In our churches, our teaching about money generally goes as far as "be generous" - and many people indeed are - but our conversation seems to stop at "how much should I give?" rather than helping people get a rounded view of how to approach work, earning, spending, saving, investing, and giving, all in a gospel-centred, Jesus-honouring way. So whenever I bring it up in conversation, people say, "I'd love for someone to teach me about how to think about money in light of the gospel!"
So that's why I've been thinking a bit recently about how to help myself and others think about the gospel and money. What will follow in this post and the next couple of posts are just my first-draft outlines, in dot-point form, of what I think covers at least the very basics of financial management, over three "sessions":
- Budgeting and spending
- Earning, saving, and giving
- We are stewards under God
- Our money comes from God and belongs to him; we can’t claim that some of it is God’s and some is ours.
- Everything you do, do it for the glory of God.
- Poverty leads to a loss of independence and affects our ability to maintain relationships
- The sting of poverty is shame and loss of relationship
- Spiritual poverty is like material poverty: Before God, we are all spiritually poor
- You cannot serve two masters
- Everything given by God is to be enjoyed under him
- Wealth in this world is passing away; store up treasure in heaven
- God is a good provider and is not stingy
- God doesn’t desire poverty: he gives good news to the poor, commands people to give to the poor
- It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom
- Jesus brings good news for sinners
- Recognising that we are sinners means we cannot bring anything to God
- Therefore don’t put your trust in money but in Jesus
- Trusting Jesus means letting him shape your life including your wallet