My dad likes to tell the story of how he almost tried to talk me out of taking my first teaching position because the salary was so small.
I had just graduated from college and received a call to teach at a small Christian school in St. Louis, where Rev would be attending seminary. I wanted to teach and I needed a job.
Truthfully, I didn’t feel like I had many options.
So, I accepted that low-paying position … just glad to have a job doing something I loved.
When Rev and I looked ahead at our lives together, we knew we’d chosen careers in ministry . . . we weren’t expecting to get rich.
Because our income was so small we knew we had to budget very carefully.
We didn’t have credit cards; so, we couldn’t spend what we didn’t have which in retrospect was a blessing.
We not only managed … we were happy.
Then we had an early financial lesson…
Part of Rev’s Seminary training included something called Field Work at a local congregation and one of his assignments was to make evangelism calls with one of the members of our church.
Harry was a wise, kind man whom Rev and I both loved and respected.
While they were out making calls, Harry asked, “Do you and Debbie tithe?”
Tithe? We had no money. We were barely making ends meet.
Rev replied, “We give, but not a tithe. We plan to as soon as we can.”
Harry said something we will never forget, “No you won’t. You’ll never tithe if you wait for the right income. Tithing is not a money issue it’s a faith issue.”
Rev’s initial reaction was to feel defensive, although he didn’t say anything. But Harry’s words had planted an important seed that inspired a very important and much needed discussion as soon as he got home.
We started tithing that weekend.
Sure we had to rework our budget a bit, but it was so worth it. It was a faith commitment that we praise God for helping us make.
Money is a huge issue for everyone. Whether you have a little or you have a lot … as individuals and especially as couples, money is a big deal and God knew it would be.
Thankfully, He didn’t leave us to figure it out on our own, He gave us lots wise direction.
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
10 Ways to Manage Your Money with Godly Wisdom
1. Remember everything belongs to God.
You and I are simply stewards for a time.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. Psalm 24:1
2. Pray. Ask God for wisdom to manage your money well.
Part of recognizing that it’s all God’s is asking Him for direction to be a good steward of His blessings.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6
3. Make a budget and stick to it.
If you’re in debt, work to get out of it. Don’t spend what you don’t have.
The rich rules over the poor. The man who uses something that belongs to someone else is ruled by the one who let him use it. Proverbs 22:7
4. Know where you spend your money.
Take a few months to a year to document every penny spent so you will know where you can make changes in an emergency. Rev and I did this one for several years and although I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan, it helped us know what we could eliminate when we needed to rein in our spending.
A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. ~Jonathan Swift
5. Take care of what you have.
New always seems attractive and exciting but part of being a good steward is simply caring for the blessings you already have.
Learn all you can about your sheep. Take care of your goats the best you can. Neither wealth nor nations last forever. Proverbs 27:23–24
6. Don’t compare what you have with your friends and neighbors.
You and I will always want bigger and better if we’re comparing and envious of what the people around us enjoy.
“When the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
7. Don’t shop for recreation and entertainment.
Many unnecessary purchases happen while you and I are out just “looking.”
“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.” ~Crystal Paine
8. Start a savings plan.
Even a small one will help you prepare for future needs or emergencies. Rev and I put 10% into our savings when we started giving 10% back to God.
“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.” ~Dave Ramsey
It will bless you in every way. Our faith commitment to give 10% years ago came with a hope that someday we’d be able to give even more than a tithe. By God’s grace, there have been many years when He has made that possible.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. Proverbs 3:9
10. Praise God!
If you are reading this. If you live in a house with clean running water, windows, heat, food and a way to prepare it . . . you’re rich! You are blessed! So many people around the world live without things you and I take for granted. Thank and praise God and be generous with those in need.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. –Anonymous
The best part of managing your money with Godly wisdom is that it comes with His peace and contentment. No amount of money or luxurious possession is worth that sacrifice.
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