Of what use is money in the hand of a fool,
since he has no desire to get wisdom?
- Proverbs 17:16 NIV
A few years ago, when I became serious about getting out of debt, the Lord began showing me this verse. While it was His desire for me to live free from burdensome debt, He wasn't inclined to give me much help until I got serious about seeking His wisdom for handling my finances. He taught me a few things that have made all the difference, and I'd like to share them with you.
First, we have to seek God's wisdom and His will concerning our finances. If there's something we want--like a newer car or a vacation--we need to consult Him before we decide to take action. If we're not sure we have the Lord's permission, we need to wait on Him. And waiting on God is the second important thing He taught me. Each time I buy something on credit without God's approval, I forfeit the opportunity for Him to provide it for me debt-free. I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to wait on God for things if it means I can eventually pay cash for them. When you're serious enough about getting out of debt to do that, God will work wonders in your finances. Thirdly, we need to trust God's provision. He has promised to abundantly supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19) and when we don't trust Him to do so, He takes it personally. God doesn't want us panicking when unexpected expenses come up. He also doesn't want us to be materialistic or self-indulgent. God wants to indulge us from time to time, but only if we don't continually indulge ourselves. Jesus told us to seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, and then He would supply our material needs. (Matthew 6:33) He also equated those who seek things with pagans. The bottom line is that believers are not to seek things--we are to seek God. Then God will meet all our needs.
In addition, I believe it's very important for us to reach out to others with our material resources. The Bible says that "God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7) And that when we sow generously--blessing others, we will reap generously--and with blessings. (2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP) God is much more likely to be generous toward us when we are generous toward others. Also, the Lord wants us to be content with what He's already given us. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' " Often, God will not bless us with something like a newer car until we are sincerely thankful for the one we already have. Being content with our possessions shows we are truly grateful for them. If you've made some mistakes with your finances, confess poor stewardship to the Lord, and ask Him to help you be the steward He wants you to be. And know that God means it when He says, "Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing"! (Psalm 34:10 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for poor stewardship, and make me the steward You want me to be. Help me to always seek Your wisdom and Your perfect timing for all my expenditures. Make me a cheerful and generous giver, and teach me to be content with the blessings You've already given me. Thank You that because You're my Shepherd, I'll always have everything I need! (Psalm 23:1 TLB)
- J. M. Farro