By Seth Busetti
Is wealth the same thing as having money? There are many families who live so modestly that money brings them no joy and offers little reward. For them money is utilitarian, it simply pays the bills and that’s it. On the other hand, there are many people in America with ample cash flow who still live paycheck to paycheck. Money passes through their hands like water in a rushing river. For them money is fully transient, an existential tool to facilitate life experiences. Though they might experience a steady flow of money, they don’t have wealth. What about you? To you does storing up big piles of money mean the same thing as being wealthy? Or does experiencing all that life has to offer equate with being wealthy? Neither is true for us, we think wealth has a more full meaning.
There is an interesting portion of the Bible where Isaac’s path to wealth is described:
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. (Genesis 26:12-13).
The words used here for rich, wealth, and wealthy all come from the same Hebrew root word gadal, which means to grow, to make great, to enlarge or increase. It is the same word used for “great” in the promise to Isaac’s father, Abraham:
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2).
Here we have a father and a son, both being blessed with what the Bible calls wealth. If you follow both of their stories you see that the physical provision that grows and grows is definitely a source of joy and prosperity. But it also a source of present influence and comes with a future promise. God gave Abraham a promise of wealth to be a blessing, not just to himself, not just to his children, but to the entire world. God’s promise to Abraham ultimately was realized as the bloodline of the Messiah. In Isaac’s story we see the legacy of his father’s blessing start to take shape in material form. Isaac’s prosperity becomes the envy of surrounding rulers and nations and a testimony that God’s blessing was on his family.
Do you see wealth in this way? Do you see your physical, financial prosperity as a means to build a family legacy and to influence the world around you for good? If you’re ready to view wealth this way, here are 10 tips to recalibrate your life to embrace a faith based wealth mindset.
- Thank God daily for any resource you have, big or small. Thank Him for the water you drink, the food on your plate, the car you drive. Every day thank Him for your job, your salary, your insurance, your clothes, your worn out shoes, and your leaky faucet. Through prayerful repetition we start to realize that God is the source for everything we have, which will steadily retrain our mind to see provision and the material world holistically as God sees it.
- Be honest about how you feel about money. Embrace that whether positive or negative, you have emotions. Alexis and I often say personal finance is more personal than finance. Does paying a bill make you feel scared? Does cashing that paycheck make you feel strong and confident? As you start to keep track of your feelings, you’ll quickly find that you can process those in prayer as well. For example, “Lord, please give me peace about this purchase.” Or, “God, please help me to do well at work today, I really like my job and want to be amazing at it.”
- Open up about money. I understand it may not be professionally appropriate to share specifics about salary, and bragging about (or bashing on) your net worth isn’t good form, but there’s no reason to conceal everything. God typically isn’t going to bless us with something awesome we can’t talk about, after all, a large part of why He blesses us is so that we share how good He is!
- Maintain internal financial transparency. That means a family budget, for sure. But it also means being transparent with your spouse and, at an age appropriate level, with your kids. A faith based mindset for money also cannot coexist with hiding finances, whether it is something small (like sneaking McDonald’s milkshakes) or big (the price of a vacation or how much money is in the retirement account).
- Be a financial blessing. That includes tithing and giving to charity, for sure, but there may be something more creative and specialized that is suited just for your family. Start asking God how to be a blessing with the resources He has given you. Like a faithful employee being trusted to do more substantial work, when you are faithful you may be surprised at how much more He sends your way.
- Seek good financial counsel. Finding trusted advisors and reliable accountability partners is critical to building your trustworthiness with money. Reach out to people who can speak into your life, certainly about strategies and dollars and cents, but also about wisdom, biblical stewardship, and spiritual maturity.
- Set healthy relational boundaries. In faith we have to set personal boundaries to protect us against negative influences. In finances it’s the same way. It is okay to have a friend who makes unwise financial decisions, but are you actively influencing them or are they influencing you? If you find yourself compromising, it may be time to create some separation.
- Step up your prayer life. There is no better influence than Jesus, so try to spend as much time with Him as possible! The more we learn to hear His voice, the more we start to see how the world He created really works. God knows exactly how to walk through a difficult situation, financial or otherwise. He also is incredibly creative and has a unique calling just for your family. Wealth for you may or may not look like a 6,000 square foot house or a seven figure trust fund, but God knows exactly what is going to give honor to Him and bring real joy and purpose to your family.
- Think big picture. By this I don’t just mean retirement. In the big picture, what is your family’s legacy – what will you leave after you are gone? Sow into that, and make it a point that money won’t get in the way. On one hand, don’t let the pursuit of riches or the weight of rigid disciplines distract you from a higher calling. On the other, stay focused so that just making ends meet doesn’t hold you back from realizing God’s bigger purposes for your life.
- Ask! The Bible says “you have not because you ask not.” If something is on your heart, pray and ask God for it. Maybe that is getting out of debt, or getting on track financially. If you really want a promotion, ask for it. If you feel like it is time to change careers, start a side business, or take on an exciting new investment, then ask God to give you clarity and to orchestrate that. When we ask, two things are guaranteed to happen. First, God does listen and He is responsive. Second, through conversation He’ll start to align your mind towards His brilliant way of thinking. He’ll give you creative ideas, new solutions and workarounds, He’ll bring helpful connections and turn you away from some unhelpful paths. Faith based finances means being connected with God and that’s a pretty incredible thing!
If you would like to talk more about how to create a plan for your family’s finances or if you need some motivation to take what you are doing already to the next level, please contact us. Alexis offers a range of coaching plans for individuals and couples, as well as options for small groups and businesses.
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And be sure to pick up our workbook Entrusted with Money.