Day in and day out, we are constantly thinking about money. We wake up almost every day to go to work to make money to pay bills and to maintain a comfortable standard of living. We think about retirement, and our ability to save for it. We consider whether making changes to our savings strategies, such as converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, can make life better. Money, or the lack of it, can cause a lot of problems and stress.
However, if your finances are properly managed, your life can be more enjoyable, even if you are not making a big salary. Your finances need to be put in the proper perspective.
As a Christian, it is important to understand what the Bible says about money. There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that talk about money. It is the second most talked-about topic in the Bible. (Love is the first.)
Today, we will look at three facts that will challenge you to further explore your perception of your finances. These concepts will help you move into a more peaceful frame of mind when it comes to thinking about money.
Everything belongs to God
Before we can even begin to discuss what you have and how you use it, we need to understand that everything we own really belongs to God. This is mentioned several times in the Bible – examples can be found in Deuteronomy 10:14, Psalm 24: 1, and 1 Chronicles 29:11. While we may (or may not) have lots of material possessions right now, they are only temporary. You can't take them with you when you leave this world.
We should avoid getting attached to the things of this world because we are only borrowing them. This did hit home for me until my car was stolen. I had many personal belongings in the car that night and was devastated when I found them gone. But I honestly could not tell you most of the things that were in the car. In fact, my life has not been significantly changed by not having most of the things that are now gone. Once I understood that these things are only temporary, my mind was at ease.
The Lord is in control
In Isaiah 55: 8-9, the Lord tells us that His plans are bigger than ours and that the plans He has for us are beyond our comprehension. We need to focus on allowing God to be in control of everything, including our money, so that He can work through us to improve not only our lives, but also the lives of those around us. This is confirmed in Romans 8:28.
The Lord will take care of you
If you seek God's Kingdom first, He will provide for your every need. You can read about it in Psalm 34:10, Matthew 6: 31-33, and Philippians 4:19. We need to use the skills and abilities that the Lord gives us (Exodus 36: 1-2). It is the Lord who decides whether we succeed or fail (Psalm 75: 7).
Although you may experience some hardships along the way, don't feel that your efforts to follow the Lord are in vain. Remember what happened to Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt, but he became a powerful ruler in Pharaoh's household. God put Joseph through tough circumstances in order to save His people (see Genesis 39: 2-5 and 45: 4-8).
Going back to the car theft I mentioned earlier, God blessed me to replace the things that were most important to my life, and I got a cleaner, more reliable means of transportation. I don't even miss that "stuff."
Let's reflect on our own behavior and determine whether our actions have been in line with what God wants for our lives. If you feel that there is more that you could be doing, make a commitment to yourself, between you and God, to realize that your possessions are only on loan from God and to put forth an effort to move out of the driver's seat so that God can be in control.
Allow God an opportunity to take care of you and to work wonders in your life. Once you let go, your life will never be the same.