The Idol of Money: How Wealth Can Steal Your Soul and How to Reclaim It

Money, money, money. It’s the thing that makes the world go ’round, right?

We all need it to survive, and let’s be honest, it can make life a lot easier. But when does money stop being a helpful tool and start becoming an idol that steals your soul?

Let’s dive into this tricky topic and see what the Bible has to say about it.

(At the end of the page is a printable version of this devotional along with study questions.)

woman holding a heart in one hand and a wad of money in the other

Understanding the Idol of Money

First things first: what is an idol? An idol is anything we place above God in our lives.

It’s something we worship, something we rely on more than we rely on God. And yes, money can easily become that idol if we’re not careful.

Jesus warns us about the dangers of money in Matthew 6:24 (NIV):

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

It’s pretty clear that our hearts can’t fully belong to God if we’re too busy chasing after wealth.

The Allure of Wealth

So, why is money so tempting?

For starters, it offers a false sense of security. We think that if we just have enough money, we’ll be safe from life’s problems.

While money can solve some issues, it’s not the ultimate solution to everything. Proverbs 11:28 (NIV) tells us,

“Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.”

Wealth also promises status and power. In our society, having a lot of money often means you’re seen as successful and important. But God sees things differently.

In Luke 12:15 (NIV), Jesus says,

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

True worth isn’t measured by our bank accounts but by our relationship with God and how we love others.

The Cost of Idolizing Money

When money becomes an idol, it can wreak havoc on our lives and our souls. Here are just a few ways that the idolization of money can have a negative impact on our lives.

Strained Relationships

Obsessing over money can damage our relationships with family and friends. We might neglect time with loved ones in pursuit of more wealth, or we might become jealous and competitive.

1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV) says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Our pursuit of money should never come at the cost of our relationships.

Stress and Anxiety

Constantly worrying about money can lead to stress and anxiety. We become consumed with thoughts of how to get more, save more, and protect what we have.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) encourages us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Trusting God with our finances brings peace that money can’t buy.

Spiritual Depletion

When we prioritize money over God, our spiritual life suffers. We might skip church, neglect prayer, or ignore opportunities to serve others because we’re too focused on making money.

Mark 8:36 (NIV) poses a poignant question: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

Our spiritual health is far more valuable than any material wealth.

How to Reclaim Your Soul

If you’ve realized that money has become an idol in your life, don’t despair!

God’s grace is abundant, and there are steps you can take to reclaim your soul and realign your priorities.

Recognize and Repent:

The first step is to acknowledge that you’ve placed money above God and repent.

1 John 1:9 (NIV) assures us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Take some time to pray and ask God for forgiveness and guidance.

Reevaluate Your Priorities:

Reflect on what’s most important to you.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV) reminds us, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Make a conscious effort to put God first in every area of your life, including your finances.

Practice Generosity:

One of the best ways to break the hold money has on your heart is to give it away.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Look for opportunities to bless others with your resources, whether through tithing, supporting a cause, or helping someone in need.

Simplify Your Life:

Sometimes, less is more. Evaluate your lifestyle and see if there are areas where you can simplify. This might mean downsizing, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, or decluttering your home.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV) offers wise counsel: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Contentment brings freedom from the constant pursuit of more.

Trust God’s Provision:

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to control everything, but God is our provider.

Philippians 4:19 (NIV) promises, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Trust that God knows what you need and will provide in His perfect timing.

Stay Accountable:

Find someone you trust to hold you accountable as you work to keep money from becoming an idol. This could be a friend, family member, or spiritual mentor.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV) says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

Having someone to support and encourage you makes a big difference.

Money itself isn’t bad; it’s the love of money that leads us astray.

If studying the Bible better is on your list of things to do this year, be sure to visit our Bible Study Resources page where you’ll find everything you need to make Bible study a regular part of your daily routine.

By recognizing the ways in which money can become an idol, we can take intentional steps to reclaim our souls and put God back in His rightful place at the center of our lives.

Remember, true wealth isn’t found in our bank accounts but in our relationship with God and the love we share with others.

So, let’s commit to keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and trusting Him with our finances.

As we do, we’ll discover the peace and contentment that comes from knowing our worth isn’t measured by our wealth, but by our Creator who loves us beyond measure.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

How have you seen the idol of money impact your life, and what steps have you taken to put God first?

Let’s encourage and support each other on this journey to true wealth!

Money Idol Devo mockup

You can download a printable version of this devotional (without the ads) along with some free study questions.

You can also download the free devotional study guide that includes additional takeaway lessons, practical application, and additional study/reflection questions (image above). It’s totally free – just enter “0” at checkout!

Daily Devotional: Guarding Against the Idol of Money

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