Managing Our Money Wisely
"You cannot keep a devoted Christian poor. For by the
very nature of God within him his frugality will eventually make him
successful." -John Wesley-
The Christian today should see money as the Bible intended us to understand money, so that we can use the money as it should be used.
The first place any Christian should check, is their attitude where money is concerned. Is there pride (pride comes in a multitude of forms)? Do we feel like it is our money? Do we fear being in lack or not having enough money? Are we truly saving because the Bible instructs us in this way or because we fear running out? What are our thoughts when we see the collection plate making it's rounds? If someone were to take a peek at our checkbook register, what would they think about how we spend our money?
The next place to check is the Bible and what the Word says about money. Exodus 9:29 & 1 Chronicles 29:11-16 & Psalm 24:1 & Psalm 50:12
From these verses we can glean that all belongs to God, including money. (We know that in the Garden of Eden, God gave dominion of the earth over to Adam. He in turn handed this dominion over to Satan. Jesus took back what Satan had acquired and put it back into the hands of His people.) Look around you and ask yourself how you view your possessions. With pride or with thankfulness ..
When we understand God as the owner of all we have, then we can begin to deal more effectively with our finances. How? Because we can then begin to see ourselves as stewards as opposed to owners. Our perspective is now in line with what God's Word says. What does a steward do? They are in charge of and manage property and belongings for another. Instead of spending our money the way we think we ought, we can now ask God how He wants us to use our resources.
It is amazing that God would ask us to manage His belongings. What a privilege! And one to be taken seriously. Now that we understand better our stewardship, it is not wrong to enjoy ourselves if done wisely.
Matthew 25:14-30 This is a spiritual example of good and bad stewardship.
Luke 16:10 Says that we that are faithful with little will be faithful with much. Are we being faithful with what we have been given?
Though the Bible does tell us that God provides our needs, we still must work. Proverbs 14:23 And we must work with excellence and effort, not halfheartedly. Proverbs 18:9
Our goal with money is to have money work for us, so that we do not have to work for money. Instead, we can work for God.
We must become generous people. Proverbs 11:25 & 2 Corinthians 9:6 God gives us wealth so that we can give to others generously. Many people (especially in these trying times) become afraid and hold onto what they have. This goes against all biblical principles. Proverbs 11:24 We can be generous with time or talents or possessions as well. Regardless of what our finances say, God wants us to be generous people. No matter how we view tithing, we are to be generous with money. We should have an attitude of eagerness to give to our church and see the church flourish in all manner of outreaches and ministries. We can ask God to give us direction when donating or giving time, talents, and money.
Give in wisdom. We are not responsible to give to every charity or ministry or poor person. Pray for guidance and wisdom and believe that God will direct you in where to give and where not to give. Do not feel guilty because you have decided to overlook a charitable group (no matter how worthy) or such. Do not let your emotions be your guide where giving is concerned. Philippians 1:9&10. Be wise in giving. Sometimes, giving without wisdom can result in more harm than good. Giving to individuals is tricky. Be sure you hear from God before proceeding to give to a person. Do your research where new charities are concerned, before handing over money or even time or talent.
When experiencing a setback (being taken or getting burned), do not let this experience override the Word of God or your generosity. Pray and move on.
Give in thankfulness. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Let good stewardship be your motive, not self interest or self gain. Do expect God to reward your faithfulness, but not necessarily in the form of money or such. Sometimes, the best reward is spiritual insight into His character or His Kingdom.
Give without expecting notoriety. Matthew 6:1 Give anonymously when possible. But, do let others know when it involves a joint bank account or such. Enjoy giving, but do not let pride steal your joy. 1 Chronicles 29:14
Never be embarrassed in the amount given. Ask yourself if you think God is pleased with your giving.
(Special thanks to DougBrittonBooks)