We were contacted by a family that is currently making use of a money management systems called Go Henry. They have produced their own blog where they document their experiences – check out Go Henry Reviews to see for yourself.
The Bible teaches lots about money and how we need to be good stewards of our finances. It also warns about the consequences of placing too much importance on the value of money. When Jesus addressed the crowds in Luke 12:15 ESV – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 2000 years on and the words Jesus spoke to the crowd are just as relevant as back then.
Jesus is telling the crowd to treat your money and possessions differently than most. In Western cultures, most people spend their life trying to acquire as much wealth and possessions as possible. Whole television shows, not just shows but whole television channels, books, magazines, websites, blogs, and radio shows. They all dedicate valuable time celebrating the lifestyle and the possessions of the rich and famous.
I am not sure Jesus was questioning owning possessions or having wealth, he was questioning if that is someone’s sole purpose and motivation in life. Even if you do not believe in what the Bible teaches, then surely you must agree, that wealth, if handled badly, can lead someone on a very destructive path. The other problem, as I see it anyway, is that we have constant access to what the rich are and famous are up to. When judging how wealthy we are we always look up the food chain. We judge what we have by what others higher up the chain have. On a global scale, if you live in a house with a flushing toilet, you are in the top 10% of the richest people in the world. I do not feel wealthy, but compared to some I am the equivalent of a billionaire.
We don’t choose the culture we are born into, we are however a product of our culture and have to live in that culture. In Bible times, monetary transactions were relatively simple. They didn’t have online banks, smartphones, the internet, credit and debit cards, cash machines, eBay, Amazon and online shopping. We do have these things and therefore we have to manage the resources we have in the context of where in the world we live. We can’t bury our head in the sands and ignore modern technology, we have to learn to be good stewards and use these resources properly. After all if used well technology can make a real difference in the world.
As well as having healthy attitudes towards money the Bible teaches us to be good stewards. I particularly like this verse:
Luke 14:28-30 ESV – “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.”
Jesus asks the question in Luke 14 – “Who would start something without first sitting down and counting the cost?”. How many people go from month to month without planning what they spend? No budget and no idea what they have spent or what is left to spend in the bank. We live in a world whereby it’s easy to let spending get out of control. I write this as someone who has learned this lesson the hard way. This is why I am passionate about resources that help people to get control of their lives. Debt can be one of the most debilitating things because it robs you of joy and peace. It brings an added pressure to everyday life that prevents a person from being a blessing.
We cannot abstain from the modern systems that are part of everyday living. Not if we want to have influence anyway or be a difference making person in the culture we find ourselves living in. I encourage you to find systems that help you to be a better steward of your resources and to teach your children to live differently. My job as a parent is to teach my children to handle money better than I ever did. Check out the Go Henry Review blog and see if this families story helps you.