Early in my journey of learning about money, I noticed a very odd disconnect: On one hand, there’s no shortage of personal finance information out there. On the other hand, lots of people struggle with money.
Eventually I realized that knowledge about money isn’t enough. We need to fully understand the financial side of our identity in Christ and the purpose of our lives.
Our culture calls us consumers. To consume means to use up, devour, or spend wastefully. How’s that working out for us? Consumer is more than a word; it’s a worldview. If I’m a consumer, I am the most important person in the world. Life is all about me—my pleasure, my comfort, my happiness. If I’m a consumer, happiness is found in money and stuff. And if I’m a consumer, life is about competition. I’m happiest when I have more than others have and more than I had before.
And yet, the Bible says these are the exact wrong priorities for anyone seeking a meaningful, purposeful life. From a financial perspective, the Bible describes us as stewards, or managers. God has entrusted us with His resources in order to fulfill His purposes.
When Jesus was asked directly what’s most important in life, He said to love God. He then said our second most important priority is to love others. And the Bible says we’ve all been given talents and passions in order to make a difference with our lives.
Since those are the three overarching purposes of our life, they are the three overarching purposes of money. We are to use money to love God, love others, and make our unique contribution to the world.
If you were to honestly evaluate your current use of money, how well does it line up with these three purposes?
Matt Bell is Associate Editor at Sound Mind Investing (www.SoundMindInvesting.com), the investment newsletter from a biblical perspective. He is also the author of three personal finance books.