And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him. – Luke 16:12-14 (NLT)
Money, mammon, wealth, or riches – whatever word you use or however you look at you, you have to deal with money every day. The challenge with money – whether you have great sums of it, not enough money or even none at all is that you have to manage money. Daily you are faced with having to earn money, save money, give money, spend money or borrow money. All this interaction with money leads you to form a relationship with money. Some money behaviorists and money coaches call this connect a “money relationship” but I described it as a “love affair with money”.
What?! A Love Affair with Money? Yes, I know that does sound ludicrous, too personal and too intimate. The reality or the truth is that you deal with money so much that you form an emotional connection with it that is often not beneficial to you or to those around you.
I know of those who have been so caught up with making money or trying to reach some proverbial money goal that in the push to get it, they lose – not only money but family, friendships and other relationships that far outweigh what money can do. The greed and the love of money have led people to lie, cheat, steal and even kill to get it! There’s also the other side, where some have been so fearful about having “too much money” because they think money will change them for the worse. Others adopt a selfish attitude that they only want enough for themselves and their love ones. Sadly, they do not recognize or care to acknowledge that there are needs beyond themselves.
Okay, let’s look at it in another way. Imagine that you just received an unexpected gift of $20,000. How do you feel? What’s your thoughts as you think about this new money you now have? Did you start thinking about how would use (spend) that money? Did you feel a sense of relief because you have that extra that could help you in so many ways? Now turn your imagination in the other direction. What if you lost $200,000 or incurred an expected major expense of that amount? How do you feel now? Total opposite reaction right?
So you see, money effects more than just your bank account. It effects you – body, soul and spirit. You may have several reactions when it comes to money – either you love it, hate it, fear it or have some level of indifference to it. But the truth is that any of those approaches can lead to poor mismanagement and financial troubles.
What you and I need to accomplish in life where money is concern is a balance approach. Rather than allowing money to control our lives, we need to control it. If you get to the heart of money matters and its impact, you will stand in a better position as the master of your money rather than money being your master.
But you may be asking, “How do I become a master of money? I am in debt and can’t pay my bills on time. I don’t have a lot and I am constantly worried.” Or you may be asking the same question but your story may be somewhat difference, “I earn a good income but I don’t know where it is going. I can’t seem to keep money in my bank account.” These two very real situations show how controlling money can be if you don’t take over and be in control of it. But there is hope and help here. Some of the ways you can control your money and take back your life really is to:
Let God Master You And Your Resources
First and foremost, love God, be loyal to Him and serve Him only. Jesus says it, both God and money are masters. Which one do you want to rule you? When you make a comparison, God always comes out on top as being not only a loving master but a loving Father. The choice is yours.
Secondly, be generous. Make every effort to tithe to God and give to others. Whether you see it that way or not right now, money is not meant to be hoarded; it is currency, it flows from you to someone else, from someone to you. The promise regarding giving is that the more you give the more you actually receive. Proverbs 11:24, NIV – “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”
Educate Yourself in Personal Finance
Educate yourself – biblically and practically – on money management. The more you know and understand the better equipped you are to make sound financial and life decisions.
Read and study money books, audios, videos, newspapers, online magazines, blog posts (like this one) to guide you in your financial empowerment journey. You can even hire a money coach or seek some form of counseling if you so desire or believe you need more direct assistance.
View Money Objectively
Take the emotion out of money by managing objectively. How? Constantly remind yourself that it isn’t yours in the first place even though you are fully responsible for it now.
When you manage money like it’s a business or like you have to give your employer a detailed report about what you’ve done with his money it makes it easier. Why? You manage from a position of respect. You manage logically. You assess the risk of whatever you do. You’re more cautious. You also seek to be profitable but again weighing the risk of any investment you make. You diversify to spread your risk.
How to take the emotion out of money? Remember you’re a temporary owner and have to give God a good report of your life including how you manage your personal finances.
FINALLY … Make a Personal Commitment
Yes, every starts with a thought and a thought decision. Today decide. Are you going to let money rule or overtake your life or are you going to rule and manage it and let it serve you instead. Make a commitment today to change your relationship with and management of money.
Let’s together turn a new page in your lives to become better money managers. If you think you’re bad at this money thing, ask God to make you good at it. If you’re a good money manager ask him to make you a better one.
Today, will you make a personal commitment to yourself and to God? Recognize that you owe it to yourself to live a financially empowering life and to start doing so right now. Share your commitment and comment below.