The Heart & Money: Why Your Feelings Matter
When you hear the phrase “my money,” what comes to mind? What’s the first thing you think of? Go ahead: take five seconds to close your eyes, think “my money,” and pinpoint your first thought.
Maybe you thought of the money that is in –or not in—your bank account. Or maybe you thought of your next paycheck. Maybe you thought of the mortgage payment coming up… or the job you need in order to make more money, or the debt your trying to pay off.
Whatever came to mind, I want you to ask yourself one more question: Why?
Why was that your first thought? The reason I ask is because, often, our first thought (on any topic) reveals the central focus of our heart.
Why Your Feelings About Money Matter
Friend, when it comes to your money, where is your heart? Is it in want, tangled with the need for more? Is it nervous and fleeing from having to make decisions; confused and fearful? Or, is your heart content, trusting in the God who provides?
Understanding your heart’s disposition towards money is crucial in becoming a wise and faithful steward. Why? Because your heart reveals what you believe, and your behavior will always follow your belief!
For example, if you believe you are terrible with money, you are probably going to make poor decisions. If you believe the money in your wallet or bank account is yours and you earned it, you will act like no one (including God) should tell you what to do with it. If you believe your money is not enough, you will either strive to get more, or despair in what you don’t have. Your behavior follows your belief.
4 Principles for Money & the Heart
According to Ron Blue, the Bible reveals four principles that our hearts should cling to when it comes to money.
A steward is someone who has been entrusted with something that does not belong to them. Thus, the first step in being a faithful steward of our finances, is recognizing and living out the truth that “my money” is not actually mine, it’s God’s and he has entrusted it to me for his glory and his purposes (Psalm 24:1; 50:10-11)!
Faith in our personal finances means holding God’s money (refer to principle 1) with an open hand and uncurled fingertips. It means we seek his direction in how to use it (Heb. 11:1-6).
Financial wisdom comes from reading God’s Word (James 1:5) and applying it to our life. There are over two thousand three hundred verses in the Bible about money and its use. Remember, God’s Word is timeless and leads us in life and godliness (including in our finances). A great place to begin your search for biblical financial wisdom is the book of Proverbs!
Financial contentment is the outcome of embracing the first three principles of stewardship, faith, and obedience! When you recognize and understand that you are simply a steward, when you manage what God has entrusted to you in faith, and when you prayerfully seek wisdom from Scripture on how to handle your finances, contentment is the outcome! Contentment is found when we recognize God as our deepest need and money as merely a tool he entrusts to us (Phil. 4:11-13).
These four principles align our hearts with God’s will for our finances. So, it’s helpful to consider each of them as it relates to your current money management. Ask God to reveal how you are doing in each area and how he might have you grow. As you do, recognize that like most things: embracing biblical stewardship is a process.
Interested in learning more? I encourage you to check out Ron Blue’s 4H Tool, as well as other helpful information on biblical, personal finance!