Financial Decisions- Spiritual Decisions?
We are made up of mind, body and spirit. We should aspire to recognize, and cultivate each of these areas. In her paper – ‘Rethinking Mental Health: Spirituality, Healing and Culture’, Gaelle Desbordes, PhD, of Harvard Medical School reports on the positive benefits of meditation on brain health and physical well-being. While spirituality is most often defined in a religious context, it may also be looked at from a secular or scientific approach to wellness in the context of what lies at your core beyond your physical and mental capabilities. An area that provides a window into your spiritual wellbeing is your emotional health. Emotions are tied to deep and powerful feelings, expressing aspects of ourselves that may go unrecognized on a intellectual level.
What the heck does any of this have to do with your finances? EVERYTHING! Do you want to experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your financial life? Jesus asked “For what does it profit a man to gain the world, and forfeit his soul?” What effect would it have on your physical, relational and mental well-being if you were to change a few aspects of how you look at and live out your financial existence?
As you explore the different areas of your financial realm – bringing money into your life, giving, saving, investing, protecting, and spending it, explore what it would look like from a spiritual perspective. Money is an integral part of our day and we are on journey of growth. Each one of us is on a distinctive, amazing voyage where our beliefs, attitudes and decisions we make have the ability to positively affect those closest to us and have undulating effects on our communities and the world.
Can we run businesses, create products and services, earn a respectable living by being good, gentle, kind? Of course! Can you earn a rate of return on your investments that will help you attain financial freedom by having self-control and patience? Absolutely! Can you give of your financial resources in a way that will bring joy to your life and exude faith in something other than your stock portfolio? Definitely! Can you spend money with gratefulness, self-control and joy that will maintain household peace? Unequivocally! Can you have conversations around money that are respectful, truthful and harmonious? Yes, yes, and yes!
Toxic to our souls, families, and communities are envy, greed, fear, resentment, anger, and malice to name a few. Yet, how often do our personal mindsets around money or the bigger financial world reflect those sentiments? Change will start with personal introspection on what is or is not working. Are we willing to recognize, acknowledge, turn away from, or willingly battle that which could steal our souls? It is not a trek for the faint of heart. Just as exercising our mind and bodies, it takes discipline, intention, accountability, time, energy and a lot of grace.
Woodrow Wilson spoke the wise words “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
Want to dig further? Check out over 2,100 verses in the Bible about how to handle money. Lynne Twist’s book ‘The Soul of Money’ is insightful and provocative. I invite you to join me on the journey as we explore the spiritual implications to our financial lives and unfold the meaning of your “true wealth”.