It’s God’s Money
The first things people want to talk about with me is Money. They want me to fix the financial problems they are having. They want to know:
(1) who is to blame and
(2) what steps they should take.
They often are surprised when I suggest we first look at their attitude about money.
Budgeting, borrowing and debt, saving, tithing and other financial topics are important, but our attitude about money is more important. Once our way of thinking about money lines up with God’s, it’s much easier to tackle the practical matters.
Acknowledge God’s ownership
The most important principle to keep firmly in mind is to understand whose money we are talking about. It’s not yours. If you are married, it’s not your mate’s. It is God’s.
God’s ownership of everything is a foreign concept to most of us. We like to think of our money and our possessions. Yet the Bible makes it clear that God owns everything.
All things were created by him and for him (Colossians 1:16). Everything belongs to him.
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).
For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).
The world is mine, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12).
“The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the LORD Almighty (Haggai 2:8).
For everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all (1 Chronicles 29:11).
Learn from Nebuchadnezzar’s example
Nebuchadnezzar, one of history’s most powerful kings, learned this lesson the hard way. One day he went for a walk. As he strolled he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).
God’s answer was quick and to the point: He took away the king’s sanity and drove him outside to eat grass like a cow. Seven years later, when God restored Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity, the king no longer exulted in his possessions, but glorified God as sovereign over all (Daniel 4:34-37).
Acknowledge God’s ownership out loud. Don’t ever say “But I earned what I have. No one gave me anything.” I used to say this all of the time. But now I know it was my giving and my understanding and respect of God’s money that
Nebuchadnezzar’s sin was one of pride and the illusion of self-sufficiency. In essence, he said, “Look at what I did all by myself.”
You may have had similar thoughts, something like, “I earned my money. No one gave me anything. I had to work for it.”
It may be true that you put in long hours to get where you are. Yet it is God who created you in the first place and gave you the strength and talent to make money.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Replace pride with thankfulness.
Replace pride with a thankful attitude. It’s okay to find satisfaction in your work (Ecclesiastes 2:24). Just remember to thank God for creating you and giving you the gifts, skills and strength that allow you to succeed.