Many people do not realize that their identity—or in some sense, their personality—is more powerful than they think. In fact, Rock Thomas in his book, “The Power of Your Identity” says that “these beliefs form part of your self-image (identity) and ultimately affect how you behave and the decisions you make. Can you start to see that your identity is the nerve center or control tower of your actions?” Your identity or personality, of course, includes the way you deal with money and how it comes in and goes out of your pocket.
So how does your identity shape your financial behavior? Here are some habits to maintain or to change.
You are what you believe. If you think you are a bad saver or you don’t know how to invest, then you probably are—which leads you not to take risk or to invest in anything.
In the same way, when you believe that you are a child of God and that all of your money is just entrusted to you, then it can change the way you treat your money.
Psalm 24:1 (NIV) says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it”.
Your ideas shape the way you act. As part of His ministry, Jesus Christ not only had ideas, He also knew how to implement it. In Luke 14:28-33 (NIV), the Lord said, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
Jesus gives us two examples of the way you should act: (1) of someone wanting to build a tower and (2) a king setting out for battle. In both instances, there was always preparation involved. If you want to build wealth, then better save and invest right now. If you want to have funds for a rainy day, store some money for yourself and your family right now.
Your emotions can sometimes bring the best or the worst of you. Your emotions are part of your identity and therefore when controlled, can bring out good decision-making skills. If however your emotions spiral out of the window, as they sometimes will, you can lose a lot of money. When a friend suggests you invest in a get-rich-quick scheme, for example, the high and supposedly immediate returns can probably blind you on the spot. Solomon warns in Proverbs 25:28 (NIV), “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” So you should always keep your emotions in check.