The Allure of Instant Gratification test

Posted by: Leo Marte, CFP®, MBA | Sep 25 2023

Welcome to The Bible Money Journal, a brief for Christian professionals who want to learn more about God’s ways of managing money. In each edition, I share a verse, a story, and a money lesson to help you in your journey.

This brief is a resource for navigating the scriptures through the lens of financial planning and learning how to apply them in your life.

Let’s get started!

Exodus 32:1-4
1 When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”
2 So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

Imagine a community of individuals who had recently been liberated from a place of hardship and bondage. They were filled with gratitude for the provisions and blessings they had received, and their future seemed bright. However, despite their gratitude, they found themselves facing a common human struggle: the allure of instant gratification.

Financial Temptation

In this story, the people felt uncertain and impatient. They desired tangible signs of progress and prosperity, leading them astray. Similarly, in the realm of finances, we encounter numerous temptations that can distract us from our long-term goals and derail our financial plans.

The "golden calf" in our context symbolizes the pursuit of quick wealth or shortcuts to financial success. It represents the allure of get-rich-quick schemes, impulsive investments, or reckless spending that can lead to financial disaster.

Just as the people in the story succumbed to peer pressure, we often find ourselves influenced by societal expectations and the desire to keep up with the Joneses. We might feel pressured to live a lifestyle beyond our means, acquire material possessions that serve no real purpose, or make investment decisions based on short-term trends rather than sound principles.

Ignoring the Long-Term Vision

The people's impatience caused them to lose sight of their long-term vision and the promises that lay ahead. Similarly, in the financial realm, it is vital to establish a clear vision for your financial future. Setting goals, creating a budget, and developing an investment strategy aligned with your values can help you stay focused on the bigger picture and resist the allure of immediate gratification.

The people sought security in the tangible form of a golden calf. Similarly, we are often tempted to seek security in material wealth rather than God and sound financial principles. However, true financial security comes from a balanced approach to managing our resources, including diversifying investments, managing debt wisely, and preparing for unexpected circumstances through insurance and an emergency fund.

The Danger of Impulsive Decisions

Impulsivity played a significant role in the people's downfall. Likewise, in the financial world, impulsive decisions can have detrimental consequences. It is essential to take the time to research and understand investment opportunities, seek professional advice, and carefully evaluate the potential risks and rewards before making any major financial decisions.

Where do we go from here?

The story of the golden calf serves as a timeless reminder of the dangers of succumbing to financial temptations. By being aware of the pitfalls of instant gratification, seeking wise counsel, staying educated, and exercising self-discipline, we can navigate the complex world of finance while staying true to our long-term goals and values.

As a Christian financial advisor, I am committed to helping you build a solid financial foundation that aligns with your faith and supports your goals. Together, we can resist the allure of the golden calf and embark on a journey toward financial well-being and peace of mind.

Leo Marte is a Christian financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Abundant Advisors provides financial advice for Christians with convenient virtual meetings. Let’s talk if you are ready to make the next move.