Money controls many of us–does it control you?
One of the toughest challenges many of us face is surrendering our finances to God. Often, our preoccupation with money negatively affects both our spiritual and emotional well-being.
For my wife and me, surrendering our family finances to God has been a struggle, and money has often created issues in our marriage. When thinking about the future, I want to see and touch a financial plan in order to feel peace, rather than trusting that things will work out. My wife is more impulsive and sometimes does not pay close attention to managing money. We are working to turn our finances over to God and come together, but it has been so difficult that at times we have needed counseling to help address our issues. Finances are perhaps our toughest area to fully surrender, but we will keep trying.
If managing money in a healthy manner is an issue for you, there are steps you can take to move in the right direction:
Be thankful for what you have – Everything we have is a gift. We may think we earned it all on our own, but who gave us the talent and opportunity to be successful? Our willingness to surrender our finances to God should flow naturally from our thankfulness for what we have been given.
Accept the responsibility of stewardship – Frankly, it is a matter of obedience to God to accept personal ownership for managing our money wisely. When we ignore God’s point of view and choose to do things our way, we put ourselves and our family at significant risk.
Align spending to your priorities – It is helpful to create a list of the things that are most important to us, such as our faith, family, and helping others. Then, we can assess if our money is going toward the items we listed, or is much of it being spent on things that are not as important?
Accept you can’t control the future – We should work to manage our money wisely, but we cannot totally control our financial future. The economy, an illness, or losing a job can take away much of the control we think we have. We can learn to accept that we cannot fully control our financial future, then put it into God’s hands and seek peace.
Let go of your money – If we lost all our financial assets, we could still have our family, friends, health, talents, and faith. Would that be the end of the world? No, we could adapt. If we become willing to accept losing it all, it helps ensure that our faith is not dependent on our bank account.
Start giving your money away –If we ask God to create situations where we can help those who are in need, we will begin to encounter times when we can make a difference in people’s lives. If we sincerely make that prayer, miraculous opportunities will appear.
Ultimately, you will be happier if you seek to follow God’s will in how you utilize the financial resources you have been given. If you can truly surrender your money to God, because that is often such a challenge, other areas in your life may come easier.
Do you control your money, or does it control you?
Action: This article is an edited excerpt from STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life. Get more insight on finances from the rest of the chapter on “Managing Money Wisely.”