Are you a slave to money?
A person who struggles with money is often a slave to money. Many who say money is not important focus and desire money more than those who have abundance. This is because those struggling are often up to their eyeballs in debt, are less likely to be able to ―afford to tithe, and choose jobs rather than callings to ―pay the bills. In other words, they let money control their choices—what they can and cannot afford to buy, whether they can or cannot give, and where they work.
This can be as dangerous as the person ―in love with money. It can have the same power over you. The rich young ruler needed to get rid of his riches because the riches were first in his life—above God. If you place God above riches, there is no reason to view money as evil. In fact, it can be used for His purposes.
If you instead choose to have power over money, you can use money as a tool to advance God’s kingdom by supporting ministries and helping to build churches, thereby saving lives and souls for God’s glory. How you think about money and your relationship with money reflect your true intentions. How you earn money and what you do are what matters most. A desire to be wealthy so you can be more generous is not wrong. However, a desire to be wealthy so you can be self-indulgent is wrong.
In 2008, I wrote The Faith-Based Millionaire to help people ―get more so they could ―give more. The “Get to Give Manifesto” I talked about involved seven commitments:
1. Commit to tithing (10 percent of your income and financial gains) and commit to offerings (additional gifts above your tithe).
2. Commit to having a larger vision of how you can help advance God’s kingdom—your specific calling and how God can use your time, talents, and treasure.
3. Commit to changing your perspective of wealth—it is a tool that is used to do more of God’s work.
4. As a Christ follower, commit to taking more risks! Stop being so cautious all the time; stop seeking safety! God wants you to lay it on the line.
5. Commit to increasing your assets so you have more to give.
6. Commit to becoming better educated about your finances—choose sound investments that complement your faith.
7. Commit to seeking wise counsel from a team of professionals who share your faith.
Poverty does not spread the gospel; it spreads hopelessness and despair. It costs money to fund ministries, build churches, print tracts, and feed bodies and souls. You can win at the money game and experience financial freedom that will allow God to fully use your time, talents, and treasure! Learn how to truly ―master your money rather than being ―enslaved by it. This is a choice—which path will you choose?
Giving advances God’s creation
Every financial plan should have the flexibility to allow you to give to any organization or charity you wish to support without putting a strain on your monthly finances. This should be a top priority in any faith-based plan. The first investments should be in God’s kingdom. By this I mean building churches, helping ministries, and supporting local church-funded charities. Many people do not implement giving in their monthly budget, financial plan, or investments.
Although it’s commendable to give what you can, when you can, this is not the motto of a faith-based financial plan. One piece of advice I often give young Christian couples is this: ―God does not want a tip, He wants your whole heart and for you to show Him that He is number one in your life.‖ Money is like seeds to a farmer. Each dollar can be planted to produce more and more dollars. The same can be said about your income. Don’t save and spend all of it; rather, give some back to God, and reap what you sow. What are your thoughts?