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Name Your Financial Fear

I love returning to the Garden of Eden narrative because it depicts humanity’s most essential dreams and fears in a simple, poetic manner. Adam and Eve wrestled with their trust in God’s promises when the serpent tempted them with the idea that God was withholding something from them in the form of forbidden fruit, and that by eating it they’d become like God. For the first time humankind contemplated the thought that what we had, both with God and with our resources, was not enough.

Adam and Eve sinned, and their relationship to resources was at the core of this sin. The story tells us that humankind would thereafter work the earth and it would resist producing. We wrestle to this day with this issue—getting the results we desire from our work, and receiving from our efforts what we think our labor is worth is a problem as old as time.

In the midst of all their fear and hiding, the Lord walked toward them and asked, “Where are you?” They responded, “We’re afraid because we heard you coming.” They named their fear.

Consider how your relationship to resources, your money, has caused you to hide, whether from God or others. Is it a tough topic, one that causes tension, fear, or shame? Are there areas or topics in your finances that are off limits? I’d respectfully ask, “What’s your fear?” Perhaps, as with Adam and Eve, naming your fear will lead to a closer relationship with the Lord, and with others. When it comes to money, what’s your fear?

Tommy Brown

Tommy Brown is a writer, speaker, and develops strategies that support financial development. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Winston-Salem, NC along with their children Seri and Seth. He served in leadership at two churches as an ordained minister from 2001-2014, leading congregations into financial wellbeing and a holistic approach to integrating faith and finances. Tommy has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Masters degrees in Divinity and Management. His entrepreneurial endeavors over the years have extended into real estate development and church consulting on stewardship matters. Now, Thomas works alongside an award-winning team of storytellers at Wake Forest University, performing strategic planning and project development for initiatives that fund the university¹s $1,000,000,000 capital campaign. Thomas was instrumental in forming Wake Forest University's financial wellbeing initiative. He has a heart for seeing churches, students, and people of faith form connections between faith and finances.

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