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Teaching Encounter: Whose Money Is It Really?

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

Many experiences with our teacher- Sam (pseudonym) took place in the mid- 1970’s; when many of us started out in our careers, marriages, just become parents or were attending graduate school.

For most of us money was tight and I remember one day that I was complaining about having to pay an unexpected repair bill; I felt that there were so many others uses for my money.

That day the lesson didn’t come easy and often serves as a reminder that our desires and needs as a spiritual traveler are usually secondary. The following encounter was my lesson about money and focus.

The Lesson

Sam just smiled and softly began the following interchange.

Q: “OK. So, let me ask you a series of questions? A quiz of sorts.”

A: “Sure.” Hesitant where Sam was going with this and unbalanced a little by this tactic/questioning; I just wanted to be reassured through his prescience there would be more of the green stuff flowing my way.

Q: “Who Created the Universe?”

A: “God.”

Q: “Yes.’ That is right. Now who created this world- planet earth?”

A: “God.”

Q: Smiling: “right again. You’re 2 for 2. Now since God created the Universe and this world; everything in it belongs to God- right?”

A: “Yes. Sure. I guess that is right?”

Q: “Following this line of reasoning; then this money you are complaining about spending really belongs to whom?”

A: By now, feeling totally embarrassed, I answered, “God.”

Q: “So, whose money is it really?

A: Feeling about 2 inches tall, now, I whispered, “God’s.”

Q: Smiling. In a soft, gentle, loving voice Sam continued: “now don’t you think that a Supreme Being, capable of creating the Universe and World, with everything in it; if this was part of the Divine Plan, could have figured out another way for you to spend this money?”

A: By now, I couldn’t say anything . . . I just nodded my head, “yes.”

Q: “Remember God is all merciful and giving. If you need more money, ask God, then take action. In this world there are many ways to make money. Ask God and a way will open to you.”

Seeing that I was embarrassed, kindly, Sam turned the discussion to other travelers and began asking them about their week/day.


Everything in this world serves a multitude of purposes. In spiritual terminology this is called multiplicity of form and is part of the overall Design. Consequently it is up to each traveler, moment by moment, to decide how to use the different tools and resources that are available; always remembering to reach higher and thank the Creator.

For example, money can be used to pay bills, support excesses and behaviors that hurt travelers or be used to feed the hungry. Like so many other tools or resources in this creation; money is to be enjoyed for what it can do or can be with held from needy populations; thereby limiting the higher potential.

With our free will and responsibility as God’s representatives, we can use our tools to create, destroy, learn about self and even reach higher.

Unless of course, God has other plans, like in my lesson about: whose money is it really?


Check-out my two new books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream . Both books are available through Amazon.com or local bookstore.

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