While the above meme is meant to make you laugh, dare I say that there is some truth in it? This week’s preacher, David, said that money doesn’t belong to us and that we are just managing it for the master. So, in a sense, none of us have any money (none that belongs to us anyway). I must confess that that statement felt like a slap in the face. I always operated under the assumption that what belonged to God was the 10% I tithed and that the other 90% belonged to me to do with as I saw fit. Boy was I wrong! As Psalms 24:1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” God created everything and He owns everything, including the money we have. We are stewards, not owners.
That thought made me question my relationship with money and all the plans I make for ‘my money’. Do I bother to include God in my decisions on how to spend His money? The honest answer is that I don’t. Those money decisions certainly involve discussions with family members, friends, or even financial experts at times, but frankly not one with God. In fact, the only time I go to God about money is when I need it. After that, he is largely kept out of the equation. That is nonsensical! I wouldn’t dream of using someone else’s car without permission, but when it comes to God’s money, I have no qualms on using it without permission. Now, I’m not saying that we should consult Him on every vegetable or fruit we buy at the grocery store, but that He should definitely have an integral part to play in our decisions on how and where we spend the money He’s given us. I hope that the next time I think of making a purchase, I will pause to ask God what He thinks about it.
The concept that God owns our money is a sobering one, but also one that frees me up. He has unlimited resources at his disposal and uses it to bless me and meet my needs. That takes the pressure of providing off my teeny shoulders. It’s kind of what we do for our kids.
My kids never worry about money. I’ve never overheard them having a conversation about the state of the economy. They don’t bat an eyelid if the gas prices have risen for the second time in a month. No worried frowns or creased foreheads if the housing market is down either. That’s some stress-free living there! Maybe the reason for that is they have a limited understanding of where money comes from (free from the machine in the wall). I would like to think another reason they have no worries is that they trust mom and dad. They know that we will take care of their needs and all they have to do is ask. Whether what they think they need is actually a need or more a want is entirely another matter of course!
Wouldn’t it be nice to live like little kids and not worry so much about financial matters? Instead of agonizing over details such as how, where, and when it’s going to come from, wouldn’t it be more peaceful if we could leave all that to the master who has it all figured out? All this is easier said than done I know. Living with the awareness that we are managers and not owners of the money we have can certainly help. If the creator of the universe is the one who owns it, then maybe I should relax a bit! Giving up control and thinking like a steward does not mean that we should indulge in self-denial and not enjoy good things. It just means that we acknowledge that He is a much better planner than we will ever be. That makes it easier to budget, to give away when He asks us to, and to save as He guides us. It means that you can have a healthy relationship with money. One which is characterized by rest and not stress. For me, I know that means I need to reprogram my brain to include God in my everyday money decisions, waiting on Him to give the green light. What would your life look like if you had a heathy relationship with money? I imagine it would look a lot like the abundant life God promised us. What changes do you need to make to manage money the way God wants you to?
Betsy Sony is a stay-at-home mom who has the full-time job of looking after 4 beautiful girls. She came to the United States from India along with her husband Sony about 4 years ago and loves all things Skyline, reading, being outdoors, and experiencing new cultures and cuisines.