DORA, Ala. (BP)--In a previous article, I made the statement that we exchange our time for money. Regardless of how you earn your living, you're trading hours of your life for monetary gain.

So let me move on to a few questions: Would you trade your daughter for a new car? Your son for a bigger house? Your spouse for a corner office? You wouldn't, would you? At least, not intentionally. Yet there are countless believers out there chasing the almighty dollar to the neglect of everything and everyone they claim to be loving and living for.

A woman I'll call Melissa was in a Bible class I was teaching. One Sunday she expressed a desire to stop working outside the home so she could be home with her children. "Then do it," I urged. "You can make it on your husband's salary, I'm sure."

And they could have. Her problem, though, was that she wouldn't be able to make the payments and pay the insurance on the new car her oldest daughter was driving.

So I issued her a challenge: Go home and discuss it with her daughter. So she did. Melissa told her that she was considering leaving her job to be a stay-at-home mom and that this would mean selling the new car and finding a less expensive used one. The daughter promptly declared that she would "absolutely die from embarrassment" if she had to give up that new car. In other words, the values Melissa's life had been teaching had rubbed off on her daughter. Her daughter was willing to trade her mom for that new car and insurance.

What about you? What sort of values are you teaching? Say you wouldn't trade anyone you love for a material possession? Then go home and live like it. If it takes a smaller house or an older car or a lesser job to free up more time for what's really important, make the necessary changes.

My parents are both with the Lord now and they had no wealth to leave behind for their children. But two things they had in abundance: love and faith. Had they left me money, it'd be long gone by now. Yet because they left me something priceless and timeless, I still have all of it and more. Their love and their faith led me to my own love and faith for Jesus Christ and for others. And nothing, including difficult financial times, can take that from me.

When you draw your last breath, what will you have left behind -- material wealth? Nothing wrong with that. But what about spiritual riches? I pray that your greatest legacy is one of faith in Jesus.

(c) 2010 Baptist Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

August 4, 2010


Judy Woodward Bates is a speaker, TV personality on Birmingham's FOX-6 TV, and the author of "Bargainomics: Money Management by the Book." Learn more at www.bargainomics.com.