“Improve your financial freedom!“
“Pay all your bills with this awesome side hustle!“
“Boost your credit score with these five easy steps!”
Ever see any emails with these subject lines? I think I received at least 20 of these in my inbox today. And, if you’re like me, you’ve tried out some of these get-your-financial-life-in-order guides as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of them are useful, and those side hustles could easily earn you a little money. But what’s the point? Will you make the purchases you make meaningful with the extra cash you earn? Or are you caught in a circle of spending without reason?
Today, there are plenty of financial guides out there, as well as more side hustles than you could shake a stick at, but rarely do any of these numerous guides, blogs, videos, or blogs talk about making sure Christ is in the center of our financial decisions.
“But he’s not supposed to be, right?”, you say. “That’s church stuff. This is budget stuff.”
Aha! That’s where you’re wrong. Christ should be centered in all of our decisions, especially financial ones, and the good book has some great quotes to prove it. In fact, remember the ’big idea’ from the Easter service-God loves, God gave, we trust, God saves? That can be applied here too! But more on that later. Right now, let’s take a look at what Paul’s had to say on the subject. In Philippians 4:10 , Paul is thanking the Philippians for their generous contribution towards his mission, but he also reminds them that:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Clearly, Paul has been through a lot already. He’s experienced highs and lows, like the rest of us. But what kept him steady, despite his relative poverty or good fortune? His faith to God. And that’s what we should do, despite our financial situation. For with a good connection to God, we’ll be able to advance his kingdom, and keep our heads on our shoulders. So without further ado, here are the four steps to financial faith and (relative) freedom:
His love is endless, and that should be a great example for us in our generosity. However, God isn’t a grandpa—as Pastor Jeff said last Sunday—so we should consider our boundaries as well in our budgets.
God made everything, and God is the one who gave us everything in our lives-so, rightfully, God should have something back from what he gave us, towards his mission.
We trust, and God Saves:
In order to let God provide for us, we need to first trust in God, and connect with him. If we’re able to take that leap of faith and give God some of what we earned in the week towards God’s mission, God will provide for everything else that we need.
Now, I’m not saying that these steps will come easily. Perhaps you’ll conquer the first step, and keep on chugging along. Or, perhaps, like many of us, you’re stuck in a financial prison that you’re struggling to break free from. A couple of extra tips that might allow you the extra oomph to escape include getting away from the digital world, and really taking the time to describe your problem on paper. Then, try to give yourself advice, as you would a friend, or seek advice from a trusted mentor. Will budgeting be uncomfortable if you aren’t used to keeping an eye on your earnings and savings? Well, perhaps. But if you lean on God, it will surely be less uncomfortable. Because at the end of the day, having your finances in order means you’re closer to God, and that’s the big picture goal.
If you missed out on this week's sermon, check it out here.