Money Management Strategies

By: Patrick Roberts

Is excessive wealth only making you neglect straightforward, wholehearted dependence on God? Then get rid of it. The same thing goes for any sin or stumbling block or anything else that was your idea and not God's. No need to overcomplicate your situation or make excuses for yourself. Nor is there any need to try and impress anyone.

Are you so possessed by a career that you are neglecting all of the most important aspects in your life? Then find another one. What good is it for anyone to keep all the best jobs in the world and yet lose his or her own soul? to downsize your life and therefore also decrease the hours consumed by your job. You might do the unthinkable and opt for a lower paying position... but this would necessitate trading in some of your glaring excesses.

Only remember who is our real Life and who is our true Enjoyment and then every other little thing will fall into place. And be encouraged by the practicality of drawing near to Christ. Time spent with Him and energy spent obeying Him helps us more than anything else in this world for functioning in this world.

These are but humble possibilities, of course. I don't know your particular situation in life nor am I aware of the things that disqualify you from obeying God. If what I'm saying is offensive to you, then you should not complain to me, but rather, calmly explain to God why His rules do not apply to you. Give Him all the reasons why your situation is too difficult for Him to handle.

But, if you follow Christ, then He is your eternal Boss. This means you should take up your life-business (including any complaints) with Him first. Either God's commands are reasonable, or He is incompetent and a liar.

Christ will make it possible for His people to downsize their weekly time and energy expenditures if needs be. It shouldn't be too much of a stretch for us to work less and still make enough for a basic living. It would be wise, for example, to opt out of career advancement in favor of relational wealth with our families and spiritual richness in Christ.

From God's point of view, time is not money. In the long run, time is far more valuable than money.

In any case, . It is not our place to make ourselves sons and daughters of God. For this reason He gives us His Spirit, who teaches us and empowers us to obey God.

Remember that there are no time constraints, no jobs, no bills, and absolutely no excuses on that day when everyone will give an account for themselves. There will be a lot of churchgoing westerners on that day who had all the resources and all the right answers in the world while they were on earth, but never took a chance at obeying the Lord by putting these things to work in His name. The right words sound so good in front of the right audiences and yet, on the day of reckoning, all such superfluities will be of no use.

When parents take their cues from the Spirit of Christ, then they will also be able to impart a more substantial kind of love to their families than any amount of money can comprehend. Another possibility is that children might be raised by their stay-at-home parent rather than by day-cares or the mechanical, public school system.

Whether or not greater possibilities or purposes for living ring any bells in your mind depends on Christ, who is exclusively qualified to lead you if you are His.

Christ teaches His own how to worry less about superficial attainment in favor of obtaining only Him. He has proven over and over that He will make all the secondary things fall into place for those that seek Him and His kingdom first. Therefore, we who follow Christ should soak Him up before anything else, even if this requires a strategic neglect of worldly concerns.

Even the most monetarily hard-pressed parents are not exempt from the rigors of Christ-centered faith. In fact, they are even more obviously in need of Him than they would be if they were on their own. The compounded difficulties of disadvantaged parents should drive them all the more toward desperate dependence on Christ.

That people depend on you, O responsible one, is not an opportunity for you to neglect Christ, but rather this is an excuse to . As you cast your right to worry on the Lord, you will also teach your family to do the same, leading them, as you should, toward casting their whole lives on Christ.

Worldly men suppose that a wife and kids give them an excuse to neglect God and take life-matters into their own hands. Indeed, most "manly men" cannot grasp the blessed state of being desperately dependent on Christ on their family's behalf. Led a little astray in their outlooks on faith, they jump wholeheartedly into the shallow pool of self-sufficiency, using their families and mortgages and car-payments as the diving board.

Your situation may be too much for you to handle, O parent, and this is true. But God's grace is even more overwhelming. When you trust Christ for your children's welfare, casting your concerns on Him even though your flesh screams fearfully against such "recklessness," then you will be training up your children in a more securing Way than you can imagine.

When we trust God we trust the same Jehovah-Jireh who provided the ram for Abraham when he went up the mountain to worship God. God provided this ram after Abraham proved himself willing to obey Him, even to the point of sacrificing his only son, Isaac. This is to Abraham's eternal honor, that he was an extremely loving father and yet his love for the Lord was far greater.

This also applies to us these days, if we are God's, that He is our Provider as well as our Deliverer. Even now, He is delivering us from smaller challenges such as physical hunger, hostile armies, deception from within and without, all the way up to our greatest opposition ever, which is our indwelling sin.

by Patrick Roberts

This is an excerpt from To the Church of the West, Scattered Throughout the World. Find this book and similar articles at www.BooksByPatrick.com

Money Management
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