Money, Money

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Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So, we say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

It is said the love of money is the root of all evil, but poverty is inconvenient. Similarly, Mark Twain once said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Money is not evil. After all a suitcase of hundred-dollar bills is neither good nor bad. However, in the hands of people, it can be used for good or for evil. Likewise, an empty suitcase is neither good nor bad but can be used for good or bad. It can be filled with clothing and given to a needy family. Conversely, it can also be used in a bank robbery to carry stolen cash.

The scriptures teach us that the love of money is wrong; many people have achieved wealth through evil means. In the same manner, the lack of money can drive people to steal. Money, or lack of it, can cause people to abandon God.

Recently, I listened to a woman express concern about her stepchildren. Though she had been married more than forty years, she was concerned they might attempt to take his money because he had dementia. When his first wife died they acted like “vultures,” she fretted. They questioned her decisions and her power-of-attorney, so she must consider guardianship through the court.

This is a common concern for caregivers. Recently, I listened to one who is dealing with siblings who are attempting to access their father’s cash and assets before his demise. They don’t trust the caregiver (who has power-of-attorney) to properly handle their father’s assets. They have a date set to fight it out in court.

Another example, an assisted living administrator told of a lady whose husband of many years was in an early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease. He got angry with his wife and informed his brother he wanted to leave his wife. The brother took the dementia sufferer to live with him and offered to help with the divorce. It was apparent he wanted to eliminate the brother’s wife to gain access to the money.

The love of money is a powerful force that can wreck families. It is best to prevent these problems by having all legal work done before there is a need—or at least at the earliest signs of dementia. Wills and Power-of-Attorney designation can be set aside if later shown the person was incompetent when they signed the document.

Though it is common to have a will, it is also vital to have instructions in case one becomes incapacitated. What happens in case of dementia? Who handles the affairs? Who makes the choices for care? Each state has different laws, so see an attorney to make these arrangements.

To prevent family conflict, it is also best to make funeral wishes known in advance. I’m not suggesting prepaying for the funeral, but it is best to make wishes known—possibly even in a will. Again, it is best to consult an attorney for proper methods.

It may be helpful to remember the last portion of the scripture at the beginning of this devotion, “The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

If we are in God’s we can make decisions boldly, knowing God is on our side. Then, take comfort because of His assurance, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We can rest knowing we have God on our companion, and he is watching over us.

© Copyright 2018 Ron Milburn

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