We all have something to learn about finance. And we can all improve the way we handle our financial resources. The purpose of this post is to awaken you to the knowledge and practice of habits that will result in greater success in your finances and, consequently, health for your marriage and family life.
God instructs us in His Word on finances more than many other subjects you can imagine. This is necessary content. Finances stand out among the 3 main causes of marital and family crisis, followed by communication difficulties and problems related to sexuality.
These are areas where every man needs to grow continuously. And not just them, but also women and even children. Everyone benefits when a home handles money well. There are no finances for the husband or wife, as the entire family is affected by the way they manage their money.
When I was a child, I used to think that my father had more money than he actually did. We didn’t have a car during my childhood, and whenever my father considered purchasing a vehicle, I thought he would give up the purchase for any reason except the lack of resources.
So when I started to work and have my own money, I soon started to spend more than I could. I wanted to satisfy at least a small wish list (not needs, read on) and this resulted in financial problems with a few months of bank account. See that in one way or another, for better or for worse, the model of finance practiced in our home generates tangible results.
The Shema and Our Finances
This is very serious, and the Word of God instructs us to live to glorify Him with our whole lives, which includes and depends on our finances. When you decide to love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, you need to put your finances in order. Only then will your life, your home, and your whole family glorify Him.
Jews consider Deuteronomy chapter 6 to be one of their most sacred texts. There we find the Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel), which can be applied to the context of finance. See below the 3 attitudes according to the Shema for success in the finances of your family from your decision to honor the Lord with your whole life.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Deuteronomy 6:4
1. Love The Lord God with all your heart
The way we handle money reveals our fear of God and the future of our children (Deut 6:2). We cannot serve God and money simultaneously. Mammon, the money-related entity, promises security, happiness, freedom, and success that only God can truly guarantee us. But how do we find out who our hearts have served?
The first test to verify this decision is related to the tithes. We recognize our dependence on God by returning 10% of our income. Tithing flows from a heart full of gratitude and faith. You will find many reasons for not doing so. But you will never find a person that returns the tithes faithfully who does not testify to God’s goodness and faithfulness. There is a biblical commandment and many promises of blessings for your good (Mal 3:10-12).
When Jesus told the devil that man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God, he was quoting the text of Deuteronomy (Deut 8:3). This shows us that before the material provision we need daily is the wise decision of the human heart to obey what the word of God clearly directs us.
At our home, we prioritize tithing from every financial resource we receive. Our children observe this and also already practice it. They are often small coins, but they honor the Lord with their tithes. And together we have witnessed true miracles of God’s faithfulness, always providing us with more than necessary and before necessary. More than finances, health, protection, the fullness of grace is poured out on the family that honors the Lord with the tithes.
This is what the text of Deuteronomy guides, that our children should be taught from the morning until the end of the day, when we walk, when we drive the car, during meals, and at all times. Note that success in the family, as well as in finance, requires a long-term vision. That way, your family and the next generations will be blessed when you set your heart to honor the Lord with the tithes faithfully.
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.Deuteronomy 8:3. See also Deut 6:3,4; Matt 4:4; Matt 6:24.
2. Love the Lord God with all your Soul
The way we handle money also determines the dimension and quality of our family’s life (Deut 6:2). The big problem when it comes to finances is not the needs of a family, but their desires fulfilled out of time. In this sense, the necessary learning is that our decisions, including about money, should never be made in the soul.
The soul is the set of your thoughts, desires, and emotions (feelings like surprise, excitement, sadness, anger, and fear). This sum results in a certain problem for your finances since it is there that Mammon acts by deceiving his false promises. You can recognize the influence of Mammon through the following symptoms related to finance:
- Anxiety: constant worry about money;
- Lack of control: lack of notion of spending;
- Constant losses: “If I only had more money …”
- Poverty mentality: “I can’t buy …”
- Compulsiveness for purchases: unnecessary purchases;
- Stinginess: closed hand or stingy;
- Greed: the unhealthy desire to get more and more;
- Dissatisfaction: possessions or achievements as a source of joy;
- Constant debt: Mammon’s main way of imprisoning people;
- Too much talk about money: always mentions money.
