Commentary: Finding true peace of mind

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Commentary: Finding true peace of mind

An e-Review Commentary by the Rev. Linda Mobley / Nov. 21, 2008 {0943}

NOTE: A headshot of Mobley is available at

I recently began a new sermon series at Cason United Methodist Church titled “Financial Peace, Financial Freedom.”

For the first Sunday, I used as the basis of the message the familiar scripture from 2 Corinthians: “God loves a cheerful giver.” It’s interesting to note it does not say God loves a stressed-out giver or God loves someone who has been “guilted” into giving.

Of course, God’s love for us is never in question. Peace of mind is what God wants for everyone.

There are so many people — families in particular — who are being crippled by financial problems, however. One can only give cheerfully when money isn’t something that keeps you up at night because you are afraid there isn’t enough of it to pay the bills. But imagine what the people of God could do for the Kingdom of God if they were not so stressed out about money. There are so many ministries that make a difference for the Kingdom of God, that change people’s lives, that make Christ known to the world. They all cost money, however, and, statistically, 7 out of 10 of people are living paycheck to paycheck, spending 2.2 percent more than they make, using credit cards to make it to the next payday, and struggling to pay their bills. USA Today recently reported the number-one cause of divorce in America is money fights.
It hasn’t always been that way. Debt hasn’t always been a key part of society, and the advertising industry hasn’t always bombarded us daily with the notion that our wants are really things we need.

God knew money would be an issue worth talking about. And when God talks about money, it has everything to do with our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Jesus talked more about money and possessions than any other topic, not because he wanted to guilt people into giving more and having less, but because he understood how badly we all want to experience peace of mind, comfort and contentment and how easily we are pulled down paths we think will get us there, when, in reality, they turn out to be traps that lead to anything but peace of mind and contentment. 

Where does our peace of mind come from, then? It comes from and through a trusting relationship with God. We know a God who has never let us down, will supply all of our needs (perhaps not all of our wants) and is faithful.

When the Israelites crossed the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, they panicked, they grumbled, and they complained, but when they were hungry, God provided manna and quail. When they were thirsty, God provided water. It took 40 years and two generations, but when they finally got to the edge of the Promised Land and the Jordan River was at flood stage, there was no longer any question or doubt in their minds. They could trust God to get them across that river. And God did — on dry ground no less.

We serve a God who we can trust to provide. We serve a God of hope, and our hope lies in that relationship, not in anything we will ever see in a store. This is where our peace of mind and contentment really come from.

We have decisions to make and conversations to have with God about choosing to get out of and live debt-free. We have decisions to make and conversations to have with God about giving. They will be some of the most honest and satisfying conversations we will have if we listen to the God who never fails us.

Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker also addresses finances and the Christian response during the current economic crisis and upcoming season of giving in his recent blog posts “Faith, Fears and Finances” and “Thoughts on Thanksgiving” at

News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011,, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Mobley is pastor of Cason United Methodist Church in Delray Beach.

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