The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. There is hope. The goal is freedom. You can gain control of money just as you can gain control of any problem in your life. Finding the solution will take some effort and some time, but the end result is freedom, the ability to live your life as you desire. Is money your friend or your enemy? Like it or not, you have a relationship with money. Is it a good relationship? Is it healthy? Does your money encourage and support your goals or is it an impediment to what you truly want to become. As your salary increases over time did access to more money give you an opportunity to indulge your lusts and vices or did it turn you towards freedom and light. Do you hate money? Do you think that money is evil; something that is out to destroy you? Is it likely that such a belief would help you or hinder you as you move through this vale of tears? When you sit down at the end of the day to balance your checking account if you use a debit card for everything or at the end of the month if you use a combination of cash and paper checks, what emotion do you feel. We are warned in scripture that the love of money is the root of all evil. However, a hatred of money is no more constructive than an unhealthy love of money. In the end it is only money, a tool that can create good or evil in your life. Learn how to use it in healthy productive pursuits. It will be a blessing. Learn how to give it away. In the end it isn’t yours anyway. You can’t take it with you is an old truth. However, you can leave a legacy of blessings for others that will last long after you go the reward that really matters--in eternity. Do you fear money? Put a dollar bill on a table. Look at it. Rub it between your fingers. How does it feel? Does it make a noise when you crumple it up? Does it have a smell? Maybe it kind of smells like your wallet? What is it? Really, money is a measure of energy. You had to expend energy to get that piece of paper, mental energy, emotional energy, time, physical labor are all contained in that little piece of paper. It is a piece of your life. You expended energy. Now you hold in your hand a bit of potential energy. You control it. After you pay your taxes, you get to decide how to use it. There is nothing to fear. It is your money. You are in control. Think about that every time you touch a piece of currency; every time you write a check; every time you swipe the plastic; remind yourself, “This is my money. It is a measure of how I choose to expend the energy of my life.” Watch your fears dissipate, vanishing like mist in sunlight. Do you lust after money? Remember that ultimately your treasure is in heaven. Of course we work, not only for the basic necessities of life, but for the pleasures that make life worth living. When you have saved enough money to pay for your midlife crisis car, more power to you; enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just remember you have not been blessed just to see how many possessions and experiences you can accumulate before you die. Share your blessings with others. This isn’t limited to money. In fact money is only the first step in a long journey that ends in a heart that is open to others even when that proves a very costly and painful gift. A link to a famous short letter on investing by one of the masters, Richard Russell.