If Money Talked, Part 4: Meaningful Money // Andy Stanley

If Money Talked, Part 4: Meaningful Money // Andy Stanley


(drawn out music note) (swooshing) (coins jingling) (swooshing) (swooshing) (light-hearted music) – It’s tough being someone’s money. I feel like I have so much to offer and yet, I’m underutilized. I’m stretched to thin, there’s no margin. I’m either completely ignored
or people are pushing me in directions I don’t want to go in. I could provide so much
more meaning to people beyond powerboats or fancy
shoes or new watches. I just want what’s best for people. I want them livin’ the dream. – Well what would that look like? (chiming) (phone ringing) – Terry, (laughing)
great to hear from you. Man, every Monday like
clockwork, it’s wonderful. (phone ringing) Guinea pigs do need saving. Yes, I think giving 5% is
a great place to start. (phone ringing) You know what you and Melanie need? You need to take some
time away from the kids and enjoy yourselves, take that vacation. (phone ringing) You blew out both tires at once? Oh my goodness, the good news is is that’s why we have
our emergency savings. Isn’t it amazing? (phone ringing) Savings, check, giving,
check, so guess what? Now you get to go spoil yourself. You know, go get something
fun like repaint that house. Go get that car, buy that new
phone, consume your heart out. (chiming) – Not to burst your bubble, but do you really feel like that’s realistic? (phone ringing) Excuse me. Hello? Yes, just a moment. It’s for you. – (sighs) This is money. Karen, Karen, Karen
(laughing) you called back! Oh my goodness, what’s going on? Congratulations, you’ve been saving long and hard for that
house, that’s amazing. And you got a great rate, even better. You’re the best, no, no, you’re the best. Okay, all right, we got a
lot of work to do, all right. Okay, thank you. All right, so what we’re
gonna do is first off, we’re gonna make sure we get
that homeowner’s insurance. Gotta plan for that property
tax, a lawn maintenance plan. Have you had someone
look at your gutters yet? That’s gonna be really important. Cable and internet is definitely a must so we can entertain the guests. Oh, you know what, another thing that I was thinking for
fire insurance some– – Oh. – Don’t forget your umbrella
policy, that’s important. Okay, you know what doc? – She’s gone. – You are the best, next time
let’s talk about you, ya know? You gotta up your rate, you know we all know this aint cheap. I gotta go, you’re a genius, okay. (whoops) Therapy works. (coins clacking) – Welcome back to If Money Talked. Where we are letting the
money do the talking. I hope you’ve continued
to spy on your money. In fact, I hope that
becomes a habit for life. And I hope you’ve begun thinking and maybe even spending more like
a manager than an owner. And perhaps after our last
session together you’ve taken some steps in the direction
of give, save and live. As we wrap up, I wanna leave
you with a big question. A question that on the surface, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with money but in the end you’ll discover that it has everything to do with money. And it’s actually a question that Jesus sets up with a parable. This is one of my favorite
parables Jesus told. Perhaps because many years
ago, this was the parable God used to redirect my thinking as it relates to my personal finances. Here’s what he said, he
said, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded
an abundant harvest.” So let’s stop right
there, here’s a rich guy who now has even more
wealth because the ground produced an abundant harvest. The ground which, by the
way, he had no control over. Jesus continues, the rich man thought to himself, “What shall I do?” I mean this was a problem, right? “What shall I do, I have no
place to store my crops.” And then he said, “This is what I’ll do. “I will tear down my barns
and I will build bigger barns and there I will store
my,” notice the word, surplus, “my extra, grain.” Now, on the surface it doesn’t seem like we have anything in
common with this lucky fellow. But just below the surface,
well let me ask you this. Have you ever had a garage sale? Yeah, have you ever carried a load or two or twenty to Goodwill? Right, have you ever had a
hard time finding a place in the attic or the basement for something you weren’t using
anymore because the attic or basement was already full of stuff you weren’t using anymore? So yeah, we may have more in common with this fellow than first meets the eye. Back to the parable, I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of gain
laid up for many years. “Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry.” Which is really a great
plan if you think about it. I mean it’s kinda the goal, isn’t it? It’s the American Dream, right? Have enough money to buy
whatever you want now, save enough so that you can retire and buy whatever you want later. And, if you’ve really done
things right, you’ll have enough to make sure your kids
are taken care of as well. If you could do all of that,
you’ve pretty much won, right? I mean you’re blessed, right? Well so thought everybody
in Jesus’ audience. And then Jesus surprised them with this. “But God said to him,” the rich man, “you fool” It’s like, what? I mean everybody in Jesus’
audience is taken aback. Just like you probably were the first time you read this parable. I mean, he achieved the
goal, he’s livin’ the dream. Um clearly, there’s
some kind of disconnect. But God said to him, “You fool, this very night your life will
be demanded from you.” Then and listen to this question, “Then who will get what you have
prepared for yourself?” In other words, you are out of time even though even though
you’re not out of grain. You are out of time even
though you’re not out of money. And that’s gonna be the story
for most of us, isn’t it? We’ve talked about this. For most of us because of
family support or pensions or 401Ks or decent investing, we’re actually gonna run out of time
before we run out of money. So the question that
God asked the rich guy is really a question for all of us. Then God asked him, “Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” And the answer is, somebody else. But not because this guy was generous. Because this guy was
dead, he didn’t give it. He just left it. Now this point Jesus
pulls out of the parable and he addresses his audience
and he addresses us as well. And here’s what he said,
“This is how it will be.” This, this thing that I just described and illustrated this is how it will be. Total complete loss, everything. As in everything was left behind. He ate, he drank, he was
