Hello and welcome to another podcast of It’s Not Your Money: Finding the Peace of Putting God First. It’s Not Your Money seeks to connect your faith with your financial life by exploring what God has to say about money and possessions in the Bible. You can guess that the truth in the Bible is often at odds with the advice and opinion given by respected financial sources.
Why is that? Where do our ideas of success and happiness come from? On the last cast I suggested that they come from “the World”. The World is that collection of temporal and carnal desires that become ends in themselves with no thought of God. That world is ruled by illusions that lead to selfishness, scarcity, and fear. Madison Avenue entices us with ads that drive our desire for more. Wall Street warns us that unless we invest more, we won’t have enough for the future. These worldly sources tell us what we must have and what we must do to be happy and be considered successful. Let’s consider a couple of maxims – common sayings – of the world, and compare them to what God says about it.
First up – have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “Whoever has the most toys, wins.”? This tells us that to have a fulfilling life, to be thought successful, we need more and better stuff. A McMansion, a luxury brand car, designer handbags, a new 85 inch curved screen HiDef TV, and how about a TaylorMade Stealth Driver for the golf bag – it only costs $580 – for one club! And that’s the thing.
The way to happiness according to “the World” is through our cash – or worse – credit cards. Happiness and success have a cost, probably a bit more than we should spend. Spending on these things may make us happy for a while. But it is fleeting, short-lived.
God tells us in Luke 12:15 to be on guard against greed, that though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions. He also tells us in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 that if we love money, we will never be satisfied. If we long to be rich, we will never get what we want.
Here’s another maxim from Wall Street – Pay yourself first. You’ve probably heard that. It is sound financial planning advice. Have your retirement plan contribution deducted right from your paycheck. That way, it doesn’t make it into our checking account where it might get spent before you save it. This makes perfect sense – to pay yourself first before any other bills get paid.
Except God tells us to pay Him first. Deuteronomy 18:4 directs that we shall give Him the first fruits of our grain, wine, oil and shearing of the flock. Proverbs 3:9 instructs us to honor the Lord with our wealth, with the first fruits of all we produce. So, we are to pay God first. How about signing up for online giving! And then pay yourself second.
These Bible verses seem to conflict with what “the World” – our culture tells us. The Bible often sounds counter-cultural. God asks us to be different, to do things differently than what the world recommends. And that can be challenging. But let me ask you, how is all that striving to earn more so that you can get more working out?
Find the peace you seek by putting God first in your life including and especially in your spending. When I embraced this approach to my finances, I began to realize the peace of mind that I sought. Giving to God first in my budget put the proper priority on how I spent, and eliminated the stress over where the rest of the money went. It is freeing! Learn more about this in the book. Get copies at the website www.itsnotyourmoney.org
Thank you for listening. Please share this podcast with your friends and family. And please like my FB page. And be open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance to you to be courageous and counter-cultural by putting God first in your finances.
Till next time, Be Well.