Cultivating Your Best Relationship with Money

Raymond Ziemkowski
July – August 2024 • Vol 4, No 11

In 1955, Christian mystic Flower A. Newhouse wrote a short pamphlet titled, “Aspiring Toward Good Stewardship.” This 23-page booklet offers profound instruction on abundance, Providence, supply… all things related to our relationship with money.

Flower shares that “a seriously mistaken concept most persons have is the belief that their security was mainly dependent upon finances.” To that, she firmly writes, “our only security is God.” And that “our outward income depends upon values that are God-given. These values consist of good health, useful knowledge, creative resourcefulness, and good mental and spiritual development.”

She offered four symbols and modes that portray mankind’s general attitude and stewardship towards money. These four are:

  • The Closed Hand
  • The Sieve
  • The Measuring Containers
  • The Ever-Renewing Pool

In her pamphlet, she writes in the voice of her Christian Mystic Ministry on each of these symbolic representations in the order above. As you might intuit, she teaches that the fourth symbol, the ever-renewing pool, is ideal. And she discusses the limitations and restrictions that are inherent in the preceding three modes and attitudes toward money.

Whether we are responsible for just our personal and family finances, engaged in business pursuits, or on a board of a nonprofit or charitable organization, our relationship with money requires our attention in today’s challenging times. Flower’s voice and message on this topic is as profound today as it was in the 1950s. Enjoy! —Raymond

The Closed Hand

Flower wrote, “The hand has always expressed service and sharing in religious symbolism. A closed hand denotes the repressing or withholding of giving or sharing.

“Those who are afraid to spend money either possess excessive fears in regard to their security, or they are victims of a compulsive neurosis in regard to saving. Neither of these states is good from the standpoint of normal, psychological well-being.

“Persons with a savings complex need to learn to open their hands, their hearts, and their minds where money is concerned. Because their hold upon money’s outgo is so obsessively tight, their income and general attractions from life are consequentially limited. Their lack is the creative result of their wrong attitudes and practices.

“Reminding themselves of what their negative conduct is called in the terse, forthright terms of the world should help such persons to drop these un-wholesome habits. Smallness, meanness, greediness, stinginess, and hoarding are associated with this first type. Their characteristics are the opposite of kindliness, faith, and outgoingness.

“Let those who find it hard to deal trustingly with money devote themselves to a deliberate, sustained cultivation of faith in supply. They should form the new, constructive habit of investing in happiness every day. Smallness can only be mastered by large-heartedness persistently applied.”

The Sieve

Flower wrote, “Those who are inclined to emulate sieves where money is concerned are the very opposite of the first type. Their emotions lead where their minds should be in charge. Here we find desires unchecked and out of control.

“There are two types of extravagant spenders. One kind splurges consistently on anything that delights or benefits him. The second kind is not as lavish on himself as he is with others. An extravagant individual’s trust is fool-hearty, because it is not tempered by discrimination, patience, and wisdom. These spenders think only about the moment at hand and so, will purchase temporary pleasure at the cost of meeting tomorrow’s rent or the monthly bills. They are indeed ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul.’

“There is nothing wrong with this second type’s trust in Divine Provision.