In this turbulent and volatile market, many have enough turmoil and trepidation about them to say, “Oh, my word! You might lose a lot of money!”
Do you believe in your financial plan? Have you invited Christ into your plan? Is your plan and strategy grieving His heart, or is your plan giving Him glory and honor?
If it’s the latter, relax and trust that your money will be used in part to advance the Kingdom. If your money is invested for 10 years or more, trust history, trust your strategy, trust in your investments and trust God. There is no fear in what God designs for us.
My wife of nearly 40 years is one of 11 children. She falls in the middle of that pack, and needless to say, there are about a hundred grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have, therefore, had many opportunities to be around little ones.
I always notice that, even at a very young age, money is very important to even the smallest child. They don’t fully understand what is behind it, nor do they fully understand the power of it. But, nevertheless, they learn from an early age to protect it and even to hoard it—to save it and to grow it—and that the more you have each month, the better job you have done and the more you have to be prideful about.
Of course, when we are raised with that attitude, as so many parents raise their children, we obviously grow up with the idea that more is better and that we need to protect it at all costs. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is to spend it, because when we spend it, we diminish our stockpile, and that is not a good thing.
My wife and I taught our children from the first babysitting dollar they ever earned that they needed to tithe to the church or to Kingdom work with that money. It became a habit; and just as children grow up learning to save it or earn it, to hoard it or spend it, our children grew up with the habit of giving. Today, as my children are married and on their own, they have a very different perspective of their money than others their age.
They care very little about what they have, and place little value on material possessions. My wife and I are very pleased with that and are grateful for their attitudes. When you learn that giving is a priority, the value it has in one’s life changes dramatically. In order for us to get comfortable enough to move away from this fear of losing the money we have, we need to understand two very important pieces of Scripture.
The first is 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, which is the foundational verse of my ministry. Here, Paul is reminding us that our first stewardship responsibility is for the sacred mysteries of God—or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot begin a journey of financial stewardship nor release the fear of losing what God has given us without understanding that, first and foremost, we have a responsibility to be a steward of the Gospel.
Certainly, one of the things about which we are most afraid is the turmoil and turbulence that comes if we do not have enough dollars to satisfy—not only our needs, wants and desires, but also to fulfill our obligations to the debtor. There is a fear that circumstances could change, and so we must have a little saved. Sometimes—even at the peril of not giving to Kingdom work—we hoard and save for that rainy day when turbulence may strike. By the way, that usually leads to worry and stress every day of our lives.
Second is Matthew Chapter 8. Do you remember Jesus as he was in the boat with His apostles on the turbulent waters? He was fast asleep in the midst of a storm—one that the disciples felt would overtake them. They woke up Jesus, asking Him to “Save us, for we are perishing.” It is hard to imagine the Lord’s tone of voice—whether it was one of compassion or one of “Oh brother, here we go again.” He says, “Why are you fearful, oh you of little faith?”
We sometimes fear the loss of money, the loss of our job or the ability to continue to work—before any turmoil has even struck. However, even in the midst of the turmoil, I am sure the Lord would turn to us and say the same thing he said to the disciples: “Why are you fearful, oh you of little faith?” Perhaps our concern for our “dollars” is not just the legitimate concern that we should have to provide for our family, but could it rather be a lack of faith?
I remember God making a significant change in my life at the end of 2009. I had lost a major sponsor of my radio ministry, and a friend of mine—a pastor—said to me, “Why are you fearful? You desire to do what is right in the eyes of God, and you are setting forth to do it. He will bless that, so why are you fearful?”
In one month—January 2010—the money I was so fearful of losing (after a long sponsorship relationship) came back to me with a surplus so that our ministry could continue on—not just limp along—but continue stronger than ever.
I had to again be reminded that we must do what is right in the sight of God. We shouldn’t strive to have a “little” faith, but instead should strive to have “abundant faith,” that as our God has brought us to this place, as we continue to do His work and to honor and glorify Him in what we do, we have nothing to fear—especially when it comes to our money.
Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 670 stations across the country and reaching millions of households on several TV networks. Visit www.financialissues.org.