For many of us, faith and finances just don’t go together. I remember in college working multiple jobs to pay for tuition and costs of living. Money came whenever I worked, and I spent it wherever needed. There was no room for faith in my finances. If I needed more money, I would just work more. It’s not like I was gambling or using my money for obvious sins, but I definitely wasn’t using it to honor my relationship with the Lord.
We can so easily fall into the trap of believing that God is not an investor in our lives.
Seeing a direct paycheck for the work that we have done quickly spirals us into self-reliance. Our culture constantly advertises how we should spend our money and the last time I checked, “Give your money to God” wasn’t an ad on Hulu
I’m not just talking about tithing. Yes, we are to be generous and to give as God has commanded, but tithing is only the beginning. It is a tiny little baby step toward a life of financial faithfulness.
Our cultural norm is to either spend or save your money. Spending is for your necessities and wants. Since you work hard for your money, why shouldn’t you spend it on what makes you happy, right? If you aren’t spending, then you must be saving. Hoard your money in order to spend it later on something bigger and better. But the things of God are never meant to be thrown around like a credit card on Black Friday or buried deep in a vault like Scrooge McDuck.
More Money, More Responsibility
The parable of the three servants and the master in Matthew 25:16-28 is very clear. What I love about this passage is how the master doesn’t say that he is going to give the faithful servants more money, but more responsibilities!
Because of their wisdom, creativity, and faithfulness they have been rewarded with even more possibilities to flourish.
This message on money and wisdom also speaks to how we use our talents. What we receive from God is never meant to be hidden away deep within us. We are to use our gifts to expand His kingdom and bring Him glory. This is precisely how God works in all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to money.
If we aren’t wise with what we have been given, how can we be entrusted with more? This doesn’t mean that God will be directly sending us more money in the mail or a larger paycheck (although miracles do happen so sign me up!) but if we are wise with what we have, if we honor Him in how we spend, save, and give our money, He promises that we will be rewarded and celebrated.
“The key to having more is not asking for more but doing more with what you have.” –Crawford Loritts
For me, that means being weary of frivolous expenses like random online subscriptions I forgot about years ago. It means being generous not just with the extra that I have but making intentional room in my budget to give to those in need. It means tithing regularly to my church with an open heart. It means investing in my family’s future and planning ahead for different rainy days. It also means asking for help.
Your Faithfulness Can Bless Others
Have you been wise in your spending and saving so that you are able to help others? Do you know of a family in need or a friend that is going through a hard time? Instead of shopping at big box stores, can you support small business? Do you need help in managing a tight budget? Reach out to someone you trust who faithfully handles their finances well.
Proverbs 11:14 reminds us, “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.” (The Message)
Learning to worship God with our finances takes practice and a lot of discipline, especially if money was not something that was discussed growing up. But when it comes to money, God expects us to do our part too (Proverbs 10:4-5). Here are five action steps and resources to help you keep growing as a good and faithful servant:
- Pray: Ask God to reveal areas in your financial life that need correction.
- Set Goals: Make a list of financial goals you would like to work towards this upcoming year.
- Make a Budget: Everydollar.com and Mint.com are great apps to get you started living on a budget.
- Start Investing: Stash.com and Robinhood.com can help you navigate the world of investing.
- Get Creative: Make a list or create something to show how you use the gifts God has given you (a collage, a painting, write a poem or story, sing a song of praise, etc.)
And if you're looking for a better way to be consistent and faithful in giving to your church, consider setting up online giving. It's simple, secure, and a smarter way to give on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedule. Tap the button to get started!
- Check your credit score: You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months, but during COVID, you can now get free online weekly reports at annualcreditreport.com
- Check out these online budgeting tools and apps: mint.com, youneedabudget.com, everydollar.com
- Check out a book on finances from the library: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey.