Luke 12:15. And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
The warning that Christ gives us in this verse is life-changing. Truly our life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions. In fact, our life consists in Christ’s life itself. We know this as Christians. And we want to find our lives resting in Christ alone. But is there a danger of us then ignoring any or all good financial advice and good stewardship practices? Yes, we know that our money is not ours, it is God’s. But can this lead to an almost careless attitude towards money?
We want to guard against both extremes: making money our life, and ignoring best financial principles because money is not my life. With that in mind here’s five questions to think about as you seek to steward your money well for the Kingdom of God:
1. Do you spend less than you earn?
- Set a budget. Go over it weekly. Seek accountability with your finances (spouse, spiritual friend, mentor).
2. Do you minimize the use of debt?
- Are you pursuing contentment? Do you have established convictions about debt? Are you seeking practical ways to pay off your debt?
3. Do you give generously?
- Start by giving to your church. This is an act of faith, believing that God owns your money and that we depend on him.
4. Do you have an emergency fund?
- Work towards having $1000 in an emergency fund. Make a list of what would constitute an emergency.
5. Do you have long term goals?
- Start setting 5 and 10 year goals for savings and giving. What do you want to be able to do for the Kingdom in the future? What debts do you want to pay off? How would you like to give more?
As you consider these 5 questions remember that this is a submission issue. This is not just about “best practices” for a better life. This is about worship. Or what Jesus called “being rich toward God.” Submitting our lives to him in dependence means confronting our idolatry of money and greed and finding rest in Christ alone. May this mindset move us toward a deeper faith in God and reliance on his grace in every area of our lives.