Many people have a misunderstanding of what it means to be a steward. It’s not just getting out of debt, and sticking to a budget. It’s much more than just writing a tithe check every month.
Living as a steward means surrendering your finances to God and recognizing yourself as a manager, not owner, of all you have.
But sometimes finding that freedom feels like some far-off, fairytale that’s not actually attainable in this life. Here are practical steps you can take to seek financial freedom in your life.
This means your money, time, family, material possessions, education, even your future earning potential all belong to God, not you.
It’s essential to experience the Spirit-filled life in the area of finances.
Consider Psalm 8:4-6:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels, and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.”
We have to realize that there is absolutely no substitute for this step. If you believe that you are the owner of even a single possession, then the events affecting that possession are going to affect your attitude. God is a gentle Master. He does not force His perfect will into our lives, but commands us to first surrender our will to Him.
Though financial freedom isn’t just about getting out of debt, it is an important step to finding freedom. When you’re debt-free, you have more margin and freedom to be used by God in many more ways.
Again, writing a tithe check doesn’t just mean that you have financial freedom. But, every Christian should give the first 10% of their gross income as a tithe
(Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 9:7). This is a physical act to show that we have given total ownership of our finances to God.
No matter how much money you have, recognize and accept that God’s provision is enough. God’s will can be accomplished no matter how much money you have. Not every Christian will experience worldly wealth. But living in poverty doesn’t make you closer to God.
I recall a friend who had wronged an individual financially before he became a Christian. God convicted him about this and the need to make restitution.
He contacted this individual, confessed what had been done, and offered to make it right. The person refused to forgive and refused to take any money. For a while it hurt my friend’s ego and pride—until he realized that it was not for the offended person that he had confessed but for himself.
It was not for the loss that restitution was offered but for his relationship with God. God had forgiven him, and he had done exactly what God had asked. Nothing further was required.
A Christian seeking financial freedom must always be willing to put other people first. This does not imply that a Christian has to be a floor mat for others; it simply means that he doesn’t profit at the disadvantage of someone else. The key lies in attitude.
A Christian must also limit time devoted to business affairs when family involvement suffers.
Proverbs 23:4-5 says,
“Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.”
Turn off the television, have your kids do their homework early, and study the Bible together. It is important for the whole family to understand God’s Word and to pray together.
Pray for those in need too. Help your children become aware that Christians, as intercessors, can pray for others and expect God to answer.
In Luke 9:23, Christ said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Similarly, in John 6:27, He said “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
How does your lifestyle align with Jesus’ teaching? Are you willing to trust God and deny yourself some indulgences? Look to the Lord to satisfy your needs. Most of us can reduce our expenditures substantially without a real reduction in living standard.
Sometimes all we need is a guide to help us navigate what the Bible says about our finances. Crown’s online study is a wonderful guide for understanding what it means to live as a steward, and how to make practical changes to align your finances with Scripture.
It is important to seek good counseling from mature believers, and perhaps Christian financial planners.
Proverbs 15:22 says,
“Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.”
Many Christians become frustrated in financial planning because they lack the necessary knowledge and then give up. God has supplied others with the ability to help in the area of finances. In fact, Crown has a trusted partnership with Christian Credit Counselors. If you’re struggling with credit card debt, get in touch with them today.
There is a great need in Christianity to get back to the basics of God’s Word. This is true whether we’re talking about salvation, sanctification, service, or finances.
The financial principles given throughout God’s Word are not there to see if we’re strong enough to live by them; they’re given because God knows that they are the best for us. God’s financial principles are not an arbitrary set of rules to govern us; they are a loving Father’s wisdom to those who will listen and trust Him.
I hope that you join me on this journey to finding financial freedom. It’s a daily journey, and to help guide you along the way, I would strongly encourage you to join the online MoneyLife Personal Finance Study.
It’s changing the lives of so many and people are drawing closer to Christ and becoming faithful stewards because of it.
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