You are a responsible, patriotic, God-fearing contributor to society. Unfortunately, you’ve been taught a lie about how to be responsible with money. You’re handing money all wrong and it shows. What if you could make one change and begin a transformation that will put you back in control and give less money to big-bank corporations?
Growing up, I knew two things about money: Pay bills and put food on the table. That was the cycle week after week, paycheck after paycheck. This was the cycle before I filed bankruptcy in 2002 and the cycle when my husband and I married in 2003. It continued for seven years and when things hit a wall it was obvious we had believed a huge lie about good intentions and responsibility.
This cycle is not just wrong, it is irresponsible. And if you’re paying bills and putting food on the table while swimming in a mound of big-bank pocket lining debts you’re not as responsible as you think. But there is hope…
The Problem with Good Intentions
On the surface, paying bills and putting food on the table sound responsible. The problem with these two good intentions is that they are only part of the picture. And your good intentions of well-fed kids and no collection calls aren’t putting you in control of your money – they are making you a slave to it.
Money is neither good nor evil. Money is a tool. When we use this tool like the rest of the world we are slaves to the evils of money. Sure, you may not be greedy, you may even tithe each week but when you’re paying bills, whose pockets are you lining?
Are you able to say, “No, I’m not buying your thing, I’ll shop elsewhere” or are you stuck buying less expensive, made-in-China junk because you can’t support patriots with small businesses?
Are you able to stick to your convictions and let them fire you because you know you’ve got a backup plan?
Are you furthering their agenda by spending more than you make and charging the rest resulting in ridiculous interest payments year after year?
Good intentions don’t replace wisdom which guides us to avoiding unnecessary debt, spending foolishly, and making irrational money decisions.
The Real Solution
When you want to learn something new or become good at a particular thing, you need to practice and immerse yourself in it. You read the right stuff, you talk to the right people, you change your habits and make decisions around your new “thing.” And when it comes to money, your new thing should not look like the rest of the world. Funding big banks with thousands of dollars in interest on last summer’s vacation is NOT furthering the kingdom. Lining the pockets of anti-American, anti-God banks and big-box companies is not responsible.
When we’re wise with our money we have power. When we follow His stewardship plan we really can decide how much we’ll tolerate, where we’ll work, and where we will spend our money.
So you’ve been doing money wrong but you want to take back control. How? Well, the solution is not shame, guilt, condemnation, or throwing away all your cash and bartering chickens for milk (although it may come to the latter again someday….).
The real solution is learning what God says about money and managing what you earn in a way that honors Him, furthers the kingdom, and reduces your dependency on places, people, and organizations who don’t even like you. This includes paying your bills and putting food on the table but it encompasses so much more. It isn’t living in a box, it’s living in freedom. It’s a lifestyle and one that aligns perfectly with your love of God and country.
I have this saying I use with my son when we’re discussing how we spend money. I’ll often tell him, “I don’t want to give my money to people who don’t like who you and Daddy and I are.” In other words, as conservative Christians who hunt and fish, and tell people about Jesus, I’m don’t want to spend money with organizations that do not like who we are.
Starting this lifestyle shift is not always easy but it is well worth it. Friends and family may think you’re ridiculous for foregoing family vacation to pay off debt but, they may already think you’re ridiculous anyway, and remember, the positive opinions of others are not a prerequisite for your success.
Your real, God-honoring stewardship plan should look like this:
- Spend less than you make
- Save for future expenses
- Save for emergencies
- Pay off debts
- Support and bless those in alignment with your values
Within those five areas, you have so much freedom you don’t even realize it. Want to buy prepping supplies – make it part of your plan. Want to pull your kids from public school – go for it! Want to support the parallel Christian economy here on Gab – you can! You can because as you reduce your debt and your debt dependency the money you earn because yours to do with as you’d like. You have more money you can spend as you wish instead of on interest. And nothing compares to the peace of mind you get when you pay off a credit card or loan knowing you will not easily find yourself in that situation again.
These five principles not only make sense, but they also honor God. As we stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zone to live a different lifestyle we will find times we must fully depend on Him either for the tangible things we need or because He has asked us to do things that seem crazy.
His angel guards those who honor the Lord and rescues them from danger. Find out for yourself how good the Lord is. Happy are those who find safety with him. Honor the Lord, all his people; those who obey him have all they need. —Psalm 34:7-9 (GNTD)
Even when money is tight, God will take care of you.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. ~Proverbs 13:11 (ESV)
Remember: There are no quick fixes to your money problems. Hard work, sacrifice, and discipline are the only way to reach financial freedom that will last.
Whoever loves money will never have enough money. Whoever loves luxury will not be content with abundance. This too is vanity. ~Ecclesiastes 5:10 (ISV)
You must fight discontentment. The Devil wants you to focus on what you do not have no matter how much you do have. There is no end to “more money”.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”~Luke 6:38 (ESV)
When we give from a generous heart, not out of duty we will be blessed. But remember, the blessing we get do not always look the same as what we have given.
I told you earlier there was one thing you could change that would make a drastic difference. That one thing is transforming your thinking. It sounds simple but it is revolutionary. You’ve heard the saying, “sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
It all starts with how you think about your money, your financial situation, and God. Transforming your mind will transform your actions which leads to more freedom so you can spend money the way you want to – a way that honors God, furthers the Kingdom, and supports those you want to support.
Danielle Tate is leading the financial freedom movement for Christian families. An author, speaker, and coach, Danielle is passionate about equipping Christians to reduce debt dependency and manage their money God’s way. Get started with your transformation with her Money Makeover Masterclass and grab her free 6 Steps to a Debt Free Lifestyle. Danielle, along with her husband Brad and their son Wyatt, call the greater Gettysburg, PA area home. When she’s not writing or coaching you’ll find Danielle homeschooling, cooking, or spending time outside. Find her online at her website and say hello here on Gab.