Looking after our finances (1)
It’s never too early to think about our future, and to try and get into good habits now, so we’re really well prepared for any circumstance we might have to face. And one of the things that’s important for us to learn to manage well is our money. So let’s start by looking at Proverbs 21:20: ‘The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get’ (NLT). God isn’t against us having wealth and possessions, but He is concerned when we don’t use them well. In the proverb, those who have planned well and saved when they can are described positively, but those who have wasted their resources are harshly described as ‘fools’. So does that mean we should try and hoard up as much as we can? No, because one of the ways we can use our money well (or any of the resources God’s blessed us with) is to use it to help God’s kingdom. Take a look at the Parable of the Three Servants in Matthew 25 – it’s a reminder of how we can serve God by using what He’s already given us. God doesn’t demand that we give a certain amount. ‘Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV). It’s about finding a balance – we need to work out what we need to live on, what we should give, and what we should save. And to do that, we need God’s wisdom. If you’re feeling you need wisdom today, remember the words of James 1:5: ‘If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you’ (NLT).
Think about whether there’s something you could give up each week and give the money you’d usually spend on it to your church. For example, if you visit a coffee shop every day, resolve to miss a day, or buy a small drink instead of a large one.