[And by the way, if you email me your one page summary of how it effected you to firstname.lastname@example.org and comment below, I am giving away one of my pallet clocks to a random participant! Contest ends tomorrow, March 31, so hurry.]
Earlier this month I threw out a challenge to my readers to join me in reading the book, “Managing God’s Money” by Randy Alcorn.
I knew I needed to read this book, but I didn’t realize how badly I needed this book. It caused me to realize that my heart has become off when it comes to money.
“The Bible emphatically demonstrates that how we view our
money and possessions is of utmost importance.
What we do with them will influence eternity.”
I have always known that God was in charge of money and that He in charge of giving me money. I was raised in a home that taught that you should tithe regularly and Brooke and I both do that so I figured we were already in decent shape.
When we were first married in 2006, we had nearly three-year journey and paid off more than 45,000 in debt. Thankfully by God’s grace we were able to do that. Yay God and yay us, right? Well not exactly. Because where did we go from there?
There was a deep dark little thought that I have always kept since we got out of debt that we did the work and that it was our money once God gave it to us. I knew in my head that God was in charge of providing me with money, but in my heart, I started to develop the hidden attitude that it was “our money”. We earned it. It was ours.
But the truth is, it is not my money. It is God’s money. All of it. No matter how it comes to me, it is God’s.
“One day we will stand before God and give an account of
how we have managed what belongs to him.”
“When we see money as a toy to play with instead of a
tool to impact eternity, our vision becomes shortsighted and unfocused.”
I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t taken this truth literally in my life. I know God is Lord over my life, but He is Lord over my money too? This book forced me to deal with this and admit that I have not been living this truth out.
“If Christ is not Lord over our money and possessions, he is not our Lord.”
I realized that it is time for me to recalibrate my attitude. I am the steward of His money. I am the steward if His things, His people, His children and even His time (yikes).
“God is the owner of all things, and we are simply his stewards.”
“A steward’s primary goal is to be “found faithful” by his master.”
As a man with a family, it is really difficult to face the pressures of “providing for my family” financially. I don’t think I realized how much stress and pressure I had been putting on myself to make sure that we have enough money coming in the door and being put into savings as well. Truth: I have not been trusting God with this aspect of my life at all. I have started “playing God” in my life, acting as if it is all up to me rather than “serving God” with my life.
But God is in control. And if I truly trust him, then I will do what he says with money and not worry about it or attempt to hoard it.
Another thing I discovered in myself is the attitude that I can take care of myself. I was saying things in my head like: “If I make this much or get this much in savings then we will be good.” I was becoming more proud and more stressed all at the same time.
“Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich, and your
riches have made you very proud” (Ezekiel 28:4-5).”
It is so easy to become proud and think that everything is good when you have a lot. It’s one thing to say: “I trust God,” and have everything working out for you, but it’s another thing to actually trust God through unknown situations or tough times. But the reality is that none of us can hang on to what we have. It will all go away.
“—fires consume, floods inundate, governments seize, enemies attack,
investments tank. No earthly treasure is safe.”
I need to stop worrying about money. I need to work hard, but leave it to God to provide. I need to recognize that none of this money we have is ours. It is God’s. How are we using it to build God’s kingdom rather than ours? I also need to trust that God will provide and stop thinking that more money or material things or forms of entertainment will satisfy me. What a trap and a lie that is!
Here are some more questions that came out of reading this book:
Do I trust in myself or God?
Am I here to build a kingdom for myself or to help build God’s kingdom?
Do I give money away willingly to help kingdom building?
How much is enough?
Am I materialistic?
Have I sought materialistic things to satisfy me?
Do I think about eternity and God’s kingdom as my home, or am I so consumed with the world around me now that I miss it?
“God entrusts me with his money not to build my kingdom
on Earth but to build his Kingdom in Heaven.”
“Sacrificial giving makes no human sense. But we
are to think like Christ, not the world.”
“We have one brief opportunity—a lifetime on Earth—
to use our resources to make a difference.”
“John Wesley said, ‘I judge all things only by the
price they shall gain in eternity.’”
“Missionary C. T. Studd said, ‘Only one life, ’twill soon be past;
only what’s done for Christ will last.’”
“When God is happy with our management of his money,
we will be happy.”
So how about you? How do you view money? Is it yours or is it God’s?
If you believe it is God’s then I guarantee you that it will radically impact how you are living.
*all quotes in italics from the book, Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn