How do you handle money?
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area of his life”. — Billy Graham
The way you manage your money has a great deal to do with:
1. Your personal happiness.
It is often said that money does not buy happiness. However, very rarely will you ever see someone who is in poverty and happy. Most of us fall somewhere in between. If you feel you are being a good steward of the resources God has provided you, your level of happiness will increase. It is more important to analyze how you give, how you spend, how you save, and how you invest your money. The level of happiness or lack thereof is probably directly linked to how you are managing your money.
2. Your stress level.
Poor money management and poor financial decisions lead to higher stress levels. Having more money does not reduce your stress levels if you have not taken care of the root problems. Why do dentists perform root canals?
You could say that the purpose of root canal treatment is to create an end result where the tissues that surround a tooth’s root will maintain a healthy status despite the fact that the tooth’s nerve has undergone degenerative changes. By fixing the roots of our financial problems, we will eventually conquer and develop solutions to reduce our stress levels
3. The quality of your family life.
As stress levels increase and happiness decreases, Christians often turn to substances or addictive behaviors, just like the secular world. Sin is present in this world and takes very little searching to find. Christians often turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, and affairs to numb the pains. This substantially affects the quality of family life and rips away a family like a hurricane. The winds move rapidly and before long what started out innocent turns into full fledge withdrawal, addiction, and in some case suicidal thoughts or actions.
4. The stability of your marriage.
Studies have shown that money is the number one cause of divorce in both Christian and secular relationships. Money can tear a couple apart. Aside from the previous mentioned problems, the way each partner handles money can create substantial friction in the marriage. If one person is a saver and the other is a spender and each spouse is not on the same page, serious issues arise. It is when things seem like no hope is there and trust has been betrayed that reconciliation seems unimaginable; many turn away from Christ instead of to Him. It is in these darkest hours that He is waiting for us with arms wide open. However, our human nature leads us toward divorce. One thing Karen and I decided to not make divorce an option. By making this commitment to one another, we know that no matter how bad things get, we have to work together to solve the problems. We may lose everything in this world, but we still Have God, His love for us, our love for one another, and a hope that there will be a better day tom morrow. It is when you lose hope, that all else fails.
5. And success in your career.
It is often said, “Find something you love to do and find a way to get paid to do it”. Well that is great career advice when seeking a profession or starting a business. Poor money management issues arise can affect your career. Choices you make, affect your long-term prospects. If you are suffering financially because of poor money management skills, you become more susceptible to compromise your values, morals, and ethical behaviors. Did you make a sale only to meet your needs? Did you purposely withhold information so that you could make an extra dollar?
Rich or Poor: Balance is Critical
Whether you are rich, poor, or somewhere in between, if you do not have a balance between God, happiness, stress management, family life, marriage, and your career, something will suffer. Even a great juggler will drop a ball once too many balls get thrown in the mix. Some people can handle the additional pressures but eventually you will reach the breaking point. Successful money management skills are not a guarantee but are a main ingredient in your purpose here on earth.
How you relate to money truly does affect how you relate to God, your family, your spouse, and those who share space with you on earth. Things may be temporary here, but you will face eternal consequences (good or bad) for your actions here on earth. Let us try to make things right here on earth by changing our focus from things of this world to a focus on advancing His Kingdom. This Kingdom focus will help you put things in perspective, reset and reaffirm your priorities, and claim back your life if that is what is needed.