Teenagers are being bombarded with lies about money. The world is consistently pouring into them its money principles, so much so that they become like the air we breathe, accepted without very little questioning. Little do they know that what’s shaping their money mind is often toxic.
If you are a teenager, I am going to share with you some money lies that are regularly being put before you. If you are a parent of a teenager, let these money lies become points of conversation. The world certainly won’t tell them the truth. It is up to you.
Money lie #1: The Bible doesn’t really speak to money.
Money cannot be compartmentalized. How you think about and manage money will affect most areas of your life. Money is also a reflection of your heart. So, it’s not surprising that God spends over 2,000 verses about money, possessions, and stewardship. God tells us how to think about and use money in a way that bring us contentment and Him glory.
Money lie #2: Money will make me happy.
When you see images and videos of people that appear to have a lot of money, they always seem happy. Because of this, you can start to believe that more money leads to greater happiness. Studies show that this perception is not true ,and money primarily magnifies whatever you already are. It you are unhappy will little, you will find yourself unhappier with much. Happiness and contentment are not found in a large bank account. They people in the picture may be smiling, but, inside, they may be hurting, longing for something else.
Money lie #3: What media portrays as wealth is real monetary wealth.
Driving a nice car, traveling to exotic places, and living in large house does not mean a person is wealthy. A person can have those things and be up to their eyeballs in debt. And, eventually, it will all come crashing down on them. Real monetary wealth is measured by your net worth, what you own (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities). Most people who are truly wealthy are usually pretty frugal. They become wealthy because they didn’t play the façade game.
Money lie #4: My money decisions don’t really matter right now.
The decisions you make and the habits you make now can have a significant impact on your financial future. Right now, you can make a big difference in your future retirement by placing $2,000 each year into a Roth IRA. Right now, you can significantly limit your future student loan debt by choosing a cost-effective school and determining to pay for your education with cash. Right now, you can start using the biblical pattern for money management, Give-Save-Live. These days are significant. Don’t underestimate the importance of your teenage years. Your money decisions during these years can either put you way ahead, or they can put you way behind.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your teenage years. Your money decisions during these years can either put you way ahead, or they can put you way behind.
Money lie #5: Everything will eventually work itself out.
For some reason, many teenagers think that their financial life will magically take care of itself. It won’t. Poor spending habits will catch up with you. Debt will catch up with you. A lack of savings will catch up with you. Talk to adults, they will tell you. You will be responsible for the result of your money decisions.
Money lie #6. I don’t need to know much about money.
Financial literacy has plummeted in the United States. You need to be the exception. A lack of financial knowledge will lead you to make poor money decisions. The more you know, the better you can manage your finances. Learn about money for your wallet, but, more importantly, learn about money so that you can use it in ways that glorifies God and advances His Kingdom.
Money lie #7: The little bit of money I can give will not make a difference.
I get it. You don’t have a big salary right now so you think that the money you can give to God’s mission is so numerically small that it is not worth giving. Don’t fall into that way of thinking. Remember, that God took a few fish and a few loaves of bread and fed 5,000. Remember, Jesus pointed to a widow who gave only two coins and said that she gave more than anyone else. Our God is a God of multiplication. He can take whatever you can give and do amazing things with it. Our God also cares more about sacrifice than amount. In God’s economy, amount sacrificed always supersedes amount given. So, give, even if it is numerically little.
Money lies are everywhere. Don’t fall for them. They can lead you down a path of spiritual and financial ruin. Learn about and follow God’s design for money. Seek his truth about money and you will find that for which you are truly looking.
*From Art Rainer, and his website Give Generously, Save Wisely, Live Appropriately.