By Steve Toschlog, Christian Personal Finance
How it is possible to have peace and live free of worry even when facing difficult financial circumstances?
Do not worry about your life or what you will eat or wear. This is what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-27. Easier said than done, right? How do you not worry given the backdrop of the world we live in today?
7 Steps to Peace During Financial Difficulties
1. Seek Him Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (your every need) will be given to you as well.” These are some of the most encouraging words Jesus ever spoke. When financial struggles get you down, the first and most important thing you do is seek Him. Those who seek Him through daily prayer, praise, and Bible reading find Him every time. (See Jeremiah 33:3, Psalm 4:3, 18:6, and Matthew 7:7 . . . all references to seeking, asking, knocking, and then finding your answer.) He really is the only answer to your money problems.
2. Begin Tithing
Bringing the first 10% of your income to God (your local church) is the most tangible way to tell God “You’re first in my life.” And, it comes with the promise of a financial reward! (Malachi 3:10) Give first because you love God and trust Him. The reward is just the by-product of giving.
3. Begin Budgeting
Utilizing a written financial budget is how you tell God “You can trust me with more money.” Having a written plan by which you can wisely manage the resources God gives you is key to your financial future.
4. Avoid Coveting
Coveting can be defined as wanting something that is not yours or that you cannot have. It’s very easy to become jealous of what someone else has and how they always seem to have it “made in the shade” financially speaking. But, the best thing to do is to thank God for the blessings He has already given you. If you aren’t thankful for what you have now, why would God give you more? Furthermore, the guy with the nice car, nice house, and always taking vacations is often times broke and deep in debt himself. Do you really want to be like him? Avoiding these “wrongful desires” says “I will wait on you God and trust that a delay in my financial breakthrough is only confirmation that you are working out a greater plan for me.” It’s been said many times, “The best things come to those who wait.”
5. Strive for Excellence
Don’t just be a good worker on the job, be excellent. Be the one that the boss can trust to always tell the truth, never cheat the company in any way, and always have a positive attitude. Likewise, be the boss that the employees have great respect for because you never yell at them or belittle them. Be the one who runs your company with the highest level of integrity and honesty. This tells God “I will not let circumstances dictate my attitude or character. I will do the right thing at all times”
6. Say “No” to Yourself
As you seek God, ask Him to reveal areas where you have not managed money wisely and have overspent. What un-necessary splurges have you taken that dug your financial hole deeper? Is there a pattern of overspending that you need to recognize and commit to change? Jesus denied Himself by dying on the cross for our sins. His short-term sacrifice became our long-term gain in that we now have access to the “Way” to heaven. Saying “No” to an un-necessary purchase tells God “I’m denying myself this short-term pleasure for the benefit of my family’s long-term financial security.” With God’s help, you can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)
7. You Decide
There are countless things that can be done to improve one’s financial situation. You now have the opportunity to decide what God is leading you to do. Are you committed to seeking Him through prayer until you know what that is? Or, maybe you already know but have been resisting. God may even be leading you in an area that has nothing to do with finances. Regardless, choose to be obedient to God. Your obedience tells God “I understand that doing what you want me to do is crucial, not only to my finances, but to my future, my family’s future, and the future of countless others around me.”
God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). If you’ve sought God, given Him control of your money, and done everything else you can do from a practical standpoint, then RELAX! Peace takes the place of worry when you know the burden is no longer on you. Your financial circumstances WILL improve because God is incapable of failing you. Do not be discouraged – His timing is perfect!