…but should it be? Money is often a sensitive topic for everyone, whether we have too much or not enough. It affects all aspects of our lives whether we want it to or not, so being able to manage it well is a very important skill. Being able to manage it biblically is even more important. Here’s why:
1) Our money is not our own.
Psalm 24:1 says that, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” So if everything in the world is God’s, then everything we have in our possession is a gift from God. When someone gives you a gift, you usually want to take really good care of it don’t you? And make sure that it gets used properly?
What if that was our thought process with all of our money and possessions with relationship to God? If we think of our money, along with everything else in our lives, as being God’s property gifted to us, that changes EVERYTHING. It makes us think twice about how much we’re giving back to God and where our money is going in general. As Dave Ramsey, trusted voice on Christian finance and business, points out, it’s important to have a plan to “tell your money where to go before you wonder where it went.”
The Bible makes over 2,000 references to money, so why do we have such trouble with this when it all comes down to it? It boils down to trust. We clench our fists around our stuff and our money because we’re scared. If God is as powerful and good as He claims though, won’t he take care of us? Jesus tells us so in Matthew 6:25-34, using the birds and the grass as examples. If God takes care of them, surely he’ll take care of us.
Job is another great example of this absolute trust in God. God allowed Satan to take everything from him, and still Job was faithful. His entire family was killed, all of his material possessions destroyed, and yet he praised God, saying that, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job understood that everything he had wasn’t truly his, and no matter what, he trusted God. We have to learn to do the same with what God has given us; we have to totally surrender.
2) We are called to be good stewards of God’s blessings.
Steward is just a fun, fancy word for “manager.” We are called to manage well the blessing that God has given us, and this includes our money. If we are wasting money flippantly or not managing our current debt situation well, we aren’t able to use our resources to their fullest potential to bring God glory. Often, that looks like a drop in our tithes, which is something no one likes to talk about. Full transparency though: the church can’t function at its best without tithes and offerings, and congregants tend to not tithe when they aren’t managing their money well.
Many of you have probably heard the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), where Jesus gives us some examples of good and bad stewardship. At the end of this story, after the servant had used what little the master gave him to become even more prosperous, 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) God has called us, too, to be wise stewards of the blessings He has given us, just like the servant. He is pleased when we are faithful with our resources, no matter how few or how many. And he is pleased when we use those resources to give generously to others (2 Corinthians 9:7).
3) Money shouldn’t rule our lives.
Easier said than done though, right? It’s interesting that money can rule our lives both when we have plenty of it and when we don’t have enough. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” namely greed and exploitation. A lack of money can also rule our lives, though. For example, if we’re stuck in debt or barely making ends meet, we’re constantly thinking about and stressing about that fact. The anxiety that comes from not having enough money, or not managing the money we do have well, affects big life decisions and also our relationships with others. It can even affect our relationship with God, who is the actual ruler of our lives.
Because of these ideas as well as encountering many people who needed help with money management, Dave Ramsey, a trusted Christian voice on finance and business, developed a program called Financial Peace University. This class is a combination of video teaching and discussion that will walk you through learning how to manage God’s money God’s way. If you’re ready to really start trusting God with your finances and learning how to be a good steward of the blessings he’s given you, then this class is for you!
This next Lifegroup session, starting January 25th, Open Door will be offering Financial Peace University at two of our campuses: Sunday mornings,10:30 am, at Avon Lake, and Wednesday evenings, 6:30 pm, at Elyria. For more information and to sign up, click HERE.