Whose Money Is It Anyway?
I’m not very good at making decisions, as any of my friends will know.
I’d much rather someone else made my life decisions for me. Where we go for coffee, which outfit to wear for a night out, which multinational business to invest my money in…
Now, I don’t have a huge amount of money. In fact, I’ve only just got out of my student overdraft. That and manage to put some money into a savings account, for those rainy days.
If I didn’t think too much about it I’d imagine that it just sits in a bank safe somewhere, perhaps wrapped in brown paper? Yeah ok, probably not wrapped in brown paper, but at least put into a box with HENDERSON on it. It just sits there waiting until I want to take it out again.
Of course, this isn’t reality. I’ve never really given it much thought before, but banks use our money while we’re not spending it. They invest it in things, things that will make more money. And what makes money? Generally speaking, it’s the things that most of us wouldn’t choose to fund if we really thought about it.
The Bible doesn’t really talk much about what we should invest our money in, but it does talk about money. Quite a lot in fact.
Luke’s gospel talks more about money than it does about prayer.
There are a few things that I think the Bible is quite clear on – like the idea of Jubilee. The idea that every so often we should redistribute our money and resources to make sure there’s enough for everyone. It’s a radical model that makes sure that no one is left wanting. It’s the antithesis of the modern-day banking system.
So, how are we able to live out the radical, counter-cultural lifestyle that the gospels call us to in a modern world?
What if we were to take seriously our role in probing, pushing and changing how our banks use our money responsibly?
One thing I definitely can’t reconcile with my faith is that I’m part of a system that uses my money to fund something that is knowingly destroying the planet. The burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change. It’s already effecting the lives of people around the world and yet we continue to extract more fossil fuels from the ground.
God entrusted us with the care of this earth, but somewhere along the way we’ve handed that responsibility to our banks.
I’m don’t like taking responsibility for things, but I think it’s time I took back this responsibility. I’ll still let someone else choose where to go for coffee though.