Money is a spiritual force that affects our ability to live comfortable lives and can change who we are spiritually if allowed.The struggling American economy is leaving many people with financial burdens too large to shoulder. Our job market is tight and everyday we hear about companies folding, filing bankruptcy or executing mass lay offs. So how do Christians keep, or get, their financial house in order in the face of serious financial hardships? Is there a connection between our relationship with God and our money? Yes, there is. In the Bible, Jesus has a lot to say about money and provides us with guidelines to keep the spiritual power of money from having negative affects on our relationship with His Father.
Below are some suggestions for developing a basic financial checklist based on the Word of God. Our financial blessings can be blocked by our action or lack of action. As Christians, we are promised the blessings of God, not the curses of the devil. The promise of prosperity and blessing belongs to us, not the curse of poverty and fear.
A Financial Checklist
1.Tithe:Are we giving a tenth of our income to God? God asks us to test Him give your tithes and see what blessings follow.
"I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing." Malachi 3:10
2. Give to God first, before paying our bills.
"Honor the LORD by giving him your money and the first part of all your crops. Then you will have more grain and grapes than you will ever need." Proverbs 3:9-10
3. Do we give to the poor? Do not expect your financial blessings to flow if you ignore those less fortunate than you.
4. Are we neglecting our debts to continue satisfying our wants? Take care of your needs instead of your wants.Foolish spending can bring our financial house to ruins and block our blessings.
"And religion does make your life rich, by making you content with what you have. We didn't bring anything into this world, and we won't take anything with us when we leave." I Timothy 6:6-7
5. Are we planning and budgeting our financial spending?
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won't you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. They will say, "You started building, but could not finish the job." Luke 14:28-30
6. Are we lazy on the job?
"Work hard at whatever you do. You will soon go to the world of the dead, where no one works or thinks or reasons or knows anything." Ecclesiastes 9:10
7. Are we wasteful?
"The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted." John 6:12
8. Have we committed all money and material things to God?
"Your heart will be where your riches lie." Luke 12:34
9. Have we paid our debts or arranged to pay them when we are facing financial difficulties?
"Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands." Romans 13:8
10. Are we trusting God as our total source?
"I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the LORD, who created the heavens and the earth." Psalm 121:1-2
11. Do we want God's financial blessing without following His ways?
"All of you praise me with your words, but you never really think about me." Matthew 15:8Handling our money wisely and aligning our finances with God's will is the best way to change the direction of our financial condition. Spend money on what you need and save.That is something most of us find difficult; however, if we take the steps outlined by God wise spending gets easier. God warns us against putting faith in money to secure the future. Understanding that money will fail to solve life's biggest problems will keep the spiritual power of money in perspective. Seek treasure in the kingdom of God.That treasure will benefit us in this life and the next one too.Trust God to provide your basic needs especially if you've allowed God to order your steps. When our blessings start to spill over it is our duty to give to someone in need. Giving keeps our blessings flowing but most importantly, our gifts are bridge between God and the non-believer. Don't ask God to bless you financially if you aren't tithing, giving to others, or paying your debtors what you owe. We serve a generous, loving, and patient God. If we work with Him and follow His direction, our financial lives can be as full as our spiritual lives. We already know God waits on us but can we wait on God?