I have a question for you.
Do you think God is big? Big enough? Bigger than anything you'll face?
Answer me honestly...you tell others He is, but do you live like He is?
It's too easy to TALK. But in the Christian community especially, it's common to find we are looking at money the wrong way and it's effecting more than we know. Here are a few simple but powerful ways we can all put our money where our mouth is.
1) Be Generous.
"This month it just wouldn't be wise to give to ___. We just need to be frugal with our spending"
We've all said it. We've all thought it. It's hard to give, especially when that sale at TJ Maxx or that vacation to the tropics is vying for our attention. Or even when paying off debts, saving for a car, or fixing something broken is on our mind. We've worked hard for this money and it's wise to be a "good steward" of it.
"One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." Proverbs 14:7
It's good to be wise and frugal with what we earn, but it's important to realize that even on the smallest budget, there might be room to give. God rewards a generous person. In fact the unsaved wealthy know that in order to keep their wealth, they have to give. It's a principle God set up and you can count on it.
And let's be honest, there is probably more room in your budget than you realize. I guarantee people notice how you spend your money, and when you're stingy with what you have in the name of "being frugal", they have a hard time believing that you mean it when you say, "God is enough" or "God is my provider" etc.
2) Get Creative with Resources
Do you think that working that 9-5 job you'll have what it takes to leave an inheritance to your children's children? "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous." Prov 13:22
I know it can be easy to feel trapped and wonder how to make that "big break" happen. Let me assure you, it won't happen without YOU. God gave you a brain, determination, diligence and understanding. Use them. Be creative, find ways, and take risks. It's not commonly taught, in fact most middle class Christians run away from risk, but risk is rewarded.
"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." Prov 13:4
And yes, you'll fail. But be diligent. Get back up. Try again. And just imagine the example and leadership you're demonstrating to your kids.
3) Sacrificial Generosity
Uh oh. Not generosity again! Yes, and an even greater level of it, too.
Do you remember the widows mite? Indulge me for just a second while I read it to you:
"And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:42-44)
All she had to live on.
Did you catch that?
Do you believe God is big enough to handle that? To "supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19)...or do you just say He is?
I know, it can be a hard subject but let me tell you something:
If you want to grow your walk with God, start a fire of change, hope and faith, give. Give more than you think you can. Talk to God and ask Him how much. Then do it! And wait and watch for God to give you everything you need. Because if you walk with Him in your giving, HE WILL.
4) Idolize God, Not Money
It sounds funny but let me explain.
Tonight, with your wife, husband, family, sit down and figure out what you really think about money. How many decisions have you made because of what your budget told you? Do you live by it? Do you listen to it's every statement (pun intended;)?
Now stop and ask God in which areas He wants you to do that same thing with Him. Live by Him. Live with Him always on your mind. Fall in love with Him.
The rewards are so much greater than falling in love with money and all it's "treasures".