$56…I remember the exact amount of money that was in my wallet that day… the day I became FREE from the love of money.

It was on a Sunday night at church after a missionary to South America shared his story and an offering was being taken for his ministry. I was a new father, concerned with all of the cares involved in raising a child on a very modest salary. My wife and I had added up all of our weekly expenses and we knew exactly how much money it would take to get through each week. The offering plate was about to come down my row. I opened my wallet and saw that meager amount of money that I would live off of for the next week until my next pay check…. $56. I was trying to decide how much of that money I could conceivably do without in order to give to the offering.

The offering plate was getting closer. My rational thinking was battling against my trust in God. The miser within me was trying to defeat the child of God I longed to be. And then, in a moment, the battle was over as I grabbed the offering plate and emptied my wallet of its contents… the whole $56. In that moment it seemed that a bright light shone, that all of my cares and worries dissipated, that an incomprehensible joy and peace came over me. Why was I so happy? Because I was truly FREE from the bondage to money. It no longer mattered what could be purchased with that $56. It no longer mattered what I would have to “do without” in the upcoming days. I was truly free… just like a slave being released from his shackles. It was then I discovered that it’s better to be a broke FREE man than a slave with money in his pocket. The freedom I experienced in that moment was worth millions of dollars, yet, it only cost me…….$56.

Hebrews 13:5 (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.”

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