Let’s be honest. When a church talks about money, it can feel a little awkward. But did you know that money is talked about in the Bible more than 2,300 times? God knew we would need guidance on this topic. And this is especially true now. Just look at the state of the economy today. Savings are dwindling, retirements are looking unsure, and more and more people are just hoping to make ends meet this month.
No one enjoys the stress of an unbalanced financial life. It can leave you stressed out, at odds with your spouse, and sideways in your relationship with God. But if that’s you, there’s hope! Below are 4 key areas of life that will help you to live a balanced financial life according to the bible and to obtain the peace of mind that comes with it. We’ll even include some bible verses about finances and what exactly the bible says about money management.
1. How to balance your WORK for financial stability
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
Humans were created to honor God with our work. This was true of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it’s true of us now. Work isn’t a consequence of sin. It’s God’s intentional design for us. But because of sin, it’s a lot harder to keep work in balance.
Paul wants us to remember that “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3: 23). How about you? Below are some questions that will help you decide if your work life is in balance.
- View your job as God does?
- Seeing your job as an act of worship, not just a paycheck.
- Recognizing that your work performance brings God honor.
- Prioritize your career as God would?
- Put God first, ahead of your career.
- Prioritize your obligations (family, spouse, kids, community, church, job, etc.) appropriately.
2. How to make a budget and debt PLAN for your finances
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5).
Planning is biblical and requires diligence and wisdom. Likewise, the lack of careful planning can lead to all sorts of problems. Below are some actionable steps as you begin to make financial plans.
- Decide (with your spouse, if applicable) to make a plan for your finances and stick with it.
- Make a budget plan:
- Determine your income from all sources.
- Determine your expenses, one-time and recurring.
- Subtract these numbers and see what is left over.
- Make a debt plan:
- Avoid all irresponsible debt (credit cards, consumer loans, etc.)
- Create a plan to pay back your debt.
3. How to balance your money for GIVING
“Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:33-34)
When we give to God’s kingdom, we exchange temporary possessions for eternal treasures. Not only that, but everything we have comes first from God. Below are some guidelines for creating the habit of cheerful giving.
- View everything as God’s, not yours.
- Live within your means by:
- Creating a margin in your budget instead of spending everything.
- Creating a budget and a plan for giving towards God’s kingdom.
- Train your eyes to see kingdom needs instead of earthly wants by:
- Give to local ministries in your community.
- Give to where God has given you a passion or calling.
4. How to balance your SPENDING for financial success
Spending is a part of life. But over-spending, or spending on the wrong things, can have disastrous consequences that can cause stress and keep us from honoring God. Instead, biblical spending provides us with what we need and allows us to enjoy God’s gifts.
Here are 4 great questions to ask before making a big purchase:
- Have you prayed about it?
- Can you pay cash for it? What are the long-term costs?
- What is your motivation for wanting it?
- Will this purchase benefit God’s kingdom?
Take a next step toward financial balance
Just because you’re in a difficult place with your finances right now doesn’t mean you have to stay there. If your financial life (working, planning, giving, spending) is out of balance right now, take the needed steps to rebalance it! Sign-up for a course in personal finances, such as Financial Peace University, sit down with a budget coach to review your finances, and commit yourself to a life of healthy, God-glorifying balance!
Additionally, we created a visual infographic that will help you manage these 4 areas of life in a practical way. Download the free infographic to help you visualize which areas of your life need the most attention when it comes to financial stability and practical ways to help guide you toward financial peace.