God Inspired Financial Freedom

by Van Richards , Christian Examiner Contributor |

We live in a very materialistic society. Many people in America look at where you live, where your kids go to school and the car you drive as an indication of your social status. The urge to keep up with the status quo is difficult to resist. When you do not have the cash, there are payday loans, credit cards and numerous other loans available. Credit is so easy to get it is like finding a money tree. Although when you take that easy money, you are bound to that tree like a prisoner in chains. What do you suppose that God thinks about how people use money and possessions nowadays?

Think about the possessions that you own like your home, who was the first owner? Go back further before there was any person that claimed to own the property your house is on, from where did it originate? Before man, there was God as the creator and owner of the land. When humans began to colonize the United States, God did not sell the property and retire. Over time God has allowed people to possess the property. The dirt that your house is on, plus the house itself, always have belonged to God.

Owning property is like this short story. When a scientist discovered that he could create a human being from the organic materials in dirt, he challenged God to a contest. The scientist claimed that he could build a better human being. God took the scientist's challenge. However, God told the scientist that there was one condition, the scientist must use his own ingredients. The scientist agreed and went out to gather some dirt to make a man. God stopped the scientist and said, "No, No .... You go and find your own dirt." The moral to the story is that God owned it all in the beginning, and he still owns it all today. He allows people to use what he created.

Christians are promised salvation beyond this life through our belief in Jesus as our Savior. So, there is no reason to hold tightly to anything you have. This is a mindset that allows you to live without becoming so attached to property or material things. That does not mean that you must live the life of a pauper. It just means that as a Christian, you see that what you have is not going to help you go to heaven. What will get you to heaven is your belief in Jesus Christ and living your life by the principals of God's teachings in the Bible.

The concept of financial freedom for a Christian is not owning more things, having lots of money or being debt free. The idea of God inspired financial freedom is understanding that we are in this world for a short time. God brought us here with the promise of salvation and eternal life with him if we follow his commandments. Christians are free from living a material life to impress other people. A Christian's life is that of a steward of God's gifts. As stewards of God's gifts, we do have responsibilities. If you read the Parable of the Bags of Gold (Matthew 25:14-30, NIV) Jesus tells the story of three slaves that were entrusted by their master with bags of gold. One man was given five bags, the second man was given two bags, and the last man was given one. The aspect of this parable that applies to man's responsibility as a steward of God's gifts can be seen in how the master responded to his slave's use of the riches while he was gone. The master was pleased with the first two men's use of the riches because they were wise in dealing with the money. The master was angry with the third man because he did nothing with what he was given. He was not a good steward of the master's riches.

God inspired financial freedom is a mindset that can help you move away from a materialistic lifestyle. Here is how you can begin to obtain that type of freedom. Get your last three months of bank statements. Then, make a list of all the property that you own. List everything: cars, home, a boat, collectibles and so on. Now, one-by-one, ask yourself how each of those items is helping you better serve God. Since God owns everything, are you being a good steward and spending or using items to serve God? Of the possessions that are not helping you to serve God better, are you willing to give them up? In the Book of Genesis, chapter 22, God tests Abraham's faith by telling him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham grieves over the request; however, he still begins to follow God's commands to sacrifice his son. Then God spares Isaac by telling Abraham not to kill his son. God was testing Abraham's faith.

I am not suggesting that you consider sacrificing any of your family members. Ask yourself what possessions and spending habits you would give up if God asked you to give them up. If you can freely tell God that you would give up anything, you have God inspired financial freedom. You are not living a life of gathering things. If you have possessions or habits that you have trouble giving up to God, pray for God's guidance. He can help you to have financial freedom.

– Van Richards is a Christian financial advisor as well as the founder of https://www.Advice4LifeInsurance.com and http://www.Advice4Retirement.com. Van draws from his 30 years as a financial advisor to write about financial issues from a Christian perspective. You can contact him at van@advice4lifeinsurance.com.