Handling money is an acquired skill that can bring great satisfaction or great destruction and pain throughout your life. It’s not about how much money you have, but how you handle it that counts. No doubt by now, you have heard about retirement. Maybe you think are almost there, maybe it seems far, far away. I woke up yesterday and realized my oldest daughter leaves for college in just about 3 years. A sobering truth. Here is the tension: If you neglect to save anything, you burden others. You are a fool. (Proverbs 21:20) If you accumulate too much you depend of money instead of God. You are a fool. (Luke 12:20) Money can ruin your heart, even when you don’t think it is happening.
“…for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
So how do we achieve this balance in this life? Let me make one thing clear, THE GOAL IS NOT TO RETIRE! The goal Jesus has for you is to be absolutely spent accomplishing his mission. If you have breath, you are on mission. If you die rich, you missed the boat. If you die broke, you get it. Achieving financial health has more to do with your habits and less to do with “how much.”
How To Get Financially Healthy…
- Get Rid of Laziness – The person who doesn’t want to work costs everyone else money. Get a job! It doesn’t matter what kind of job, just get one. Then keep it for a while. One of the most valuable things parents can give their kids is WORK ETHIC. If your kids are mooching off you, STOP THE MOOCH! This means you have to initiate tough love. This means you are going to have to work hard. I live in the Northeast next to the financial capital of the world, New York City. I can promise you this: If you don’t work hard you will not be financially prosperous. Hard work may not make you incredibly rich, but it will make you credible!
- Get Rid of Entitlement – No one owes you anything! Not even your parents, especially if you are in college. If you expect a handout, you have a problem. I said nothing about helping those who are having trouble make ends meet, but when you expect a “freebie”, then you have a character problem. If you enable this behavior, you have a character problem. These first two ideas live and feed off each other.
- Get Rid of Greed – The more money you get, the more you tend to spend, and the more you spend the more you want! You can unsubscribe, delete, complain or get mad at that statement, but that is pretty much a basic human condition. How do I know this? The average American household has over $8,000 in unsecured credit card debt. You want more and I know it! So do I! But I must work to battle against my own evil desire to have and accumulate more stuff. There is hope to temper the sin of always wanting more possessions, but it will take a lot of hard work and a lifetime to control. It is NEVER good for anyone to get everything they want, nor is it healthy. This doesn’t mean you have to live in poverty, but if your identity is in a symbol on your car, your street address, or the size of your house you have a greed problem. I don’t want greed to have any influence in your life. You probably have “enough” already.
- Get Rid of Credit – Credit card debt isn’t about your income, but how you manage your income! Could you go thirty days without using a credit card? What if by the beginning of 2018 we all paid off our credit card debt. In order to have the confidence to stop using credit, you will need a BUDGET. A budget is simply planned spending when you tell your money where to go, and how to work for you. borrowing from your future will cost your future. The bank loves you because you are their slave. Slavery exists today, and we have made it legal. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
- Get Rid of Some Stuff – The more you hold on to your money, the more it gets a grip on your heart. If you want to take a first step in getting financially healthy, you have to learn to GIVE. Otherwise, you will be a prisoner to your money. Still don’t believe me? Want to take a BIG RISK in your heart management? Take something you have had for a long time, that you value deeply, that has monetary value, and GIVE IT AWAY! When you die, it won’t be yours anyway. Don’t just give away your junk! Don’t think about it too much. JUST GIVE. IF you think you will give when you have more, you won’t. The more you have, the more difficult it is to part with your money.
Exploring our heart connection with money is both difficult and character building. Our community of 217church is learning to be more giving to the mission of the church in the community and this week is all about SAVING.
Don’t miss this Sunday…
Our Financial Breakthru Series continues Sunday at 217church. Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:
March 12 – Save / Plan for the future
March 19 – Live / With NO regrets
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here.