In life we have all sorts of unknowns. It is something we have to deal with on a daily basis whether we want to or not. One of the areas of life where uncertainty is the most unwelcome is our finances. During market downturns you can easily lose tens of thousands of dollars in a few short days. These loses, or even the fear of impending loses, can create a lot of stress and anxiety. So how do we deal with this constant uncertainty? I believe the best way to discuss this topic is from a Biblical perspective.
The first thing to remember is that everything we have, everything we own, isn’t actual ours. It is all owned by God. He has been gracious enough to loan it to us while we are on this earth but there are strings attached. He expects us to be responsible with whatever he has blessed us with. First I want to point to Bible story that concerns inventing:
14 For it is as when a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents. 17 In like manner he also that received the two gained other two. 18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them. 20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 And he also that received the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own. 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest. 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:14-30 ASV
Next, is a verse that shows God expects much from us because He has blessed us so richly.
…And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more. Luke 12:48 ASV
We have a tremendous responsibility to care for everything God has given us, including being responsible with our finances.
Secondly there are two types of investing. Often when we talk about saving money we are talking about how much is in our bank, brokerage and retirement accounts. But that is only one kind of investing, investing in earthly things. There is a second type of investing that God finds much more valuable, investing for heavenly things. There is a reason why I lump saving and charitable giving into the same pie slice (more on this next week). There is an amazing verse in Matthew that talks about this concept.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Matthew 6:19-20 ASV
Third, God is always in control. No matter how bad things get, He always has a plan. We might not understand the plan, nor even like the plan. But I guarantee you that Gods’ plan is far greater than anything you could ever hope for or even imagine. Not in your wildest dreams could you ever fathom what God has in store for your life. You just have to be patience enough for it to unfold because it might not make sense while your here on earth.
Lastly, I want to discuss our responsibilities again. If God is in control and He will take care of us no matter what then can’t I simply do whatever I want? I have no need to be responsible at all since everything is taken care for me, correct?
Nothing could be further from the truth. What if the person who is starving across the world or even next door is supposed to be fed by your diligent giving? We are God’s hands and feet on this Earth. We are here to look out for each other and to take care of one another. If you financial house is in disarray you can’t even take care of yourself, let alone take care of your family and friends or a starving orphan halfway around the world. Why loose out on the opportunity to see what amazing things God could do in your life by being irresponsible with your finances?
Worry is a natural reaction to uncertainty but you can’t let it control you. You have to surrender your worry to God daily. It is never to late to put God in charge of your finances and allow His will to be over all aspects of your life.