What Does Your Bank Account Reveal About Your Treasures?
Guest post by Nathan Anderson
Sharply dressed and perfumed with an air of condescension, she voiced her impatience by repeatedly looking at her watch and complaining about her last banking experience. Her current transaction, involving nearly $10,000 in cash, was going to take more time than she probably wanted to wait. A bank teller doesn’t have quick access to that kind of substantial cash, especially when she demanded it all in one hundred dollar bills.
I had already accessed her account on my computer, both to validate her identity and to verify she could withdraw the cash. After she left I glanced through her account, again, and immediately I knew how she spent her money. She fed her appetites with purchases from luxury retailers.
What distinguished her from the majority of my customers was the amount of money to which she had access. But in another way she was just as common as every other customer I serve throughout the day. Each customer’s account details reveal what he or she values.
Money has no real intrinsic value. It costs pennies for the Federal Government to print paper currency. You can’t wear it, eat it, and could barely start a fire with it if you were cold. A miser could hoard all the money in the world, but would relinquish it all at his death. But money is extremely valuable in another way. It allows you to gaze into the value system and worldview of its possessor.
One customer loves video games; his account reveals a multitude of charges to an online video gaming site. Another rarely cooks at home; almost every day a charge posts from at least one restaurant and sometimes two. Another customer values travel. You can see his charges from various vacation spots. One family has two substantial car loans, that, combined with their mortgage, seems to outpace their income. They value a façade of wealth.
As Christians, we boldly assert our values: generosity, world missions, feeding the poor, and fighting for justice. And rightly we claim these ideals near the heart of God. But does your bank account support your voiced ideals? Could your local bank teller deduce you were generous and supported world missions? Do your canceled checks reveal your support of the unborn and other issues of justice? Sometimes Christians’ claims are incongruent with their actions. Stop lying to yourself. Your teller knows the truth.
What do you value? What in life is important to you? Wait, don’t tell me. Let me look up your account.