One of the biggest struggles people have is how they handle their money. I hear about it all the time and it causes huge challenges in people’s lives.
I believe the biggest contributing factor to this avoidable stress is consumerism. In a Walmart era, we have moved into buying what we want, for as cheap as possible, and to live with a desire to hoard our money. I understand we are in a recession but I’m convinced some of that is our own fault.
For instance, I saw today how Best Buy is moving to a pricing structure where if you show them on your smart phone that the item you want costs less on Amazon, they will match the price. Most will be thrilled by this news but I am saddened by it. First, it continues us in a mindset that we want things cheap by ignoring the fact that we get added benefit at Best Buy (immediate possession of the item, being able to shop in the show room, customer service help, ect). These things cost them additional dollars but we don’t want to pay for it. Second, it is the next step in the store chain going under and there is a day coming we will all be complaining that we can only shop on-line when we contributed to the situation by our lack of support.
The Bible calls us to a different way of living. A way of living that changes everything. It’s called stewardship. It has us ask ourselves what we are led to invest into instead of how do we save money. It acknowledges that our resources are a blessing from God and the focus becomes how He wants us to use it to make a difference and bring freedom in our lives.
First, it’s a call to faithfulness to Him even in our finances. Tithing is the command to give back to God the first 10% of whatever He gives to us. To me, that’s giving to my church (the church age version of the “storehouse”) 10% of all income pre-taxed (I don’t pay my government first and then my God second). According to Malachi 3, this faithfulness opens up the floodgates of heaven in my life. I have tested this as the Scripture instructed me to do and have found time and time again how true this promise is.
But it’s bigger than giving money to my church. It’s a matter of what else I feel led to invest in….
– savings for my family
– helping others in need
– giving to charities
– buying and having lunch with someone who is going through a struggle
– supporting local business that might cost more but need our support now more than ever
– giving to missions work
– helping my children get their starts in this life
…and many more!
For instance, this morning I saw on Facebook that a church we know in Tennessee is having a yard sale to raise money to help a family that is having financial struggles due to illness as well as raising funds for a mission trip. These are two great causes! However, I have no doubt that there will be those there who will haggle prices trying to save an extra 25 cents on that old lamp.
What if we became the type of people who would go to an event like that and offer to pay double what they are asking? What if we were the type of people who would hand then a $5 on our way out because we didn’t find anything we wanted but still wanted to support them?
It’s a different way of thinking but it’s one that will change your finances, your life, and the lives of others!