The world tells us security can come in many forms such as a big bank account, a great job or a large retirement fund. We use many of these things as “security blankets” instead of seeking the only true secure foundation available.
The security blanket has played a big role in our family life. Emma, who is 4, uses one, a pink T-shirt and calls it “Mimi Pink.” Abby, our 6-year-old used to carry a “blankey.” Hannah, my 9-year-old, at one time wouldn’t go anywhere without her “Bubby.”
When Hannah was a toddler, she carried Bubby with her everywhere. While the name “Bubby” invokes thoughts of cuteness and cuddles, there was nothing cute about Bubby. If we forgot the Bubby on a trip, she would let out blood-curdling cries and screams. She also would pick a spot on the blanket and suck on it. Even a cute little child’s slobber eventually smells. Worse than that, Bubby developed a small hole which eventually turned into a large, gaping hole.
Her security blanket is a lot like ours (full of holes). While we may not carry a little security blanket, we do find security in our things. We think if we have a little more money in the bank, then we’ll be secure. If we have a better job, we’ll be secure. If we find the right boyfriend or girlfriend, we’ll be secure. And the list goes on and on. We continue to look for security in people or things, and time has proven that we will always be disappointed when we do that. But, for some reason we continue to make the same mistake over and over as we search for security outside of God.
You know, we all outgrow our security blankets, but we never outgrow the need for God’s comfort and guidance.
I imagine that if Bubby could have talked to Hannah, it might have said something like: “Hannah, I’m glad to be your friend, even though you drag me on the ground and close me in the car door many times. Even though you chew on me and slobber all over me, I’m happy to be at your service. But, Hannah, I have to tell you something. Believe it or not, there will come a day when you will no longer need me. In fact, to tell you the truth, you really don’t need me right now. You see, I’m just a blanket. I cannot really protect you from the storms of life. And when adults other than mom and dad try to hold you, I cannot protect you because, little one, I’m just a blanket.”
But most Americans, as we grow older, let go of our security blanket and replace it with money. If money could talk, I imagine it would say the same things that Bubby might have said to Hannah: “I’m just money. I can’t really give you security. I can’t protect you from the storms and the winds of life that attack you. I’m just money.”
Luke records Jesus’ words in Luke 12:13–21, Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.” And he gave an illustration: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing. So he said, `I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store everything. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’ “But God said to him, `You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?’ “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
We often think we can create our own security by earning enough money or maybe saving enough money. But, the truth is money and possessions can never provide the security that we need. You see money has a reverse effect on our security. The more money we have, the less secure we feel. The more we have, the more we have to worry about.
Remember that we need to keep an eternal perspective on our money. The current financial crisis reminds us that the financial security so many think we have in the United States is not as solid as we were led to believe. If our attitude about money is to amass as much as possible in order to protect ourselves, we are trusting in money rather than God. God wants us to place our trust in Him rather than our investment portfolios.
King David describes his trust in God by saying, My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken (Psalm 62:1-2 NIV).
That, my friends, is real security.
Steve Scalici is a Certified Financial PlannerTM with Treasure Coast Financial. Steve can be heard daily on 88.1 WAY-FM weekdays at 8:35 am; 12:35 pm; and 4:35 pm. You can contact Steve at [email protected]