In today’s economy, how can we as Christians experience true financial peace? Many of us have lost homes, jobs, retirement funds, while others may be hounded daily by creditors. In this time of economic crisis, it is crucial for us as Christians to remember that through Christ we have hope, not only eternally, but also in knowing that He is willing to help us even in our present circumstance.
In the book of 2 Peter, Peter emphasizes the importance of gaining knowledge in Christ for the purpose of detecting the lies of the false teachers. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with media influences that can easily sway us from the Truths that God has made plain about managing our finances through His Holy Scripture.
The Bible says that “The devil is like a roaring lion waiting to devour…The salesmen, financial planners, and creditors in secular America today are trained to entice and convince the public that they are in desperate need of their so-called life & money-saving antics.
The captions in the media promise guilt–free purchasing, by offering zero percent financing, with no money down, and no interest for six months. The creditors promise lower interest rates and great rewards for purchases made on their company’s credit card. And let’s not forget the all too familiar golden corporate ladder that promises years of financial prosperity for those who are willing to forgo family, friends and Sundays (in no particular order) for the cause of the company.
I will be the first to admit that I have fallen for these “too good to be true offers”, only to end up with more heartache and financial responsibility than I originally intended. For us, it was a water purification system. All my wife and I wanted was the free dinner out for welcoming one of their sales reps into our home. What we ended up with was a dinner voucher we never used, and a three thousand dollar water filtration system that we paid on for years, even after we moved out of our home and no longer used the system.
For years I thought that I could use a credit card, reap the user rewards, and pay-off the amount each month. While we were able to pay-off the amount each month we calculated that we were spending approximately $300 more than we needed to simply because it was easier to swipe a card than hand out cash. Not too mention that stress that came with worrying that we would have enough to pay off the bill each month and that someone might steal our identity.
Furthermore, years ago, I was that accountant, earnestly seeking to climb the corporate ladder and make my millions. I traveled and worked countless hours to prove that I was deserving of promotions and special perks, but unfortunately, at the expense of my family. My wife and I felt so distant from each other and I missed months with my first child, who needed a father’s influence at the time just as much as she needed her mother.
What God challenged me to do, and I encourage you to do, as well, is to dive daily into the Word of God. The more we allow God’s Word to take root in our hearts, the more wisdom we gain as far as how to structure our life goals and manage our finances. Statistic about money references in the Bible.
I believe wholeheartedly that the foundation for experiencing true financial peace begins with the understanding that everything we have, including our income, is from the Lord. The Bible says “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 When we allow God to plant this truth in our hearts He begins to transform our lives in such a way that we no longer spend for ourselves, but we begin to realize the importance of tithing, meeting our families basic needs and saving for our family’s future.
True financial peace comes when we know we are giving, saving and spending as Christ would have us do.
As Peter writes in 2 Peter chapter one verses 5b-6a, “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control…”.
The word “add” means that this is something we need to do. In his devotional, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers expounds on this concept of “adding to our faith”. He writes, “We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves, God does that; but God will not give us good habits , He will not give us character, He will not make us walk aright. We have to do that ourselves, we have to work out the salvation God has worked in.”
I encourage you to go against the grain! Make the decision today to give your finances over to the Lord! Change your spending habits and find someone to help hold you accountable. Husbands and wives, work at managing your finances together, so there are no surprises. Continue to seek God in all things and He will give you peace, financial or not, beyond all measure!