Attitudes that identify self-control
How can we seek God’s wisdom concerning our finances? God says that if we pray for anything that is within His will, it will be given to us. But God’s will and His ways are not always compatible with our will and ways. Therefore, when we turn our finances over to God we must be willing to accept His direction.
However, all too often we strike out on our own without a clear direction from Him. We take control of the reins, feeling that we know what direction is best. Unfortunately, many times the end result of choosing our own way is destruction. Then we expect God to come to our rescue and bail us out. Sometimes He does, but other times He does not, because we need to learn a valuable lesson about rejecting His control in favor of self-control.
The following guides can help identify when we are clearly out of God’s control and are dependent on self-control.
- God will never use money to worry us. If a Christian is worried, frustrated, and upset about money, God is not in control. God said that worry is not in His plan for our lives (Matthew 6:25). If we are relying on His guidance, He will supply all our needs, just as He has promised. So, believing that, we can concentrate on other things.
- God will not use money to corrupt us. Although God will not use money to corrupt us, many Christians have fallen into Satan’s trap of greed, ego, deceit, and other financial snares and have become corrupted by money.
- God will never use money to build our egos. Many times Christians become trapped by financial ego and find themselves catering to the wealthy rather than to those whom God has brought across their paths. However, in Christ we are all financially equal. When we depart from this world, we will take nothing from this world with us. All that we will have for all eternity will be the treasures we have laid up in heaven. Those treasures are not deposited by human ego, rather by humility.
- God will not cause Christians to hoard. There is a distinct difference between saving and hoarding. Saving is biblically recommended in order to be prepared for inevitable emergencies or adversity. Hoarding is putting money aside to guard against any and all calamities, yet seldom using it for family emergencies or financial setbacks. A Christian cannot be within God’s will and hoard money. Hoarding prevents Christians from seeing the needs of others and prohibits them from abandoning even a small portion of their hoarded funds to help the needy. Unfortunately, those who are guilty of hoarding usually can rationalize their behavior with so-called righteous arguments, but their arguments are contrary to the Word of God.
- God will not use money to satisfy every whim and desire. It is important that we begin to adjust our lifestyles to be consistent and compatible with a Christian commitment. That commitment does not include lavishness. God does not want us to live in poverty; there is nothing inherently spiritual in poverty. Neither is there any sin in wealth. However, God does not desire for his people to live in worldly lavishness while His work needs to be funded and brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world do not even have the basics of food and clothing. So, although it is not wrong to live well, we should not live lavishly or extravagantly as nonbelievers. Our lifestyles must be guided by the Holy Spirit—not determined by the lifestyles of others, not even others within the Christian community. Although God does not supply the money to satisfy our every whim and desire, He has promised that He would meet our needs and provide an abundance so that we can help others. It is when we accept this principle that God will multiply our abundance as well.
To achieve God’s best, we must apply what He says. Information without application leads to frustration. Christians who are not experiencing peace in financial matters should reevaluate and ask themselves: Who is in control of my financial decisions? Who is directing my paths? Am I being controlled by God or by my own desires?