How does God feel about your finances?
Isn’t that an interesting question? While I was growing up I always heard it preached that “Money is the root of all evil!” Actually the verse says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). God looks at the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. With that in mind, what kind of attitude does God want us to have about our finances?
God has a holy purpose for our finances, just as he has for everything he has created. We as humans are the ones who turn it into something evil.
“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.” Titus 1:15.
God wants us to view money from His perspective: as a tool to be used for good. How do we do that? By putting God first in all that we do with our money. After all, it really isn’t our money, it’s a gift from God for us to use in a godly way. Here are some basic biblical principles on finance.
1. Give to God First.
Haggai 1:2-11 teaches us that we need to put God’s house (the body, his church) first. By giving to God first he promises that he will prosper us. When we don’t give to God first he may choose to let the money we do have go right out of our pockets. If you never seem to have enough money then ask yourself if you are giving to God first. If you want God’s help in sewing up the holes in your purse, give to the Lord first.
2.Service Your Debt.
Romans 13:8 tells us to not let any debt remain outstanding except the debt to love one another. Paying off our debt is the right thing to do. There are some kinds of debt that are sinful such as credit card debt, where we have purchased things without the ability to pay for them. That is not to say that you should never buy things on credit. It is when we never intend to pay the debt off that it becomes sin; we consider a monthly payment a way of life. It is better to not use credit cards at all if one cannot control one’s spending.
Not all debt is bad. A mortgage that is in line with your finances is not a sin, as long as you are paying on time and being responsible. If you have purchased a home that costs so much that you are not able to give to the Lord first and meet your financial obligations, then that is a sin. You should seriously consider moving to a neighborhood you can afford.
3. Use Money to Help Others.
1 Timothy 6:18-19 tells us that we need to be rich in helping others. We can’t do this if we are saddled with debt. Once we are free from debt (the choking, ungodly kind) and are living within our means we are able to help others. This is one of the holy purposes that God has for money. Jesus said it is better to give than to receive. Be a giver.
4. Providing for Your Family.
1 Timothy 4:8 tells us that we need to take care of our family. Again, if we have been so financially irresponsible that we can’t provide for our immediate family, then it is time to make some serious changes.
5. Save for the Future.
Proverbs 13:11 teaches that when you put money aside a little at a time that it will grow. Often we think that we need to put a lot of money aside at one time to make any real difference in our financial future. Instead of saving a small amount each month we spend all of what we make every month. That thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth. For example: if you brought your lunch to work instead of buying it ($5.00 a day approximately), you could save $100.00 a month. Put that money on deposit in the bank at 4 percent interest and over ten years you would have accumulated $14,724.98 on an investment of $12,000.00. You see, every penny does count. When you save God’s way it works.
6. Enjoy the Prosperity that Comes from the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11 says that God wants to prosper us. When we are in debt we might think that God is punishing us. The truth is that, baring any financial tragedy that was beyond our control, we brought on our own punishment by being irresponsible. God never intended for us to be burdened with debt. He wants us to live life to the full (John 10:10).
Getting a godly handle on our finances is possible. We can conquer any debt with God’s help. Matthew 19:26 says that all things are possible with God. God will help us if we have the heart to be faithful and not give up on administering our finances in a godly way. Then we can truly enjoy the bounty of his blessings.
About the author:
Martha Matthews is a wife, mother, home manager and the Executive Director of Christian-Homemaking.com, a web site with resources dedicated to helping Christian homemakers succeed. She also has a popular free monthly newsletter for Christian wives called The Wives of Excellence Newsletter.
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