinct worlds. In fact, they are intimately intertwined. We just don’t see it or don’t want to see it.
In the Gospel of Matthew, 25 of 28 chapters make a direct or indirect reference to material possessions or the use of money and power, a total of 38 passages. For example, when Jesus called him, Peter dropped his nets and left the security of his job as a fisherman. That was an economic decision that revealed a trust in divine Providence. With Peter as just one example, I think it’s fair to say one’s attitude toward money reveals something about one’s interior spiritual life.
Do we really need to be generous? How about making ends meet? How about a mini-vacation with the kids?
You’ve combined three issues, so let’s tease them apart, using my own childhood to illustrate a couple of points. First, “making ends meet” refers to our moral obligation to pay bills justly incurred. My parents took this obligation very seriously, which meant a very modest lifestyle, one that has gone decidedly out of fashion. We need some soul searching in this regard.
As for a vacation with the kids, that is a good thing once you’ve met your basic obligations. So is a nice cold beer after cutting the lawn. My point: God wants us to enjoy life, and I intend on taking him up on the offer. But enjoyment has to be set in the context of the third issue: generosity. Neither of my parents had a high-school education, but they had a deep trust and faith. As a kid in the ’60s, I saw my parents write a check to the church every Sunday morning. It wasn’t much, but it was a lesson by example for my brothers and me. I’ll take that memory over a ride in a teacup any day.