Crypto crashes. Housing prices soar. Stocks to the moon. Our culture is obsessed with money. It doesn’t matter if you’re a financial analyst, a single mom, a college student; we all face a barrage of constant messages about finances. Money is the focus of headlines, TV shows, Instagram posts, music, movies and on and on and on. In our culture, it seems like you don’t understand the meaning of life if you don’t make a lot of money, have plans to make a lot of money, or at least know someone with lots of money. But money isn’t everything.
What is commonly taught as a wise way to approach money might actually be foolish. Our culture pushes us to obsess about wealth, income, investing, and the lavish lifestyles money might bring. But Scripture takes a much more realistic and practical approach to money. Money is not evil, but the love of money can pull our hearts away from God. At the same time, there are wise ways we can use money as a tool to be generous, save, and live. As we look into the teachings of the Book of Proverbs, we see that God views money as a tool for us to use for his glory. It’s not everything, but it’s not evil either. We are called to use our money wisely, understanding that everything we have comes from the Lord. This week Pastor Tim highlighted several verses from Proverbs that help us seek the wise path with our finances.
Here are some practical ways to follow the wise path. As Tim noted, Chad Moore describes a healthy way to approach our personal finances by giving first, saving second, and living on the rest.
- Give Where you treasure is, your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Giving to support gospel ministry enlivens our desire to see the gospel proclaimed. Giving to support the needs of others in our community enriches our understanding of the love of Jesus. As we are intentional to be generous, our hearts are changed. Support the ministry of PBC at phoenixbiblechurch.com/give
- Save Take the time to make a budget. You can’t make plans to save, if you don’t know how much you need to save. Maybe it’s a spreadsheet, maybe it’s cash in envelopes, maybe it’s an app like Mint. But create a budget that starts with saving and make sure it is practical, measurable, and repeatable. Saving $1,000 seems insurmountable for some, but a budget can break down that goal over weeks or months.
- Live on the rest: Making a budget and learning to keep expenses within it is challenging. Certainly our culture doesn’t seem to value it. But developing the discipline to manage our finances to live simply, to reduce debt, and to be prepared for upcoming expenses is freeing. In reality, striving for a lifestyle of lavish meals, expensive clothes, and exotic travels becomes empty and unfulfilling or an unbearable burden. Learning to live in contentment with what God has provided brings us peace and joy that money will never be able to.