Hi friends!! Okay, so it’s been a loooonng time since I’ve logged in here, but last week was the first time in over a year that I’ve felt the nudge to write in a semipublic setting. I’ve struggled immensely with searching out my motives for writing, but that’s another story for another day!!
What’s on my heart today is a necessary moment of transparency…
Most of you know that for most of my adult life, I’ve had a passion for budgeting, stewardship, day-to-day finances… to the point of even participating in and co-leading classes and writing about stewardship. But the truth is,
I struggle a LOT with my attitude toward money.
I’ve spent most of my life thinking I had a handle on it, that my attitude was godly and as long as I focused on good stewardship, hard work and tithing… I was good.
But lately, God has been working on me, and let’s just say… it’s no fun when He shows you the UGLY in your heart!!
Maybe I’m the only one with this struggle, but just in case I’m not, see if you can relate to these words from Psalm 73:
“I almost lost my footing… for I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness… then I went into your sanctuary, O God… then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.”
When we have a fundamental misunderstanding of money, when we get confused about who is actually in control of our financial situation (I’ll give you a hint… it’s NOT us!!!), it’s easy to become bitter, anxious, and all torn up inside. That was me. Sometimes, it still is.
My dilemma is this: I want to trust God. I do. I believe that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, that the earth and everything in it belongs to Him and that He alone provides for me and for my family.
But my capitilalistic, entrepreneurial spirit says “you’ve gotta work hard… make hay while the sun shines… toil away because your value comes from what you do… the more you have the more successful you are… “
And then, when God does provide extra money or we experience “success” as the world defines it, I don’t enjoy it at all because I feel guilty!!
So I have spent my life either stressing because I didn’t have enough money, or feeling guilty because if there was extra money, then I shouldn’t spend any of it on myself, but should probably be giving it all away or going on a mission trip or something!!
See what a wreck I am??! I can’t seem to grasp the concept that it’s possible to be at peace!! Despite my best intentions, I find it next to impossible to maintain a good attitude toward money!!
But in the midst of this struggle for proper perspective, scripture has given me hope and encouragement:
James 1:9-11 says
“Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.”
The truth is, God is far less concerned about my financial situation than He is about my heart. He needs to be Lord of my life whether I am wealthy or poor. He wants me to be content, to have a heart of gratitude no matter what my circumstances.
He does not want me—or you– to experience bitterness, envy, anxiety OR guilt over money!!!
Listen to this in Ecc 5:18-19,
“It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.”
And Ecc 6:9
“Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.”
Like every area of our lives, finances provide an opportunity for us to grow. When I find myself succumbing to the feelings of envy, bitterness, anxiety or guilt over money, it is the perfect time for me to sit at the feet of the Almighty and give thanks. To acknowledge Him as the Creator of all things, and the One who is the Great Provider. To count my blessings… and sometimes even (gasp!) actually allow myself to enjoy those very blessings!! 🙂
One thing I’m thankful for is each of you. And I’d be super grateful if you’d leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing!! Maybe even let me know if there’s something specific you’re facing right now so I can pray for you… that would make my heart happy!