By Guy Hatcher, Crosswalk.com
Early one morning several weeks ago while sitting at a coffee shop and catching up on some work, I met a young Dad who was struggling to put together a financial plan to best care for his young family. We talked a few minutes over a cup of coffee about some Biblical principles to help him better organize his life and his money. I know he is not alone. In today’s economy many families find themselves in the midst of financial struggle. I want to share with you the three things I shared with my new friend to help give him a place to start as he desires to take control of his finances.
1. You have to either make more or spend less: It really is that simple. It is imperative to begin with a budget that takes into consideration short, mid and long term goals. Next, start eliminating credit card debt on any and all revolving account(s). Finally, at some point you have to stop borrowing from the future to pay for the temporary pleasures the purchases of today may bring. It requires self-control. Galatians 5:2-3 says self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Ask God to grow this fruit within you as it will help you along your journey toward achieving real financial freedom
2. You must recognize discipline is imperative: With each purchase you feel you need to make outside of food, shelter and healthcare begin the “three day rule.” For the next three days list out why you feel the purchase of each item is imperative. Set aside some time each day to ask God to give you wisdom over your financial decisions. The Bible says, “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”(James 1:5). After three days you should have clarity and peace to either move forward with or abandon the items on your purchase list.
3. You must transform the way you view money: We all have a relationship with money and for many of us—it is unhealthy. Finances become an idol when we look to them to bring us the fulfillment that only God can supply. See life is not all about money, yet too often we make it all about money by allowing it to define our identity, become our source of security, and ascribe to us a sense of significance and rule over our marriages and homes. Money becomes a false god when we find ourselves worshipping it. The truth is all false gods eventually lead to our downfall. Jesus makes it clear that money is often God’s main competition for our hearts.
The problem isn’t money itself it is the Love of money. I think the stamp put on money by our forefathers offer a question we should remember every time we hand over cash, is it really in God we Trust? The truth is where we put our money reveals in “who”we put our trust. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.” His promise gives us the power to change our habits and views toward money as we began to implement the biblical principles he has given us.
With the last drink of coffee our morning conversation ended as my friend said, “I realize God does care about how I use and manage His money.”
Just like I shared with this young man, if you master these three principals you will truly bring financial change to your family and home. My hope is that as the leader of your home you are encouraged to trust your journey into God’s hands.
Guy Hatcher: The Legacy Guy® – is passionate about helping families plan their legacy. His book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz