This Planner’s Corner explores the Biblical principles of “God owns it all; we are stewards of what God has given us” and “contentment” and is based on an article by Rob West, President of Kingdom Advisors, a professional association of Christian financial professionals of which I am also part of. Rob is also host of Money Wise, a US nationally syndicated radio program.
Financial success is often described as attaining a certain lifestyle. The nice house. The fancy car. The attractive spouse. The adorable children. And once the lifestyle is achieved, the dream expands. Maybe it now includes an annual trip abroad, a golf club membership or a cabin. In and of itself these things are not bad, however chasing after a lifestyle-based standard, will never bring true contentment.
When it comes to our relationship with money, many Christians start with the erroneous assumption of determining the amount God wants us to give away. It places a huge weight of responsibility on our shoulders and keeps the control firmly in our hands.
The question isn’t “how much does God want me to give?” but rather “How much is God wanting me to keep?” The reality is God owns it all. This realization is great news as there is tremendous freedom that comes along with this reality. When we see ourselves as stewards of God’s resources, we stop comparing ourselves to others. We exit the rat race and are blessed with the ultimate decision-making tool: prayer.
In their book, God and Money, John Cortines and Geoffrey Baumer share their stories about moving from spenders and savers to servants by discovering God’s financial finish line in their lives. Any amount above their financial finish line resulted in increased giving, positively impacting the world, and breaking the power of “stuff” in their lives. Any race without a finish line will end in ruin for its competitors where they will either drop out, thus seeing themselves as failures, or they will press forward to the point of exhaustion or even death. A financial finish line can provide freedom and fulfillment for those who will allow God to lay out the course.
So much is possible when we, like Cortines and Baumer, make the journey from spenders and savers to stewards of God’s resources. Why not take the journey for yourself? You can start with this question “What is your financial finish line?”
Jim Hummel, CFP® CKA®