Tim Owens, pastor
Fellowship Baptist Church, Chickamauga
Managing our finances can be a challenging feat for most of us. As believers in Jesus Christ we are to do everything for the glory of God. Yes, that includes how we handle and use our finances.
Missionary David Livingstone has been quoted as saying “Do not think me mad. It is not to make money that I believe a Christian should live. The noblest thing a man can do is, just humbly to receive, and then go amongst others and give.” Working for our money is a good thing, but we must learn to budget wisely and manage what God has allowed us to earn so we can be good stewards of what God has blessed us with. It is essential for us to manage our money, regardless of how much we make or how little, in a way that most glorifies God.
In Proverbs 31 we are given a great example of a virtuous woman. Although this chapter is used to describe this woman, I believe it gives all of us, men and woman alike, a great example of how we are to use and manage our money and assets.
Be inventive with your resources – Proverbs 31:13-15
We see in this passage of scripture that the virtuous woman is willing to work hard and look for ways to better provide for her household. She is not waiting until the resources fall into her lap, but is actively seeking them.
Most scholars believe she selected the wool from her own flock and flax from her field. She didn’t take the easy route. She did what was necessary to best take care of her family. She chose to work with “willing hands” or “with the pleasure of her hands.” She was not forced, but took great delight in her work. She was resourceful and looked for creative ways to provide for her family.
Just like the merchant ships, she would go out of her way to acquire the best price and always looking for ways to make an honest profit. She was up early, ready for her work. She creatively used her time, intellect, and ability to provide for her household.
Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
“And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (John 16:10-13).
Determine wisely your needs – Proverbs 31:16-17
Many times our “wants” outweigh our “needs.” So many times people get into trouble because we use our resources to fulfill our wants instead of our needs. We see here where the virtuous woman evaluated purchasing a field. She took the time to look at the purchase to determine if it was what was best for her household. This was not an emotional purchase or an impulse buy.
Many times we purchase things only to find out that we really do not need it. Many times we could do much better if we slowed down and really thought about how we spend our money and what we spend it on. We have to always remember that we are to be good stewards of all God has given us. I think Rick Warren said it best: “Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and a trust from God”.
Work with excellence – Proverbs 31:18-21
We have mentioned how the virtuous woman worked hard. But if you look closely you will see she was not doing “busy work” but instead receives good profits from her work and products. Many people stay busy but have very little to show for their labor.
She not only worked hard, but worked with excellence. She had a drive to do things well. This is where I believe we see her character and integrity. She could have cut corners and made things of poor quality, but knew it would be a reflection on her and her entire household.
We as believers in Jesus Christ should do everything with excellence. Christians should never do our work poorly or half-hearted. Instead we should always strive to do our very best. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Cor. 10:31).
Live It Out
As you look at managing your money, look for ways where you are spending needlessly. Find ways where you can creatively save money. Make sure you are purchasing what you truly need and are not getting caught up in the worldly mindset to get more things.
But most importantly of all, how are you using your resources to impact the kingdom of God? We need to realize that all of our resources belong to God and we are just stewards of them.
What is one area of your finances where you could be more creative and save money that could then be used to further the work of God?
What is one thing you can do today that would help you to become a better steward of the resources God has entrusted to you?
If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life. ~ Rev. Billy Graham
 What Christians Want to Know: 22 Quotes about Money David Livingstone
 What Christians Want To Know: Quotes about Money Pastor Rick Warren