Where is your focus?
Updated: Jun 30, 2021
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”
A Strong Indicator
I’m a firm believer that how we spend and how we treat our money is an indicator of the condition of our heart.
If the pursuit of money grips our heart, it’s going to be difficult for us to keep God as our object of worship, let alone use our financial resources for His glory.
What grips your heart?
Here are a few diagnostic questions to help you answer this question.
What do you think about the most?
What are you most likely and willing to make time for?
If you can’t answer these questions, then start a journal to track your desires daily. You’ll get your answer pretty quickly.
Stewardship vs. Ownership
If money is the object of your affection, you must shift your mindset. MD5 has taught us a few basic financial standards to live by to help ensure that our affection and focus stays on God as the owner.
God owns it all.
Our resources are to be stewarded, not consumed.
So, have you allowed greed to settle into your life? Are you scheming on how to get more stuff versus investing your resources for eternal and life-giving purposes?
If this is the case, then you are more than likely caught in the “comparison trap” as Andy Stanley refers to it as. This trap involves constantly comparing yourself to others and striving to obtain what they have. This is a trap from Satan, and you will not win!
Hey, it happens to all of us. So, congratulations, you are normal!
However, God calls us to be different and he entrusts us with resources to help point people to Jesus and show His love to others.
I Timothy 6:5-7 says...
“…and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
The quickest way to financial freedom or “great gain” in this world is pursuing God with all we have and being content with what he’s already given to us.
Ron Blue asks this question in his book Never Enough…How much is enough?
Remember the answer? Just a little bit more.
In other words, we will never be satisfied when we try to “keep up with the Jones’ ” or play the “upgrade game.”
A Quick Confession
When I went through MD5 as a cohort member, I honestly believed the lie that I Timothy warns us about. Now, I did learn investment strategies and become a better money manager, but my focus was off. I was looking to add to my financial portfolio and gain godliness as a bonus.
Well, God taught me I Timothy 6:5-7 and I’ve been on this pursuit ever since. It’s a never-ending struggle, but I’m much further along than I was 5 years ago. Because of God’s grace, I am now experiencing financial freedom.
A Strong Standard
What if God calls you to give up something that has become an idol in your life? Or, what if He presents a financial need that could push the Gospel forward?
My friend Joel taught me a valuable standard that I want to share with you. He says, “I never buy anything that I’m not willing to give away.”
A Lesson Learned
A number of years ago, God clearly asked Joel to give his really nice, expensive and warm winter coat to a person who needed it on the side of the road. Joel argued with God and justified why he shouldn’t obey.
After driving for a few minutes, Joel turned around to reverse his initial response. However, the opportunity was gone along with the person who needed the coat.
Does God still love Joel? Yes! Did Joel miss out on an amazing opportunity to show the love of Christ and grow closer to God? He’d be the first one to tell you, absolutely!
If Joel would have viewed himself as a steward vs. an owner of the jacket, this situation would have turned out much different.
We can learn a lot from Joel’s example. Let’s be faithful stewards of all God gives us in this life, with open hands, for His glory and the good of those around us.