March 05, 2013

The word & money

God's Word
Following God’s word isn’t easy to do on a consistent basis. We’re imperfect people, right? We’re naturally selfish with a propensity to follow our own agendas. I’ve certainly learned my lesson the hard way many times. But in becoming Christians, we choose faith-filled journeys to grow and become more Christ-like in all walks of life. Knowing and living God’s word is a critical part of this journey. We have to understand what God says, especially in dealing with money and financial decisions. According to Howard Dayton, God has provided over 2,000 scriptures in the Bible about money. They don’t tell you what mutual funds to pick for your 401(k) or what categories you need to include in a budget, but the scriptures provide us principles with which to build a solid foundation for stewardship, generosity and our daily financial decisions. Knowing God’s word is just part of our responsibility. As I mentioned above, we have to live God’s word. In other words, we have to act upon what the Bible says and the financial principles God has given to us. Take a look at this scripture from James 1:22 (NIV):
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Doing What God Says

I think it’s easy to hear God’s word in church, in a small group study or as we read it in quiet time. For the most part, God’s financial principles are simple and easy to understand: save money, avoid debt, plan for the future, and many more. However, it’s being disciplined enough to practice these principles and then act upon them that can often challenge us. How do you consistently do what God’s word says? This was a lengthy discussion in my men’s small group study a few weeks ago. Our conclusion? As I already stated, we’re imperfect, but we are to do our best to live Christ-like lives that should honor God.
We each decided to leave the study with an action item. We decided to do something that we felt God was telling us to do. For a few guys, it meant sorting some things out in their marriage. For another, it was being a witness to the boys basketball team he’s coaching by praying with them regularly. For me, it meant acting on God’s word of peace and contentment and not comparing myself to others. It also meant avoiding some things in my life causing me to be discontent.

What Do You Need to Do to Follow God’s Word?

What is it for you? Is there an area of your finances in which you need to do something God is telling you to do? Could that area be in the way you are managing God’s resources? Is God telling you to faithfully give and trust Him to provide for your needs? Perhaps it’s trusting God to provide versus becoming slave to the lender by taking out another loan? Or maybe you need to prepare for the future by making saving more of a priority this year? God’s word on money isn’t difficult to understand. Making decisions that contradict the world’s common view is another matter.  Acting on God’s word might mean you don’t get to drive around town in a new car today. It also wasn’t easy for a spreadsheet guy like me to take a leap of faith in generosity. Thankfully, my wife was there to encourage me and I’m closer to God today because of it. God expects more from us than knowing His word. We are to know it and then act upon it. This couldn’t be more true than in the area of personal finance.

Story by Christian Personal Finance

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