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Getting Started Handling Money
God's Way.


By Keith Rawlinson

Volunteer Budget Counselor

Getting started.

The most important part of getting started in handling your money God's way, is to--well, get started.  That may seem rather simplistic, but you would be amazed at how common it is for people to decide they're going to do something, gather the information and tools they need to do it, then never actually get around to doing it.  Or, starting out and then giving up before they've really accomplished much.  So, to get started doing anything God's way, you must first, actually get started.

What is a good way to get started?  The first step is simple: decide you are going to start doing things God's way.  Once you've decided to start doing things God's way, you then have to commit to staying with it for at least a predetermined length of time.  You must decide how long you're going to "give it a try," and then stay with it for that period of time regardless of how difficult or inconvenient it may become.  When it comes to handling finances God's way, I have found that six months is about the least amount of time you can do it before you can expect some obvious blessings from God for doing it His way.  So, to get started handling finances God's way, you must commit to trying it for at least six months before quitting.  Longer is even better.  Easy to say--not always easy to do.

The next step is to figure out exactly what God's way of handling money is.  When I teach Sunday school classes about money, I don't refer to the Bible as the Bible--I refer to it as the instruction manual.  That is exactly what the Bible is--it is an instruction manual from God Himself about how to do pretty much everything His way.  For that reason, the Bible is where we start learning how God wants us to handle our money.  And that brings up another very important point:

It's not really our money.


The instruction manual (the Bible) makes it very clear that our money is not ours.  God owns it all.  He created wealth.  He created us.  And it is He who brings wealth into our lives.  

...then you say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand gave gained me this wealth.  And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.  Deut. 8:17,18

And don't you ever, dare forget that money is not the only form of wealth that God provides for us.  Yes, sometimes His blessings are in the form of cash, but more often they are in the form of such things as peace-of-mind, strong marriages, good family relationships, friendships, good health, and so on.  God's blessings might be actual cash, or might be something very different.  Either way, He does bless us for doing things His way.

As the late Larry Burkett of Crown Ministries once said:

"Do you trust God, or do you just say you trust God?"

It's easy to say we trust God when things are going well.  As long as life is going relatively smoothly and trouble free, it is really easy for us to walk around with a smile on our Christian faces; but, how do we respond when things are not going so well?  How do we respond when living out our Christian faith becomes difficult or inconvenient?  How do we respond when following God's instruction manual interferes with what we want?  I've heard it said that the true test of a person's convictions is how they respond when those convictions become inconvenient.  As Shakespeare said: "Ay, there's the rub."  In other words, when our beliefs or convictions become inconvenient, we must fight our frail, human, selfish tendencies to stray from them, and instead force ourselves to do what we know is right.
  
That's exactly how it is with handling money God's way.  Trust me, God's way of handling money usually goes against what society and culture tell you is the best way.  Notice that I didn't say that God's way of handling money sometimes goes against popular wisdom--I said that God's way usually goes against popular wisdom.  Not only is God's way of handling money usually contrary to popular wisdom, it is also usually directly opposed to our own selfish, shortsighted wants and desires.  What I'm saying is this: in order to really discover, and live out, God's plan for your money and your financial future, you must continue to do things God's way even when it goes against what you want to do.  When you handle money God's way, He blesses your effort every time.  In years of counseling, I have never seen it fail.  When a devoted Christian decides to handle money God's way, God blesses it.  He may bless it with cash or He may bless it in some other way; but, when you do things God's way, He will bless your effort.

Conclusion:

So, the biggest reasons for handling money God's way is that He promised He will bless us when we do things His way, and because His way works!
Read your Bible (instruction manual), pray, read the articles available here on the Bethel Financial Counseling Page and those available on Eclecticsite.com's Financial Page, get some good, Christian financial counsel, then resolve to start handling money God's way.  After you have made the commitment to try dealing with finances God's way, stay with it for at least six months before even thinking about giving up.  If you are truly committed and serious about handling money God's way,  before too long, you will start seeing God blessing your effort.  


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This article copyright 2009 by Keith C. Rawlinson (Eclecticsite.com).  All rights reserved.
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