God and Finances

Are you sick of hearing about money yet?

Since we spent the past two weeks looking at long-term financial planning and learning to communicate lovingly about money, I thought we’d round it out with a look at the spiritual side of money management.

It’s so much more than tithing.

Pie from Stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1295248

Tithing is relatively easy, right? You cut out a little piece of your financial pie and give it to support God’s work. People disagree on how much to give, or where that money should go, but the basics are pretty simple. Tithing is good, don’t hesitate to do it. But don’t stop there either. You gave God a slice, but He gave YOU the whole pie. So He has an interest in how you use it.

The Bible has a lot more to say about money management than you might think. Hundreds, even thousands of verses address financial planning. Money is, after all, a resource God gave you. Like many earthly resources, money is meant to be enjoyed. That’s right, I said enjoyed, not worshiped, and not squandered. It dishonors God when you mismanage or misuse His resources.

What does God want you to do with those resources?

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty. —Proverbs 21:5

The scriptures call for diligence and care. Most importantly, know your financial situation and have a plan. It sounds so basic to keep track of what’s going in and out of your checking account, but a shocking number of people don’t do it. Some people prefer to live in denial, others simply have never thought about it. When I brought this up to one young friend of mine, she said:

“Okay, I get where you’re coming from, but I’m not in financial trouble. I always end up spending less than I make. I pay off my credit card charges every month, and the only loans I have are for my house and education. Do I really have to think about it more than that?”

Short answer? Yes. Because unless you’re purposeful about where your money is going, you really aren’t managing it at all. Without a plan, you’re forced to guess each month at how much you have left to spend. That means you’re more likely to make impulse purchases. Even if you’re not overspending, you end up buying things you really don’t need or use.  Moreover, my friend might be keeping her finances relatively clean from month to month, but she’s not saving much of anything. If she were hit with any unexpected financial hardship (and chances are that someday she will be), she’d be in huge trouble.

So, acknowledge God’s supremacy over your whole financial pie.

Be diligent. Have a plan and stick to it. For more extra credit, check out some of the resources in 4word’s money support section.

Did I leave anything out?