For the last few weeks, we’ve been studying what Proverbs says about easy money.
Believe it or not, trusting in Jesus will actually improve your money management. When you’re not so concerned about wealth, you can treat it rightly. If it’s not your hope and security, you can use it as a tool. You can afford to lose it. You can risk giving it away or sharing it with others. You can put it to work to gain more so you can give more. Here are some ways you can serve God and love others with your money.
- Make a budget. (See Prov 27:23-27.) In a time of sanity and thoughtfulness, plan out how you think God would want you to use your money. A budget helps set bounds on greed by defining reasonable guidelines for spending.
- Get counsel on your budget. (See Prov 15:22.) Find a wise person whom you trust. Ask him or her to look at your plan and give you fresh insight on the wisdom of it. Few sins are as blinding as greed (Matt 6:19-23), so an unbiased set of eyes can help reflect reality.
- Track your budget. Your plan does you no good unless you daily keep track of whether you’re following it or not. Keep all your receipts. Develop a system for recording them and measuring whether your spending is within the bounds of your plan.
- Consider setting a minimum percentage of your income for giving. That way, as your income increases, your giving will increase as well. As income increases, it’s likely you can also increase the percentage you give away.
- Save for your children. (See Prov 13:22.) Even if you don’t have any yet, it can help you take your eyes off yourself if you set aside money designated for future generations.
- Save to give. You can’t predict the future, so you won’t be able to anticipate many needs. Consider regularly setting money aside with the intention of giving it away as God brings unforeseen needs to your attention.
- Claim all your tax credits and deductions. It might sound strange, but many people don’t do it! For example, did you know that, in the U.S., you don’t have to pay tax on money you donated to qualified charitable organizations, including your church? Check out the IRS Guidelines or talk to a financial adviser for more information. If the governing authorities are willing to exempt you from some taxes, why not take them up on it so you have more with which to serve others?
As Bruce Waltke puts it, “Sinners love wealth and use people; saints love people and use wealth to help others.” The latter is what Jesus did for us. His Spirit is now in us, empowering us to do the same to the glory of God.
What ideas do you have about how reject easy money and honor God with your resources?
 Proverbs 1-15, p.193.