We need money, no one argues. And whoever says that the Church teaches to give up money is not so. But there are words in the Gospel: "You cannot serve God and Mammon."
Today we will talk about such a passion as love of money. Let's start with this – “love of money,” the love of silver. It is clear that this is not a love of silver and jewelry. It is more about a love of money. And so the question arises: why is it passion? Is money bad? Money is good, especially when there is a lot of it. Who says wealth is bad? In the Gospel, when a rich young man is described who did not find the strength in himself to follow Jesus because he was rich, Jesus says how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. But in one Gospel there is a small feature: how hard it is for those who hope for wealth to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And that makes sense. Not just wealth interferes, but the fact that I trust in him.
Let's think about this: what is money? Are they a value? We have feelings. Feelings are very different: joy, sadness, inspiration, fear, shame, guilt, interest … There is a need for feelings. When the need is satisfied, the feelings are pleasant. When not satisfied – unpleasant. Needs are mental and physical.
Bodily – for example, we all need to breathe. Breathe, drink, eat, sleep. To be warm, but not hot, cool, but not cold. In the same way, the soul also has a need. Soul needs – safety, recognition, acceptance of me as I am, the need for autonomy and the need to belong to some kind of collective. By the way, these needs are slightly contradictory to each other, but both must be satisfied. The need for meaning is the search for the meaning of life, and in many ways it is the search for God. And the need is to love and be loved. Perhaps this is the only need that God has. When the mental and bodily need is satisfied, we feel a pleasant sensation in the body. When the need is not satisfied, feelings are unpleasant. Therefore, feelings are a signal.
But then – how to satisfy the need? And there are two ways – either through value or through a surrogate. A surrogate is alcohol, a drug, gluttony, it can be adultery. These are all surrogates. Through them I do not satisfy my need, simply surrogates act on the sphere of feelings, either adding pleasant emotions, which seem to be missing, for a while, or muffling the unpleasant feeling from which I suffer. And for a while it seems to me that the need is satisfied, but this is not so.
There is another way – through value. What is value? Let's proceed from the needs. The need is to breathe. The value is air, thank God, so far free. Need is to drink, value is water. Well, let's put it this way, sometimes you have to pay for water – either by the meter, or when we buy clean water in a store, or by our work – make the way to the source, collect water, bring it. The need for food almost always requires costs from us – either monetary or labor. The need to be warm, cool, to sleep – we need clothes, a blanket, a bed, a stove, firewood for this. You almost always have to pay for it.
We pay with money. Money is a unit of measurement of values. In Russia – the ruble, in America – the dollar, in Germany and Finland – the euro. But let's think: what is the true value of money?
Take a bill, for example, a hundred-ruble note. Its value, as far as I know, is small – five cents (the cost of paper and paint). What can be done with her? It’s impossible to eat it. You can write a note. You can melt the stove. But while people are ready to give value to this piece of paper (one hundred rubles), it has value. But this value is conditional. There will be a monetary reform, and it will be just a piece of paper. Thus, we do not need money; we need values, genuine values. While we are ready to give them for money, we can find and purchase them. But only material, because spiritual values (honesty, nobility, friendship) cannot be bought for money.
We need money, no one argues. And whoever says that the Church teaches to give up money is not so. But there are words in the Gospel: "You cannot serve God and Mammon." Mammon is wealth. It seems to me that the key word here is to serve. Even if I make money, I spend effort – for what? Money for money is pointless. What is the ultimate goal of my life? Have as many of these pieces of paper as possible? What will I do on them?
In fact, the love of money is a form of addiction. It is based on fear (money can run out). This is based on the crisis of the 90s, when people lost everything, and this fear was transmitted through generations. And it seems like we live in relatively prosperous times, when you come to the store, please, you can buy anything, but there is a fear that this can all end. Therefore – save, save, save. Maybe it’s better to work on this fear? And, by the way, in addition to confession and Communion, the help of a specialist can help you a lot.
This is what you should think about, and this is the area where priests and psychologists could be allies.
Project: “Seven passionate thoughts: a psychologist's view”
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