Is Making Money A Talent?

I Don’t Know, But If I Write About It, Maybe I Will Find Out!

The Prosperity Gospel preaches that God wants us to be rich. Those on the other side of the spirituality and money issue, however, are quick to  point out that Jesus, who, as far as we know, carried no cash, checks or credit cards–said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth…” and “Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin, yet your heavenly Father takes care of them…” And. oh yeah, let’s not forget his pronouncement that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Choosing one perspective or the other is fine with me, for who am I to judge what is right for someone else? But some spiritual people talk out of both sides of their mouths, and that, for me is…well…confusing. They will say that, since money, like everything else, is a form of energy, it is our task to change the energy from scarce to abundant. Now, actually, I think it’s pretty cool that some are able to accomplish this. In fact, at one point in my own spiritual journey I taught classes in how to do that very thing. The problem is that sometimes it’s the same folks who also say that in a perfect world there would be no money, and they long for the day when we will have direct exchange without money coming between.

Whaat?!!!! To use an apt cliche, to me it looks very much like they are not putting their money where their mouth is. “So you aren’t going to work toward a perfect world by giving up money?” I always want to ask, but never do because I generally like to take the path of least resistance. In other words I like to be nice. But now that I’m writing my future, I can see that I’m going to have to give up the nice thing, because if I nicely write the wrong future, I’m really not going to be very happy, am I? So do you want money or a perfect world? Either one or the other. Choose now! (Practicing not being nice. How am I doing?)

Oh wait!….I just noticed a flaw in logic, an assumption that in the choice of money vs. no money, one situation is perfect and the other imperfect. OK, so perhaps instead of either/or, maybe it’s possible to have both money and a perfect world? Both/and is like having your cake and eating it too, which “they” say you can’t do. (I love it when “they” are wrong! Now that I’ve stopped being nice, I hope one day to meet “they” and have some debates about all the garbage “they” put out to the public!)

In Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein makes a case for creating a more beautiful world by giving and receiving money well. Although money is an agreement and a symbol, that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as valued and valuable as any other kind of gift. Furthermore, in a global economy, it is impractical to do away with money completely since distance, time and decay of goods are always factors. The good news is that the trick of using money well is awareness. Awareness that money is the intermediary between a desire or need and that which satisfies it, and then agreeing that giving the intermediary can still be a gift of love. In the past we have viewed money as impersonal, abstract, symbolic, lacking warmth of feeling, but with a little consciousness we can change the agreement and make money just as personal as a home-cooked meal. In other words, it is up to us to change the story of money!

With awareness, it is both good to get money, if that is our talent, and then give it away. I like that! Fuller Banks, the gifting financier in my novel The Potluck is a perfect example of someone who has this talent and uses it well. Another “real life” example is a friend of mine who, when he was young, believed he had no talents; therefore, he decided he would just have to make a lot of money and become a philanthropist. Which is what he is today. No talent?!!!! Really?

Once again, in the writing of this post I have found an answer to my question, in this particular instance the answer to the title’s query: Yes!!!! Making money is a talent, and rich men (and women, too, probably) are entering the kingdom of heaven by making and gifting it.

Oh Jesus! You were soooo wrong! (I think I’m finally  starting to get that not being nice thing, although I am a little worried about being judgmental. Still, only one issue at a time!)


4 thoughts on “Is Making Money A Talent?

  1. Janie Lasik

    I have always been puzzled by that old “have your cake and eat it too” saying. Why would anyone want to have a cake and NOT eat it? WTF good is that? And if you ate the cake and immediately had another one, wouldn’t you want to eat that one also…at least if the first one was tasty? I guess it’s a way of saying that you should use things, rather than just hoard them? Wouldn’t a saying like “don’t keep your cake until it spoils” make more sense? And I think what you’re saying (in that perfect world) is…”Have a party and let’s all eat cake and then make some more together!” To which I might reply, “I’ll bring the drinks and forks!”.

  2. jkwinters Post author

    Hi, Janie! I always thought the phrase meant you can’t have something both ways, but you make some interesting points. The one that particularly grabbed my attention is that cake spoils if you don’t eat it. Eisenstein says that everything decays, so use it well while you can–everything, that is, except money. He finds that telling. My personal opinion is that with enough agreement we can also make money decay with negative interest, but so far we haven’t had enough agreement in this regard.

  3. Lisa

    oh so many things sparked here……………..1. I can’t imagine what a perfect world is so I don’t even try. I can imagine, however, a better world – no warfare, no starvation, sustainable livelihoods, strong community, time for relaxation & fun, etc. 2. I absolutely see that the ability to make $ is a gift. And some people are Olympic athletes at it. And some are not good at it, and everywhere in between. So what. We all have different gifts. The key is to ensure a basic level of survival for everyone – adequate food, clothing & shelter, clean water, decent health care and education – no matter how much $ we earn. Beyond that, if you have/earn the $ and you want 3 boats, 7 rolexes and 5 cars – knock yourself out. I’d like the “safety net” or the “minimum” below which we don’t want any of our brothers and sisters to fall to be very high. But for those who find it fun or easy to make lots of $ – then, hey, go for it. It’s gravy. 3. I am not in favor of doing away with $. Bartering is inconvenient a lot of the time. Exchanging paper or electronic bits is easy, convenient, efficient. Besides, doing away with greenbacks wouldn’t touch the central issue of a feeling of scarcity, or selfishness. 4. Money must flow in and out. If it gets stuck on either side, it doesn’t feel good. GIving a gift feels really good. Receiving a gift feels really good. Yes, I LOVE the idea of us playing with our $ that way, consciously, as a gift.


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