As a child, did your father ever gave you an allowance for school that you used to buy candy or a toy instead of lunch?
At the time, maybe you thought the toy was worth skipping a meal for. Maybe the candy, the colorful assortment of bubblegum, lollipops, and fruit-flavored chewies, felt more exciting than a lunch plate.
No matter how trivial the consequence, the heart of the matter is that you did not use the money your father gave for the purpose he intended.
As adults, our perspective on money may have changed but the challenges remain. How can we obey God with our money? How can we glorify the giver of all of our material blessings?
First, we have to change the way we think about money.
When we remember that everything we have and own, to use and to give away, belongs to God, we can start giving in obedience rather than giving as a “sacrifice.” Once we accept this truth, we can lean on God for His security and provision, and trust in His will on where He would want us to direct our wealth.
We have to think about money in terms of stewardship. Since God has entrusted His resources to us, we must be responsible in how we budget, save, and spend our money.
Accounting your monthly expenses through a budgeting app or simply through popular spreadsheet programs can give you an idea of where most of your money is going. By looking at the numbers, you can assess whether you’re spending and prioritizing your money wisely and then create changes and adjustments when necessary.
Inquiring of a good savings plan for you or your family with your local bank is a form of stewardship as you save for the future.
Setting aside your tithe the way you set aside your savings right away upon receiving your salary shows discipline and responsibility.
It doesn’t take an accountant or a mathematician to manage money. All it takes is the right mindset and the right perspective because above all, we are accountable to God.
Second, we have to change the way we feel about money.
We have to understand the character of God. He is always looking at our hearts and we cannot hide anything from Him.
The bible says, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is often mentioned in the Bible how God is more concerned about our hearts rather than our outward appearances and actions. He wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. God is more pleased by the poor widow who offered her two remaining copper coins at the temple rather than the rich man who gave only from their leftovers.
When our hearts are in sync with God’s heart then we will naturally treasure what He treasures. We will become sensitive to the needs of others and we will become burdened by the needs of the church and the community.
Do you personally know a missionary from your local church? Your awareness of the missionaries and mission strategies of your church is a good indicator of how you treasure God’s mission. Supporting them through prayers, encouragement, and giving, is an investment in God’s kingdom. Ask your pastor to get you in touch with your church’s missionaries, ask for ministry newsletters to know what to pray for, and seek to understand the situation of the area or country they are in.
Does it excite you to give? The Lord loves a cheerful giver. The Lord delights seeing His children give to those in need. Be alert to the needs of those around you. If God is moving your heart to give, do not ignore His prodding. Pray about it and trust in His direction. Sometimes, we only give when it is convenient for us but true giving is going out of your way and making a sacrifice for others.
What happens when we disobey God with our money?
If you were the father to the child who skipped lunch to buy a toy, what would you do? Surely, you would stop giving money to your son or daughter and just send them to school with a lunch box.
If we are not being good stewards of God’s resources then He will allocate them to someone else who could be a better channel of His blessings. When we disobey God with our money, we are dishonoring Him and we are negatively impacting others. Ultimately, we are robbing ourselves of the joy of giving.
Obeying God with your money is an exciting and fruitful adventure that will not leave you empty-handed. You can learn so much from the Giver as you listen to Him, trust in Him, and witness Him move in your life.