Money Myth No1: It's How Much You Keep

Have you ever heard it said, "It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep"? I hear people say it all the time - especially bankers, financial planners and counselors. I disagree, though. It's not how much you make or how much you keep, it's how you use what you have.

The most important lesson I've learned about money is this: respect God's provision. God is expecting you to honor Him and all He's given you. He has given you the power to acquire wealth, and like anything else, if you are careless with that wealth, and choose not to respect it, He will allow it to be taken from you, or "devoured" by the enemy. (Mal 3:11)

So, here's how you honor and respect God's provision:

    Acknowledge from where it came. Yes, you may have worked for it and your employer may have cut the check, but the gifts and skills you used to earn it came from God. And the opened door to that employer came from Him, as well. God is always working on your behalf, even when you can't see Him or when you choose not to acknowledge Him. It is because of Him that you have income - it is He that gave you the power to get wealth! Just FYI: "all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things and by him all things consist." (Col 1:16-17)

    Honor Him with your tithe. Pay your tithes in full and on time, no matter what. First, it shows respect and reverence for God and His Word and second, it allows for the kingdom of God to flourish and sustain itself. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house," says the Lord. (Mal3:10) In order for the Word of God to come from the pulpits each Sunday, there must be accommodations, utilities, staff, etc. Your tithe is not an obligation to the church; it's an act of obedience to the Lord.

    Take care of your financial responsibilities. In other words, pay your bills...and pay them on time. And if for some legitimate reason you can't, call the company and let them know. Make arrangements to pay what is owed and honor those commitments. Again, it's a matter of respect! You're asking for God's grace and mercy, respect His provision. We all face hardships, but when we do, as children of God, we must handle them with integrity. The Word of God says to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." (Lk20:25) Honor God by being humble and grateful - and obedient.

    Give to others. If God prompts you to bless someone - with money or otherwise - don't operate in fear. Don't hold on to what you have with the fear of not having enough for yourself in the future; it tells God you don't trust His provision. You are blessed to be a blessing. He gives to you so that you can give back to Him and give to others! He needs to be able to use you and the finances He's given you in kingdom work. Don't worry about you - if you commit to taking care of His kingdom, He will provide for you.

    Set your affections on eternal things. Remember, it's not how much you make or keep, it's how you use what you have. Don't use all you have on worldly things and fail to do meaningful work with it! Take a look at your spending - where does the bulk of His provision go? Make sure your spending lines up with the ways and the will of God. It's a sure way to keep receiving from Him. Remember, "If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" (Lk16:11)

For those of us in the kingdom of God, this notion of "financial freedom" is really not about money at all. It's about God and His ability to trust you to use His provision well - be it money, material possessions, status, relationships, etc. His desire is that you effectively use what He's given you to impact the world for His glory. Don't allow earning and saving wealth - which are both good - to overshadow your responsibility to effectively use wealth. Respecting His provision is ultimately respecting Him!

Article Source: LaVondilyn J. Watson

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