A Spiritual Barometer
By: Tom Copland
It is a common saying that you can determine an individual’s true priorities by reviewing how she or he spends time and money. Although people may say that their relationships with God and their families are of greatest importance to them, sometimes their Day-Timer or checkbook indicates otherwise.
I believe that how an individual handles money is an external visible indicator of an internal spiritual condition.
As a practical matter, I believe that answering the following questions can help you determine where you are at spiritually in regard to your finances.
1. Do you give “the first fruits” to God’s work, or does God get the leftovers? Proverbs 3:9, 10 states, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” The guideline in scripture is to give at least 10 percent of your income to God’s work.
2. Do you borrow money without consulting God? God warns that those who borrow money may become a servant to the lender: “The borrower is a servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
3. Do you feel envious or jealous of what other people have materially? Exodus 20:17 warns against this.
4. When you have a material need or want, do you pray and wait patiently for God to provide in a manner that is glorifying to Him? Psalm 37:7 states, “ Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him.”
5. Have you developed and implemented a budget? A budget is simply a tool used for financial planning. In his illustration of building a tower (Luke 14:28–30), Jesus makes it clear that if we don’t plan ahead, we are foolish.
6. Are you content with God’s provision, or do you constantly want more? “But godliness with contentment is great gain... But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:6, 8)
7. Do you spend quality time with God in prayer and reading God’s Word before you make any major financial decision? God has promised that he will direct us: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).
May I encourage you to spend some quality time in prayer with God right now and ask him to reveal any areas of your life that God would like you to change in regard to your finances.