Has this ever happened to you: The light is red at an intersection, and you’re waiting for green. You are probably on your way from work after a busy day, and you may be slightly pre-occupied, with the radio on in the background. You have your foot on the brake pedal, and out of the corner of your eye, you can see the car in the lane next to you. There are cars behind you, also waiting for their turn to go at the intersection.
All of a sudden, you panic, because you can feel your vehicle rolling back slightly, and you don’t want to be embarrassed by bumping the car behind you! So you immediately place more pressure on the brake pedal – but to no avail! Your car persists in rolling back…but then, with a sigh of relief, you realise that it’s not your car creeping backwards, but the car next to you creeping forward. Your eye and brain communication was out of sync for a split second, creating the false sensation that you were moving back instead of the other vehicle moving forward. And this illustrates the power of the mind – even though you were not moving at all, for a moment you were entirely convinced that you were!!
We have all come across these optical illusion pictures – where what you are looking at is not quite as it seems. (For example how old is the lady in this picture?) But where am I going with this, and what does it have to do with money?
Here we are in 2015, and almost everyone you meet or come in to contact with, looks back in nostalgia at the “good old days” when “everything was cheaper” and “life was affordable”. So, year by year, everything seems to be getting more and more expensive – or is it?? What? Do you mean to say that all goods and services, year by year, are magically becoming more and more valuable? How is that possible? Let’s take a sheep, for example. Why a sheep, you may ask. I guess it is because I grew up on a farm, where amongst other farming activities my dad also raised and sold sheep. I grew up eating mutton almost on a daily basis – but moved off the farm when I started working. As a city slicker, I continued consuming mutton, although much less frequently, but did not consciously keep up with what it cost.
Many years later, now a family man with dependants, for the first time in a long while, my wife and I considered buying a whole sheep, and comparing the current cost to what I had been used to on the farm, I was totally shocked at how the price had gone up!
How was it that a sheep now cost so much more? How did a simple sheep become that much more valuable?? That is what everyone wonders, and I guess this is where we all simply ascribe it to inflation…but herein lies the illusion, and where I come back to the illustration of the moving cars at the beginning of the story:
The FACT is, it is NOT the sheep that has changed in value, or gotten more expensive. A sheep is a sheep is a sheep – always has been, and always will be! Just like it was not my vehicle moving backward, but the car next to me moving forward, the value of the sheep has not gone up – the value of the MONEY has COME DOWN! What do you hear people say – is it not: “Oh no, the cost of gasoline has gone up again by 20 cents a gallon”. Why – do you now get more out of a gallon of gasoline than you did yesterday?? How come you never hear: “Oh no, the value of the dollar has gone down again today!”
Here is the thing: We have been HOODWINKED into believing that the cost of goods and services keep on going up, while exactly the OPPOSITE is true – the value of our money keeps going down! It is not the cost of things getting inflated – it is the value of the money getting DEFLATED!! Which means we all have to earn more and more of it to be able to buy the same essentials we could yesterday with less money.
And THAT is how we are being enslaved more and more day by day – and we don’t even know it!!
The original intent of money was as a RATE OF EXCHANGE. It does simplify things when, say, the sheep farmer wants to exchange a sheep for other foodstuffs such as vegetables he does not grow. Money makes the exchange between the farmer and the gardener easier. So money as a medium of exchange is a good thing – it should simply be the means by which value is exchanged for value – in this case, meat for vegetables. The Bible clearly shows this in this passage where God instructs his people what to do when they need to travel a distance to keep the Feast of Tabernacles:
Deut 14:23-27 “And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; [or] if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn [it] into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that [is] within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.”
But unfortunately, we have systematically been manipulated into seeing the money as the thing with the intrinsic value – we have ascribed the value to the money, and have lost sight of where the true value lies. When God promised Abraham’s descendants blessings, he did not mean money – he meant the good things from the earth, and health, and wellbeing, happiness, and joy. Money is a good way to easily share these blessings among each other – money is not the blessings themselves!! How much is a dollar worth in England?? NOTHING! How much is a pound sterling worth in the USA?? NOTHING!!
As this old Cree Indian Prophecy says: “Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
I hope this post has helped to give the reader a whole new perspective on money versus true wealth and blessings. I think, when God promises to take care of all your needs, He NEVER has money in mind.
I’ll conclude with one of my favourite quotes ” Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”