Only out of genuine repentance with Jesus’ help can you live above these pitfalls. As soon as you do not spend a single penny on your soul’s choices, but rather make an intelligent decision based on your needs, you will have peace in your finances (Phil 4:19).
What helps in this regard is the planning of finances. And the budget is the only tool I know and I can recommend you to control your money (see below how to create a budget in 5 steps). God wants to bless your life and family more in the future, and that depends on your ability to deal with the present (Deut 6:3,24). If you are faithful about little, he will put you over much (Matt 25:14-30)
When the devil tempted Jesus to throw himself from the top of the temple if he was the Son of God, the answer was “do not put the Lord your God to the test”. So too, you will be tempted to believe that you can spend a little more than you have, after all God is your provider. And your answer must be according to the Scriptures “do not test the Lord your God”. In this way you will honor the Lord in your finances and he will supply all his needs at the appropriate time.
You can find in this link below 5 steps to plan your finances with a budget. If you do your part, God will certainly do his.
You shall not put the Lord your God to the test…Deuteronomy 6:16. See also Matt 4:5-7; Lk 14:28-33; Phil 4:19)
3. Love the Lord God with all your strength
In addition, the way we handle money is influenced by our relationships. You need to honor the people that God has given you today in your life so that he – God Himself – can refine your friendships. Your prosperity is in your current as well as future relationships.
And the Bible says that whatever comes into your hands, that includes friendships and invitations, you must deal with all your strength (Ec 9:7-10). That is, love your neighbor with your best, with your time, your treasures and your talents. Do not go beyond your capacity, nor fail to serve as it is within your reach. And as you enjoy the opportunities God gives you today, you will discover true prosperity.
When Jesus was tempted a third time by the devil, Jesus affirmed what is written: “fear the Lord your God and worship him alone”. But how can we love God without loving our neighbors? Jesus is now in heaven, and he does not need to share his food, his clothes, or that you open a door for him. But when you serve your neighbor in any way, be it your friend, relative, or next-door-neighbor, you are doing it to God.
If you do your part, God will certainly do his. And these are just a few ways to serve the Lord with all your strength:
- Tithes: A personal commitment to the Lord;
- Budget: Planning your finances;
- Offerings: Donations for the expansion of God’s Kingdom;
- Savings: It does not mean absence of faith, it is biblical;
- Investments: For future needs, not to depend on wealth (Ec 11:1-2);
- Work: Provision comes from God, and our work glorifies him (Matt 5:16);
- Debt Settlement: The first goal for financial success is to get out of debt;
- Loans: You will lend but you will not borrow;
- Integrity: Honesty in conducting your businesses;
- Surety: Special attention here! The Bible clearly directs us not to serve as a guarantor, without exception. See Pr 6:1-5; Pv 11:15; Pr 17:18.
This is stewardship. Do not be like many who, within the church, are dedicating their lives to serving Mammon. You cannot serve both God and Mammon at the same time (Matt. 6:24). For it will please one or the other. Reject the love of money and your selfishness. Accept the people and opportunities that God has brought into your life, knowing that your prosperity is in your relationships.
Honour the LORD your God, worship only him…Deuteronomy 6:13. See also Matt 4:8-10; Matt 6:24)
We are invited to love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength. And that includes our finances. My prayer is that you will finish reading this text, willing to give God areas of your life that have not yet yielded to him. Trust the Lord with your relationships, your own wills, and your whole heart so that you and your family can experience the blessing of The Lord, which enriches and adds no sorrow with it.
Prayer: God, thank you so much for always loving me and meeting all my needs. I reject all influence of Mammon and voluntarily receive the lordship of Jesus in my finances and my whole life. I ask and thank you in Jesus name, Amen.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
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“I will bless those people who bless you. But I will curse anyone who insults you.
Through you, I will bless all the families of people on the earth.” Genesis 12:3