In American culture, it’s relatively rare to act your wage. Society has taught us to aspire to acquire. Bigger and better is the typical American way! However, the problem with living in this mindset leads to all sorts of material - and even spiritual - bondage. Matthew 6:24 says that “You cannot serve both God and money.” So what is the key to financial freedom?
The Bible uses a Greek word to describe money - that word is "Mammon" and comes from an ancient mining term that means to draw life from below and not above. In other words, Jesus describes the love of money as a spiritual power that seeks to dominate our lives. For example, when you spend as fast as you can or you hoard all your money away out of fear, you're likely trusting in the Spirit of Mammon more than the Spirit of Christ.
So how do you break free from greed or a Spirit of Mammon? Today we are sharing 3 Bible-based, practical principles to help you trust in God's spirit when it comes to money.
1: PLAN YOUR SPENDING
First, when you live a life of greed, you will be ruled by money. Your priorities will be based more on worldly principles than Jesus' teachings of generosity. That looks a little like this: spend first, then save, and last, give. Me first, me second, and God last. But if you want to break out of a love of money, you need to reverse this order and re-prioritize.
As you reprioritize your money, plan your spending. Tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went. Plan a budget that keeps track of what you earn, what you owe, and what it gets spent on.
2: SAVE MONEY FAITHFULLY
The next key to financial freedom is to start saving money faithfully. Don't be discouraged if you aren't saving already - the truth is, most Americans actually spend 1% over their income! However, Proverbs 13:11 says "whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow."
A good rule of thumb as you plan your spending and your saving is this: 10% of your income goes back to God through tithing, 10% goes towards savings, and you live off the other 80%. If you are a parent, saving now is a great way to leave a legacy for your children and invest in the next generation.
3: ACT YOUR WAGE
Last but not least, our next key to financial freedom is to act your wage. Proverbs 21:20 says "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a fool devours all he has." In other words, consuming all you have and then borrowing even more leads to ruin. On the contrary, when you live below your means, there is a surplus.
When you have a surplus, it allows you to engage in generous living when someone is in need. Most of us want to help when there is a need but rarely have the means to do so. But when you cap your spending and live below your means, you can then have margin to help the poor, those who are hurting, and show God's love in amazing ways through your generosity.
PUTTING FINANCIAL FREEDOM INTO PRACTICE
Which of these three Biblical practices are the most difficult for you? We encourage you to take one small step to start. Embrace the challenge to put these principles into practice this week! Put your trust in God to provide for you, and manage the money he gives you with integrity. The Spirit of Mammon may whisper that your finances are all for your consumption, but when you put God first in your finances, get ready to experience his power at work in your life!
For additional, related content from Liquid Church, check out the resources below:
- MESSAGE: For the full message from Liquid Church's Generous Livin' Series Part 3, click here.
- ARTICLE: The Blessing of Generous Livin' - Do you know the one area God says to test him? Generosity! Click here to read the full article on The Liquid Blog.
- TITHE CHALLENGE: Are you ready to put God first in your finances? Take the 90-Day Tithe Challenge! To learn more and sign-up for the challenge, click here.