married and then he died. Nothing meaningful to show for his life. This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves
but is not rich towards God. Jesus is not teaching against
preparing for the future. Here’s what Jesus is
saying, he’s saying this is how it will be for
anyone who only prepares for their future and is
not rich towards God. This is how it will be for anyone who embraces the consumption assumption. The assumption that everything that comes my way is for my consumption. That’s the mistake the rich man made. He built bigger barns because
he though it was all for him. And in the end, total loss. Do you remember what money
told us back in part one? Money said, “I can add
meaning to your life but I’m not the meaning of life.” I can add meaning to your life
and that’s the right lens. That’s how we should view our money. Money can add meaning to
our life because money is a tool and when we use money as a tool, it adds meaning to our life. The rich man, he never realized this. He thought his money
was a gift, not a tool. An entitlement, a reward
to sit back and enjoy. Jesus teaches that our money is a tool and that’s why it can
add meaning to our life. So here’s the question I mentioned up top. The one at first glance seems to have nothing to do with money. Here it is, to what ends do you want your life to be a means? To what ends do you want
your life to be a means? If something is not a means
to an end, it has no meaning. That’s what it means to have meaning. It has no purpose, it’s
the rich man’s life. His wealth is not a means to
anything other than himself. And in the end, he had nothing to show for himself but himself. So his life even with all of
his wealth, had no meaning. So when he was gone, as
Jesus said, total loss. Again, for something,
including your life, for something to have meaning,
it must be a means to an end. So, to what ends do you want
your life to be a means? Here’s another way to
ask that same question. What do you want people to celebrate about you when you’re gone? Or my wife Sandra’s version
of that question is this, what do want people to line up
and thank you for in the end? Most people never stop to ask those kinds of questions, perhaps you haven’t either. I don’t know how you’d answer but I know how you wouldn’t answer it. I know you would say,
“Well, for me it’s all about accumulation, consumption
and upgrades, right?” I mean here’s the thing, if
you don’t figure this out, life will figure it out for you. Your appetites, your
desire for more, bigger, newer, shinier will dictate
the answer to that question. Culture will pull you towards the she ate, she drank, she was married and she died. Nobody chooses that on purpose. That’s why the meaning question
really is about your money. Money is a tool, it’s a tool that can add meaning to your life. So let me break this down
and make this practical. Last time we were together I said that the best way to prioritize
financially is to give first, save second and then live on the rest. That is reprioritize around generosity rather than consumption. Take the thing that’s usually
last on our list, giving, and move it to the top of the list. And I suggested this
because of what Jesus said, “Where our treasure is, there
our heart will be also.” Now, this is the brilliant
thing about that statement. It’s a principle that
actually works both ways. In other words, if you’d like
to change where your heart is you just change where your money is going. And here’s something I’ve been suggesting to people for years. When you decide where to give, give from a grateful heart and
give from a broken heart. Give from a grateful heart,
and from a broken heart. Here’s how that works. Choose an organization that
you’re really grateful for. You’re grateful because
of what it’s done for you and your family and then give a portion of your giving money there first. Your local church, your kids
school, whatever it might be. Then choose an organization or two that address a need
that breaks your heart. For Sandra and I those are organizations that support foster care and foster kids. For you it may be an
organization that does something overseas or
maybe a local hospital or a non-profit committed to
curing a particular disease. And every time you get
paid, you send ’em a check. That’s what it looks like to give from a grateful heart and a broken heart. But the key is to decide ahead of time. Like we said last time, pick a percentage of your income and give
it right off the top to the organizations you’re grateful for and to the organizations
that address things that break your heart. Now giving first may sound crazy. And from a certain
perspective, it is crazy. But it’s a better version
of crazy than spending everything on you and having nothing to show for it in the end, right? Crazy is living as if your life consisted in the accumulation of
stuff and of wealth. Crazy is leaving your
kids a bunch of stuff they’re gonna sell or throw away. So, one more time, to what ends do you want your life to be a means? You should know the
answer to that question before you spend yourself into a position where you can’t address
what matters most to you. Skip that question, and
you’ll just follow your money. You’ll settle for me first living with a little left over giving. And that would be a shame, Jesus says, “That would be a total loss.” It would be a shame because all you’ll have to show for
yourself is yourself. But when you identify
and embrace your answer to our big question,
your money will follow. You’ll begin to view everything you own, everything that comes your way as a tool you can use to
add meaning to your life and meaning to the
lives of others as well. So come on, let’s get this right. Let’s listen when money
tells us, “I can add meaning to your life but I’m
not the meaning of life. “The moment you think you
own me I actually own you. “My direction reveals
your ultimate affection.” And the final thing, the final thing our money might say is this. Something we’ve touched on
throughout our time together. What you choose to do
with me speaks volumes about who and whose you are. So I hope you’ll live like
a manager not an owner. I hope you’ll give and
save before you’ll live and in the process, I hope
you’ll discover the peace and contentment Jesus talked about when Jesus talked about money. (swooshing) (swooshing) (coins jangling)

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