Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How To Discover Your Worldview On Money

Photo by TW Collins
A Biblical Worldview Versus A Societal Worldview

Last week, I attended a brief meeting with some local financial experts and pastors regarding how these experts could best meet the needs of church members in our metro area. One of the discussions we embarked on was the difference between what should be a Christian's worldview of money versus the worldview of our society.

The conclusion we came to was that for the average "Joe Blow" Christian warming a pew on Sunday mornings, there is not much difference between how believers in Christ handle their money versus how unbelievers handle their money. Over the years, the universal church has allowed society's money views to permeate the church culture. We've gotten to the point where in many of our churches, that pastors can't even address the money issue from a Biblical perspective with their congregants out of fear that their people will not attend, or worse yet, move their membership to another church out of anger.

It has always struck me as strange that money is such a taboo subject in most churches, when the Bible has such a wealth of material and wisdom on the subject. God does care how we save, spend, invest, and give the money He has entrusted into our care. If believers could and would trust God with their wallets at the same level as they trust Him with their souls, then there would be a lot fewer Christians in financial crisis - guaranteed!

Society's Worldview On Money

If I could sum up the societal worldview on money in one word, I would use the word conformity. The world money system and philosophy wants you, whether you are an unbeliever or believer, to follow their financial path from cradle to grave.

As children, they want you to become conditioned to turn your wants into needs through a constant bombardment of commercials on kids and teen TV. They also want you to learn the art of impulse buying at the store through careful kid's product placement at eye level. Once you leave the nest of your parent's home, they want you to saddle yourself for the next few decades with massive college student loans and credit card debt. Once you leave college and start a family, the world's money system wants you to follow the path of car loans, home mortgages, and additional consumer debt.

Am I trying to say that there is some great conspiracy to get the average family heavily into debt by the time we enter our 20s and 30s? No, not exactly. But, I will say that our societal money system has "normalized" the use of credit and debt in general in order to keep the financial wheels, so to speak, constantly in motion.

The Biblical Worldview On Money

If I could sum up the Biblical worldview on money in one word, I would use the word surrender. A Biblical worldview of money begins with God. We must acknowledge that God owns everything in the entire universe. In 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 we read:
Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
If believers in Christ were to truly acknowledge that all things belong to Him in the first place, then we would understand that we are simply managers of whatever He has entrusted to our care. We would make better financial decisions because our desire would be to please Him in our management of His money.

As Christians, we must surrender our control of the money, possessions, assets, abilities, and time given to us back over to God. And, if we have truly surrendered our control of these things, then our ultimate desire will be to please God with all that we have. We will begin making better financial choices as we yield our control over to Him.

How Do You Discover Your Worldview?

The easiest way to discover your own personal worldview is to determine how you view "your" money and assets. Is God even in the picture when it comes to how you utilize your money, possessions, assets, abilities, and time? Consider asking yourself the following questions in order to determine your financial worldview:
  1. Do I acknowledge daily that all things come from God?
  2. Have I surrendered my control of what I have been given back over to Him?
  3. Do I have a spirit of thanksgiving for what has been entrusted into my care?
  4. Do I demonstrate faith in God to take care of my financial needs and wants?
  5. When I have financial questions, do I turn to the world for financial advice, or do I turn to His Word and spiritually mature believers for guidance and wisdom?
  6. Do I pray through major purchases that will tie up extensive amounts of money for long periods of time, such as cars, homes, investments and so on?
  7. Do I have a spirit of generosity? Do I generously give back to God through my local church in order to support His Kingdom work here on earth?
In what ways do you perhaps need to shift your thinking from a societal worldview to a Biblical worldview?

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