This blog about money is brought to you by a friend of the ministry, Connor Lowery, CFP®, CPA, CWS®, Financial Advisor, Professional Athlete Division, Ronald Blue Trust.
When you hear or read the word “money”, emotions rush to the surface. I encourage you to take a deep breath, so do that now before you read more, because the reality about money for ALL of us is that we have “baggage”. We feel joy, risk, regrets, fear, shame, excitement. ALL of us. Period. But we often don’t talk about it.
However, if we believe the Bible is important, accurate, and true, that God is real and He cares for us, then we ought to pay attention to the 2,000+ verses on money offering us wisdom. In fact, Jesus put himself right in the middle of our hearts and money to offer wisdom as He talked about money more than heaven and hell combined. If we trust Him for wisdom in parenting, marriage, and other disciplines, surely He wants us to trust Him with our money as well.
Proverbs 8:35-36 says, “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”
We claim to find life in God and His Word, but if we are constantly pushing Jesus out of the middle, are we not blatantly dismissing Him? What if my wife told me she feels loved through words of affirmation, but I only end up doing acts of service and physical touch because those come easier to me or benefit me directly? Both are good things but if I don’t do the one thing she stressed, how is that going to make her feel? Don’t you think that takes away from my efforts of acts of service and physical touch? She might even feel rejected by me and not heard by me.
You see the problem is that we remove God and ignore His Biblical direction on money and instead allow money to get in the middle and it involves itself in our marriage, kids, hobbies, etc. But we’ve got to keep Jesus there in the middle. Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). A branch produces. Simple as that. It gets its life and purpose from the source. So let us, the branches, dig into this life and source, the Bible.
The first principle we share with clients is “God Owns it All”. (Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”) Here’s my question for you to ponder: If believing God owns it all was a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
I wrestle with that question constantly. Does the way I use my resources testify to the glory of God OR the glory and comfort of me? One day I will stand before God and give an account for my life and the way I used His resources, the “talents” per se that He entrusted to me. What will that day be like for you? Do you view your money through this lens?
The book of Proverbs is full of time-tested wisdom. And in this day and age where the world attempts to flood us with knowledge, we must remind ourselves to first seek wisdom above knowledge.
Ecclesiastes 7:12 says “Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it”.
Many of us seek knowledge, the slick tax savings, or the next hot investment, but we do so without seeking what time-tested scripture might have to offer. King Solomon said, “there’s nothing new under the sun”. You realize that many of the current financial tools and strategies most discussed today are still in their infancy stage? Meaning they haven’t been around that long. 401k’s didn’t start until 1978. Roth IRAs weren’t available until 1998, yet we have the Bible with principles thousands of years old!
As a Christian our lives should look different than the world, right? So should the way we use and relate to our money be different as well? Yes! We believe differently than the world on marriage, pornography, fidelity, and parenting, but when it comes to money, do we look different at all, or do we continue to chase what the world offers?
So, what does the Bible say about money? Proverbs 3:9 & 11 “Honor the Lord with your wealth. Do not despise the Lord’s discipline”. Honor means “to treat the Lord as weighty”. Like how someone might carry social “weight”. That’s what money communicates – prestige, rank, importance. It’s around us every day. It’s in our hands with social media and pressed upon our minds leaving us with contentment issues and comparison. The sad truth is that oftentimes we ultimately honor ourselves with money. The Lord gets second best.
Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
As you pursue a plan around your money, engage in conversations and decisions with your spouse. Remind yourself that your money is God’s, and He is the provider. That simple posture will not only improve your decision-making, but it will improve the relationship you have with your money in marriage.
Check out our podcast with more on money and marriage here.