Talking About Faith and Finances: a bright side and dark side

During September, the COMPASS blog is digging deeper into the topic of conversations about money by sharing different perspectives, questions, and approaches. Today we welcome Dori Zerbe Cornelsen, from the Mennonite Foundation of Canada, back to the blog. She shares about “a bright side and dark side” to talking about faith and finances. See what Dori has to say, and please join the conversation on Facebook or here on the blog by leaving a comment.

money or God

What has more immediate power in your life- God or money?

What has more immediate power in your life – God or money?  When you start your day, what is most on your brain – your to-do list or a to-experience attitude?

I am a committed Christian who tries to live a Spirit-infused life in the way of Jesus.  I belong to a community of believers that cares deeply about faith impacting life.  At the same time, I often close that part of me when I open my eyes in the morning and think about everything that needs to get done that day, week, month…  And even before Monday morning comes, I definitely get the Sunday night blues.

It’s not about the money, I could tell myself, and that might be true.  But part of me knows that I do what I do to earn a living to have a good life.  When that’s the focus, I get drawn into a dark side of money that tells me the key to my happiness is having enough of it (and more).  Looking out for my security, I get more anxious.  Crazy.

In (rare) moments of clarity I get past lists and expectations to a brighter focus – the privilege of having good work and colleagues, and days when really amazing things happen.  When I start here, I bring the values shaped by my faith community into my day, becoming open to a different good life.  It’s not just about me, my performance or my money but receiving and giving enough for all.

My early mentor in my current work, Edwin Friesen, wrote a study guide connecting faith and money called First Things First.  He starts the book with the dark side/bright side rivalry we have with money and reminds us that we need to choose a side – all the time.

Sound too much like Star Wars? Or maybe just enough… 

You can find a link to First Things First on the Compass website – check it out!

dori-zerbe-cornelson-220x220About the Author: Dori Zerbe Cornelsen works with Mennonite Foundation of Canada encouraging and inviting generous living.  She and her husband Rick live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.

Image Credit: God or Money