Do They Reflect Your Faith?
Do our Christian finances reflect our faith? Everyone finds themselves short of money at one time or another. Our car may need repairs and we have no savings. We may need medical care and have no health insurance. It could be something as simple as running out of groceries before payday.
However, whenever it happens, we feel a great deal of pressure and stress to create money out of thin air.
We may be tempted to use credit cards or take out loans, but know in our hearts that this is not the answer, because such actions will ultimately make things harder on us financially. After all, paying back borrowed money takes a big chunk out of a budget. If yours is already tight, you want to avoid adding to your burden.
And doing this continuously creates a sense of being a slave, working only to give the “fruit of my labor” to someone else. A feeling of frustration with our Christian finances indeed.
So what do you do when the ends do not meet? How can you get the money you need to take care of your needs? The first thing is to take a look at your monthly expenses and figure out ways to reduce them. Live simply.
Is it a Need?
Do you really need cable television or broadband Internet access? Do you need Internet access at all, or can your needs be met by using the Internet for free at the library? Can you reduce your energy or water consumption, get rid of your cell phones, or whittle down your grocery budget?
If you can do any of these things, it will free up more money for you each month.
Take the money you have saved and put it in a savings account and you will not be caught short during emergencies.
“Well, David, that is all fine and dandy. I will change and plan for future needs. But I have a financial emergency and need money now!”
There are no easy answers in such a situation when dealing with Christian finances; but there are answers. Maybe you need to put off paying something to free up a real need that exists now. Differentiate between a need and a want.
Trust in God AND Take Action
If you have no savings, you can always see if your church can help. Sometimes they are able to help those who have fallen on temporary hard times, to get them back on their feet. Visit local soup kitchens for free meals. Collect bottles and cans; find a temporary job.
Trust in God to provide for you in his own way through prayer, faith, and action. Prayer has extraordinary power, especially when coupled with heart belief and action. Always remember that God will never let you down; so pray on your problems when the ends do not meet in your Christian finances and you will be provided for in God's own way and timing.
The next article in this Christian Finance Principles series answers some common Christian financial planning questions.
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