That Makes Total Sense!
That Makes Total Sense!
Episode 005 - Money is Like a Chainsaw

Have you ever heard the analogy that money is like a brick? It’s a fine example, but not nearly dynamic enough in my opinion. Explore with me 5 ways I think money is more like a chainsaw!

Episode Transcript:

0:44 Hi, I’m Alexis Busetti and welcome to That Makes Total Sense! So this is the podcast where we talk about faith finance and everyday life in a way that makes total sense. And one of the things I like to challenge all of us to do is to think about things in a different way. So this may not entail changing our convictions about something or our core beliefs about something. Although I mean that can happen as we learn and as we grow. But really what I like to do is focus on changing the way we think about things so that we can change the way that we interact with the world around us and hopefully make changes for the better. So, this teaching is one of those that I think will help you guys do that.

This was one that, God, I really believe God gave this to me when I was preparing to meet with a group of incredible women on the east coast in a group that I did, I don’t know, a year or two ago. And this was an accountability group of really successful women. We were talking about finances. We were going through, my workbook Entrusted with Money and we were also just keeping each other accountable and helping each other grow. And so one day when I was prepping for that session, just kind of going through the workbook and seeing what we would talk about, I really just felt deeply impressed that God wanted me to give them something new. And I really believe since then, I have taught this at other Bible studies, I have turned it into a blog post, and I really, really feel that this way about thinking about money that I’m about to share with you, it can really change the way you interact with your finances. It can improve your relationship with money. And really in that group, some women experienced some freedom that night. Just some baggage that they had held onto about their money and about their financial situations, that God really released them from that night through this teaching. So it was an incredible night! And I hope and I pray that the Holy Spirit will meet you right where you are. And even though it’s something, it’s a teaching about money, it’s very practical. But I really believe God wants to meet us where we are in all of these things and help us to grow.

So this is, this teaching is actually entitled 5 Ways Money is Like a Chainsaw. And I know that sounds totally wild, right? But you’ve probably heard the teaching, I’ve heard it from a lot of really great money teachers, that money is like a brick. That it’s amoral. It’s not good. It’s not evil. It doesn’t have the capability to behave. It can’t be good or it can’t be bad. It just is. And so just like a brick, money could be used to construct or to build a building, but it could be also used to throw through the window of a building, right? It’s not about the brick itself, it’s not about the money itself. It’s about whose hand it’s in. And I believe that that’s completely valid. I think that’s a great teaching. But what I kept feeling like was it’s not dynamic enough. Money isn’t static like a brick. I mean it isn’t really. It has the capability to be active in our hands. I mean not just static now, just still, like a brick. So I want to start there because money really is a tool and just like a chainsaw or a lawnmower or a hammer or a cement truck, tools have proper uses and improper uses.

So money as a tool has proper uses and improper uses. You can’t use a lawn mower, for example, to cut down a tree. And if you were to use a chainsaw to trim your rose bushes, that would probably be a little bit overkill. Well, the same goes for money. It’s a tool that has proper uses and improper uses. And you’ve probably noticed a lot of times when people end up with a bad reputation when it comes to money, it’s because they’ve used it improperly. So as an example, money can be used to buy milk, right? Or even real estate, but it’s not supposed to be used as a bribe or to make friends or to get job promotions, for example. Those are improper uses of money. And when money being used as a tool is being used where it’s not intended to be, it does more harm than good. Just like when you’re pruning your rose bushes with that chainsaw. But when you’re using it in the way that it’s intended to be used, I would even argue that sometimes we don’t even notice it. You know, it’s like when you have that screwdriver in the screw and you’re doing, you don’t even notice it. But if you were to try to use a hammer to do the same job, you’re going to get frustrated. So when we use money as a tool and we use it the way that it’s intended to be used for the purposes that it’s intended to be used, then it works really smoothly and we don’t even necessarily even notice what’s being done. It makes things easier, like a tool is supposed to make things easier for us.

