“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
Some people cry while watching love stories. I cried while watching a horse story. Seabiscuit is the true story of a Depression-era racehorse that, along with its owner, trainer, and jockey, overcame tremendous odds to become a champion.
When Seabiscuit was born its first owner didn’t think much of the horse and used it to train others. In order to give another horse confidence, the jockey riding Seabiscuit would pull back on the reins near the finish line to let the other one win. Seabiscuit was conditioned to lose.
When trainer Tom Smith got his first look at Seabiscuit, he saw potential and persuaded his boss, Charles Howard, to buy the horse. In one powerful scene, Smith and Howard are watching Seabiscuit resist the commands of its jockey as the horse fights and fumbles his way around a track. Smith tells Howard, “I just can’t help feeling they got him so screwed up running in a circle he’s forgotten what he was born to do. He just needs to learn how to be a horse again.” So they take him to a meadow and let him run. And run he does—fast and free.
Some of us could use a little retraining in being who we were made to be. Our consumer culture conditions us to believe that we don’t have enough, that we are not enough, that we need something more in order to be more. We’ve been conditioned to lose.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying things. Biblical money management is not about asceticism or making due with the least expensive car, clothes, or living room couch. But there’s a lot that’s wrong with looking to such things for our identity, value, and ultimate happiness. Remembering who we are – fully loved children of God – provides the freedom expressed in Psalm 119:32: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
Have you been running in a circle in your use of money, trying to become more by buying more? Maybe you just need to learn how to be a child of God again.