The Sunday comics and money are both printed on paper, but one makes people laugh and the other makes them cry. The actual paper that money is printed on is pretty much worthless—not much different from the stuff used to manufacture Kleenex. In reality, money only has value because people agree to view it as valuable. The dollar, the euro, and the yen are nothing more than creations of men used to trade for services, but arguing about the real value of money isn’t going to put food on the table. The world’s system of trade is based on money, and we all have to use it to survive.
The influence of money in our lives is very real, so it isn’t surprising that Jesus taught more on the subject of finances than on any other single topic. He taught more about managing resources than He did on prayer or even faith—which tells us that the topic of money, and how we handle it, is very important. One of the reasons the church hasn’t made more of an impact on modern society seems obvious to me: we haven’t successfully applied the Gospel to everyday concerns. Most people are so occupied with trying to deal with earthly problems that they aren’t thinking about the eternal. But the Gospel has a lot to say about everyday earthly concerns—especially finances.
I know money is a sore subject that a lot of people want to avoid, but learning how God views finances is basic Christianity. Jesus said that if you can’t be faithful in your finances, then you can’t be trusted with anything! (Luke 16:11 NIV.) Not surprisingly, what the Bible has to say about financial stewardship is different from most of what you will hear from business sources that teach on “asset management.” God doesn’t operate by this world’s system, and it’s more important for us to understand how God’s financial system works than it is to understand Wall Street.
Some people have a tendency to get offended when ministers start talking about money—especially when that minister is on television. The truth is, we have all been given plenty of reason to get offended. A lot of people have been taken advantage of in this area.
Recently, I was appalled by what I saw going on during a fundraiser on a Christian television network. It was pure manipulation and hype. It was totally wrong. I’m not saying this to criticize other ministers, but we have to acknowledge that in some cases, manipulation and hype are out there—especially concerning finances. What really bothers me is that those carnal techniques work!
Many in the body of Christ are so uninformed in the area of finances that people fall for manipulation tactics all the time. For example, some evangelist or minister on TV says, “Send me $1,000 and your prayers will be answered,” and people send money by the truckload. But the kingdom of God doesn’t operate that way; you can’t buy God’s favor.
So, yes, there are abuses in the body of Christ regarding money, but don’t miss out on benefitting from the truths in God’s Word about finances just because a few people are abusing the topic. I encourage you to set aside right now any past upsets or offenses you might have suffered, and allow the Word of God to reveal finances to you from a godly perspective. I believe that you’ll be glad you did.
In this book I won’t be outlining the steps involved in forming a budget, or the nuts and bolts of managing your income. Other resources for that kind of practical wisdom are already available. I’m going to be teaching the Scriptural principles that go to the heart of financial problems—and success. By fixing your heart, you deal with the root cause of financial situations, and then money will take care of itself. Once your heart is right, using wisdom in how you spend your money comes naturally.
We can’t fall into the trap of compartmentalizing our lives into the spiritual realm where we relate to God, and everyday life where we deal with jobs, family, finances, and everything else. A house divided will not stand for long (Matthew 12:25), and confining our interaction with God to a couple of hours on Sunday isn’t going to produce the fruit we desire in life. Our relationship with God needs to permeate every area of our lives: marriage, business, relationships, recreation, and finances.
Finances are important, and you’ll be amazed how letting God into your finances can bring peace and healing to other areas of your life—because how you view money affects a lot more than just your bank balance. My goal in this teaching is to help you discover how to turn your finances over to God, and to step into true prosperity in every area of your life.