3 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Money
I have something to admit.
I enjoy (to an extent) watching shows like The Real Housewives and Selling Sunset—shows that give me a sneak peek into the lives of the incredibly wealthy.
These individuals live in multi-million dollar houses overlooking the ocean, wear designer clothes, and take jet-setting vacations to the Bahamas on a Wednesday for a “girls trip.” It seems so glamorous on the surface.
But there’s something about their lifestyles that I find even more interesting than their clothes and houses.
Almost none of these individuals seem truly happy once you dig a bit deeper. But to be honest, that’s not much of a surprise.
As Christians we know that money doesn't make a person happy. The pursuit of money ends up causing more issues than it solves.
We see in 1 Timothy 6:9 that, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
Somehow though, many of us (myself included) still fall victim to the trap of wanting more money. It’s easy to convince myself that, “If I just had a little bit more money…”
Breaking this thought process takes daily practice. It means going against what much of the world’s advice recommends. And yet, when you become free from the lies of money you get to experience the true joy that comes from God.
Today I want to share three things you can do to have an appropriate relationship with money.
These things are not my own ideas, they are straight from God. And if you follow them, especially as a young person, I’m certain you’ll live a life that makes your non-Christian friends curious.
Because in a world that obsesses over wealth and possessions, a person filled with God’s wisdom is like a breath of fresh air.
Seriously though, imagine how much more fun life would be if you were free from major financial stressors in your life.
Tip 1: Recognize what money is
It is far too easy to see money as being the door to a better life. If I just had a little bit more money then I could afford that kind of house, those clothes, vacations like that, etc.
But when we think of money as a means to helping us create a better life for ourselves we miss the main point of what money is. And in doing so, we lose the opportunity to witness God’s goodness.
In Deuteronomy 8:17-18 we see, “You may tell yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
Money isn’t something we control. God gives us our wealth as a gift. When we forget where our money comes from it becomes all too easy to use it selfishly.
Throughout the Bible we see examples and even direct commands from God to be generous with our wealth. (Proverbs 19:17, 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
In this, we see the true purpose for wealth: to be a way for us to show others God’s goodness and grace.
Here’s what happens when we cultivate an appropriate relationship to money, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11-12)
Not only will God provide for us, but he will give us more than we need so we can help others with our generosity. And in turn, that generosity connects others to God.
Tip 2: Check your heart
We are warned to, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:15)
When our hearts are focused on God we experience contentment, joy, gratitude, peace, and more.
On the other side, when our hearts are inclined toward money we experience restlessness, envy, discontent, worry, and more.
If given the choice I think all of us would like to live our lives with hearts full of God. But if we’re honest, we often find ourselves worrying about money matters more than what God says.
Here is a simple way to test where your heart lies: When your finances are threatened or unsettled do you feel fear or contentment rise up? Fear means money is at the center but contentment means God is.
How can you remove this love of money?
Daily remember that it is God who gives all gifts to us like a good father gives good gifts to his children. Daily take your concerns to God. Daily recognize the true purpose of money.
There will undoubtedly be moments when we fail at this, when our hearts become filled with a love of money. But when we slip up, God is right there with forgiveness, peace, and joy.
When you do decide to make a donation to an organization, it should be a moment of joy and excitement. If it's not, take a moment to reconsider your reasons for giving.
Tip 3: Let it go
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (Corinthians 9:6-7)
Giving money seems so contrary to what the world tells us to do.
The world’s wisdom says, “You worked hard for your money—you deserve to have even more.” But God’s wisdom says, “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” (Proverbs 15:16)
When we see money for what it is and have a heart filled with God, it becomes unthinkable to keep our money to ourselves.
And giving doesn't just bless others. It also pulls us deeper into God. It allows us to place our trust in the unfailing God rather than in something as fragile and finite as money.
Next time you have an opportunity to give, it is my prayer that God’s love would flow out of your heart and move you to take action. Donate to a charity close to your heart. Give a few dollars when you hear someone ringing a bell. Support a nonprofit to make a difference in the world.
Embracing this wisdom from God at any age can profoundly change your life. As a young person it can save you years, decades even, of unnecessary struggle or hardship tied to the pursuit of money.
No matter what your financial situation is, God is with you. And when you fully surrender to His grace and love, you will truly be free.
Want more content like this? We know that the start of a new year means that resolutions are being made. If you’ve been thinking about making a donation to a nonprofit like Kingdom Workers we want to make sure you feel fully prepared, energized, and confident. That’s why we’re sharing special content geared towards new donors and young adults all throughout the months of January and February. Making the financial decision to give is a big one, but it doesn’t have to be done alone.
Kimberly Joerres is the Content Specialist for Kingdom Workers. She enjoys getting to share God's word each day in her work. In her free time she enjoys spending time in nature, trying her hand at cooking new recipes, and having friends over for a game night.