The next thing is just like a tool, like a hammer or chainsaw or something else, money usage requires instruction. So this one really hit me hard thinking about money being like a chainsaw. Part of the reason is because I have four kids and they’re all under the age of 10. And I can tell you right now that none of them are ready to operate a chainsaw. That’s crazy! I would say I’m not ready to operate a chainsaw. In fact, we don’t even own a chainsaw. If you come to our house, you can open our garage. We don’t have a chainsaw. And at the time that I was first writing this lesson, we had a giant limb in our front yard that had fallen off of one of our trees during a storm and it really needed to be cut up and hauled away. And so I was looking at that limb while I was writing this lesson and thinking, okay, I totally could, I could just go to Lowe’s right now. I could buy a chainsaw and come back and cut this, you know, cut this limb up and get it prepared to haul away. But I’ve never used a chainsaw before, and for me that would be crazy! Because here’s the deal, if I went to Lowe’s and I bought a chainsaw, I have no doubt that it would come with one of those little flimsy instruction manuals. And there would be instructions and directions there for me to get this sucker out of the box and try and figure out how to use it. But that’s not enough instruction in my opinion, to use a chainsaw. I would need more than a YouTube video to use a chainsaw. I can tell you the first time I use one, if it ever happens, I want someone right next to me who has done this over and over and over again who is really gifted at using a chainsaw and tools of that magnitude the first time I use one because it can be dangerous. Right? And I’m going to argue that the same is true for money. It requires instruction, it requires instruction. And so many of us didn’t really receive instruction when we were younger on how to use money. And I would say because it’s more common than a chainsaw, there’s not necessarily as much mystery that surrounds it, but there still is a need for instruction. And I think most people when we get into trouble with money, it’s because we just haven’t been taught. It’s because we haven’t had someone right next to us walking with us and helping us learn how to use that tool, how to use money, like a chainsaw.

That leads to the next point. The third thing, so money is like a tool, it requires instruction and it can destroy just like a chainsaw. The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you’re thinking about a chainsaw is somebody’s cutting down a tree, right?
And maybe it’s because the tree is dying. Honestly, like that one in my front yard that lost that big limb that day. But maybe it’s because someone’s clearing space to build a house or just start a subdivision or a road. But most of the time, I think when we think of chainsaws, we think of their destructive power. But money can be just as destructive as a chainsaw. I mean, how many of you people listening now where you were, it’s happened for you? Or you know someone, who their lives have been completely turned upside down, because of a negative consequence of money. Someone might lose their job and don’t have enough savings, or their house dropped dramatically or something happened in the market and it gets repossessed or the market, the stock market, has plummeted and just when they’re getting ready to retire or, you know, it could go on and on and on. In the last several years, in fact, almost about 800,000 people have filed for bankruptcy every single year. And that is destruction my friends, that is destruction. Just like a chainsaw, money comes with a lot of power. But to quote one of the favorite superheroes in our house, “with great power comes great responsibility.” And that’s because that money and that chainsaw can both be destructive.

But on the other hand, money, like a chainsaw can also create beauty. Now this one may feel like a stretch. I admit this one may feel like a stretch, but have you ever seen one of those beautiful ice sculptures that were created by somebody who did it with a chainsaw? I mean, it’s completely incredible! Like I can’t even fathom how this happens in real life, but people do this for special occasions and beautiful galas or weddings. But someone can use a chainsaw to, you know, intricately sculpt a block of ice into a beautiful creation.
Someone can use a chainsaw to cut firewood so that it can heat somebody’s home, right? Chainsaws can be used for beauty and so can money. I’ll tell you recently I heard an amazing story about a businessman and entrepreneur who was so interested and valued the contribution that a particular couple was doing their nonprofit that he offered to pay both of their salaries for two years while they were getting started. I mean that is beautiful! That is money creating beauty right there in the right hands. And there was another story I heard about another man of great means who used his private jet to fly a child with his family to see a medical specialist in another state when it would, they were kind of in an emergency situation. And so these acts are completely beautiful and money was the tool that was used to create those.

Now lastly, I will say that money, while it is a tool, is best used in conjunction with other tools. So again, just like a chainsaw with that big limb in the front of my yard, I knew that whenever I called someone to take care of that for me, they weren’t just going to use a chainsaw. Or if, if someone’s going to take down a big tree, they’re not going to just use a chainsaw. They’re going to use pulleys and ropes and you know, trucks and all of these things that they have to do in conjunction with the chainsaw to make the job happen. And money is the same way. We can’t just use money to get the job done. We need time, we need wisdom, we need people to do it. And we need budgets and planning meetings. We need tools that involves saving and spending of the money. We need all of those things working in conjunction with the money to make it work the best and to get the job done.

Because chainsaws and money will both just sit there completely unused if somebody doesn’t take the initiative to make them work. But in the right hands in the capable hands, in kind hands and wise hands, they can both do amazing things and money can do amazing things in the right hands, but put it in the wrong set of hands, novice hands, cruel hands, ignorant hands. There is potential for harm and there’s also potential for just nothingness, for nothing to get done, and the tools just to get just to get rusted. So the next time you start thinking about money, thinking about what to do with it, I challenge you to think about it like a tool but not like a brick which is, which is really static but more like a chainsaw, which is really dynamic.

And use that to think about how you’re going to do your next step with money. How are you going to save for this item? How are you going to spend on this particular event? How are you going to pursue a right and healthy relationship with money? Because money is a tool, not unlike a brick in some ways, but I would challenge you a bit more like a chainsaw.

So thank you again so much for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. Share the link with your friends. You can visit us at and until next time, this is Alexis Busetti, remembering to do well for ourselves so we can do good for others.

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