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God doesn’t intend for us to struggle financially our entire lives. There
are seasons of struggle, however, that we all go through. Whether we’re just
young and naïve, or we’re a bit older and perhaps undisciplined with our finances,
it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves in financial distress.
God’s plan is for us to manage our resources though, not the other way around.
It is possible to get out of the prison of debt and live lives of financial freedom!
Dave and I have been through seasons of want and of plenty. I’d like to share
with you some of the things we learned as a way of offering you encouragement.
We are stewards, not owners.
That’s the first and overriding principle we have to recognize. Everything
we have is a gift from God. We have a tendency to act like we “earned”
things, but that’s not the truth. Without the time, talents and providence
of God, we wouldn’t have anything!
Everything belongs to God. He simply allows us the great privilege of caring for
it. And one of the best ways we can do that is to not be wasteful.
In John 6:12, after Jesus fed the multitude, He told the people, “Gather up
now the fragments (the broken pieces left over) so that nothing may be lost or wasted.”
Jesus could have simply done another miracle to provide for the cleanup after his
miraculous meal, but instead he taught people about the importance of making the
most out of what God has provided.
Jesus also taught in Matthew 25 that God will put us through “tests”
to see if we can handle greater blessings.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have
been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and
share your master’s happiness.’” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)
God isn’t going to release new blessings into our lives until we first learn
to manage the ones He’s already provided. If you’re waiting for your
financial breakthrough, it could be that God isn’t finished preparing
As you learn to be a better steward with what you have, God will, little by little,
give you more. When you start using the resources you have to bless others and bring
glory and honor to Him, he’ll bless you with more so that His glory can multiply!
What Do You Love More than Money?
There are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible that talk about money, including the
famous one from I Timothy that says “the love of money is the root of all
evils.” Notice is says “the love of money,” not just money.
Money can be something that draws us away from God and can destroy relationships.
It can also be used to bless many people, relieve suffering and share the Gospel.
It just depends on what our relationship is to money.
There’s a reason why Jesus talked about how difficult it was for the rich
to enter into the Kingdom (Matthew 19:24). We can fall under the illusion that money
is the solution to our problems, and not God. We can quickly forget the principle
stated at the beginning, that God is the source of our prosperity.
That’s why it’s so important to keep God first. If we don’t do
that, we won’t be getting very much enjoyment out of our financial blessings,
and it’s very likely that they won’t keep coming very much longer either.
We can also put money in front of other people if we’re not careful. People
who are wealthy sometimes face the temptation to use that status to make themselves
seem important, and that grieves God! Instead, we ought to be using our financial
blessings to serve others. (I Timothy 6:17-18)
The Bible teaches us that nothing is more important that our relationships, first
with God, and then with each other. If we can maintain a balanced relationship with
money and not let it get in the way of those more important relationships, then
we will be able to live with joy, help a lot of people, and best of all, God will
receive all the glory!
Principles for Wise Financial Stewardship
My husband, Dave, has been a great example to me in handling money. He’s shown
me that it doesn’t take an MBA to make wise financial decisions. Instead it
takes good character and the application of sound, godly principles.
If you can learn to live by these four important principles, you’ll see your
financial borders begin to expand:
It’s not likely that God is going to drop a huge financial windfall in your
lap while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV. Neither are you going to
become financially successful if you live carelessly and pray for God to “clean
up” your financial mistakes. Being financially successful takes hard work!
A lot of people want today what it took their parents years to get. They’re
just not patient or diligent enough to put in the same kind of effort over time
that their parents did. They end up making poor investments, trying to get rich
quick, or go into debt to get things they can’t afford.
God calls us to live with excellence and integrity. That means that we give a good
day’s work for a good day’s pay, and that we try as best we can to live
within our means.
Work is good for us. It gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and is a
form of service to others. If we’re obedient and work with integrity, God
will bless our work. (Deuteronomy 28:8)
The best way to be happy in this life is to be a blessing to other people. That’s
true of how we spend our time and certainly true of how we spend our money.
It’s something I’ve experienced over and over: the more you give away,
the more you’ll be blessed. When God asks us to give our money away in the
form of tithing or other contributions, He’s not trying to take something
away from us. He’s simply giving us the opportunity to be a part of what He’s
doing to meet the needs of others. And that’s a part of His purpose an calling
on our lives.
Whatever you give up now will come back to you one-hundred-fold in this lifetime
(see Mark 10:29-30). If you want to have an abundant life, then I encourage you
to ask God to help you live generously.
It’s extremely important that we be prepared for unexpected expenses, like
flat tires, house repairs or medical bills. When we have savings set aside for these
emergencies, it will help us avoid going into debt.
If you’re already giving regularly, let me encourage you to set aside an additional
amount each paycheck as a personal savings. Start with whatever you can afford and
save more as you’re able.
If you will be diligent in saving, God’s Word says he will command blessings
on your storehouse (Deuteronomy 28:8). God wants you to trust and expect Him to
fulfill His promises in your life.
Here’s the good part! Yes, you need to spend some of your money. Buy yourself
something nice once in a while. While saving is important, God doesn’t call
us to be hoarders. Just make sure that when you’re spending, you’re
following a few, simple guidelines:
Figuring out the best options for your financial future can seem overwhelming with
all the choices out there. And what works for one person may not be what works for
you. That’s why I recommend talking with a financial advisor.
If you would like to learn more about Leaving A Legacy,
check out this article.
If you would like to get your free copy of Financial Management God’s Way, click here to download it now.
Money doesn’t have to be a source of stress in your life. If you start managing
our financial resources in godly ways, they can be sources of tremendous blessings,
both for you and for others.