The Rev. Dave Jagger writes, in a season of spending and gifting, let's take a moment to consider how we choose to use our money.
Thanks to my four-year old grandson, I was exposed this summer to Bluey. No, that’s not a new virus. If you have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews in your life, you likely know what I’m talking about.
Bluey is an animated show on Disney+ about a young Blue Heeler dog (Bluey) and her family. Each episode teaches an important value through the family’s experiences. In one episode entitled, "Markets" (Season 1, Episode 20; below), Bluey learns an important lesson about money after receiving $5 from the Tooth Fairy.
Before this, Bluey’s experiences with money have all been as part of one of her make-believe games, like nail salon, or restaurant. In those instances, “dollar-bucks,” as they call them, are unlimited and freely available to everyone. After all, it is imaginary money.
However, at the local farmer’s market, things don’t work that way. Will she and her friend Indy have a pony ride? Will she buy a juice drink or a bubble maker? How will Bluey choose to spend her $5, because as her dad tells her, “Once you’ve spent money, it’s gone.”
Right? Sound familiar?
Each of us faces Bluey’s dilemma daily. How will we use our money?
Will we splurge on a treat for ourselves? Will we include the needs of our friends and family in our decisions? How do we balance needs against wants? Or will we choose to buy at all? Will we save instead?
And, as followers of the Way of Jesus, how does our faith play a part in our decisions?
Jesus had a lot to say about money. He wasn’t opposed to money. He didn’t think that money in and of itself was necessarily a bad thing. He was concerned, though, about whether his followers used it, or whether it used them. When we read the gospels, we find these values and principles in Jesus’ teachings:
- Use money to help realign the world to be more as God intended.
- Share money so that all people’s needs can be met.
- Share yourself and your resources to support the church and its ministries.
- Give to show that your trust is in God’s abundance, not in an economy built on scarcity and hoarding.
- Give money away as an antidote to greed and injustice.
It’s clear that as disciples of Jesus, the choices we make about money matter.
As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth this month, in a season of spending and gifting, let’s take a moment to consider how we choose to use our money. May each time we tap, swipe, or insert our card, each time we open our wallets, be an act based on our faith and a fitting gift to the babe of Bethlehem.
— Rev. Dave Jagger is the Community of Faith Stewardship Lead within the Philanthropy Unit of the General Council.
The views contained within these blogs are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of The United Church of Canada.