In Mark 12:41-44, “Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money.” Notice the passage doesn’t say, “Jesus happened to see. . . .” No, Jesus deliberately watched what people were giving. God makes no apology for paying attention to what we do with the money he’s entrusted to us, and no apology for having a strong opinion about what we ought to do with it.
That quote came from my favorite author Randy Alcorn’s Facebook status yesterday.
He wrote, among many other amazing life-changing novels and such, one of the most life-changing books on money that I’ve ever read, called The Treasure Principle.
And I’ve read lots of books about money. In fact, one of my friends used to call me Suze, as in …. Suze Orman… because I read and quoted from her books so often.
I was fortunate to be raised by thrifty parents who preached that debt is a sin and lived debt free always. They worked hard, lived beneath their means, saved money, and paid off their house at age 35. They paid cash for my first two cars and paid cash for my sister and me to go to college, which has been an enormous blessing to me in my adult years as most of my friends are still saddled with student loan debt; because of their frugality and discipline, I had the privilege and blessing to start out in life with no debt and money in the bank.
Not much, mind you; but black of ANY amount is better than red any day.
I’m not going to make MY goal of a paid-for house by age 35, or even age 40. Events of recent years have annhilated my financial situation and I’ve found myself in a different financial boat than I ever would have imagined.
And I imagine lots of people in this day and age, in this economy, have found themselves in a different boat than they ever would have imagined, as well.
Luckily, I’ve learned from the best how to pay cash, spend less than I make, clip coupons, and buy used or not at all; use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. With that in mind, I want to talk about what the Bible says about money as well as what I’ve learned about how to live beneath your means and survive as a single mom on a Social Worker income.
Not that I do it well all the time…. its a struggle. And I’m as tempted by materialism as the next person, really like Starbucks and eating out, and LOVE me some retail therapy.
But though I miss the mark often, God has some clear-cut direction for us in His Word…. principles to help us be free from bondage to our finances so that His will may be done in our lives.
And that’s the subject for my next few blog posts.