Give your money a job to do.
While it feels nice to have a “Savings” account if you’re anything like me you may have had one without much thought put into it; “Saving” is the goal, but there isn’t really a purpose beyond that. Perhaps you have some vague ideas like having an “emergency fund” or just know generally it is good to have a bigger number in there.
Did you know there isn’t any Biblical imperative to save for saving’s sake? In fact, in the parable of the talents one guy refuses to use the money his master gives him and instead puts it in a hole in the ground and buries it until the master comes back, and the master is furious he wasted the opportunity because of fear. In fact, he’s called “wicked and lazy.” It’s an incredible parable.
What are your goals? Mine are fairly self-interested. I want to buy fair trade clothes, which means I need to spend more money less often. A long-term goal (like maybe in five years) is to have “my” car one day – a second car – so I’m saving a little money towards that each month. One of the things I place a really high priority on is education (whether it’s taking a sewing class or doing my M.Div) so I’m saving enough each month to cover the costs of at least one course+books per semester.
What are the goals God might have for your money?
Having a purpose – and a Godly one – for your savings makes it more likely that you’ll actually save, and it also makes it less likely that you’ll dip into your savings if your money has a specific goal.
Here’s a prayer you can pray right now to invite God into this process. Feel free to read my words or make it your own prayer:
You said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. You have created light where there is darkness. You created order where there was chaos. You have created all of time, you know everything that is and was and is to come. You are eternal and we are in your hands.
We confess, Lord Jesus, that sometimes we rely on our money for our security, and depend on a number in our bank accounts for our sense of peace. We confess, Lord Jesus, that often what you have given us we mismanage and we fail to act where we should.
Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, for how to teach us. Thank you, Lord, for being patient with us and giving us your Holy Spirit to help us do hard – but good – things
Please give us your wisdom to manage the money your have given us. Show us, Lord, how to value what you value, to love who you love, and how we can make our goals align with yours.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Whatever job you want to do with your money, assign that money the job. This is taken straight from a YNAB training webinar, but it’s a helpful way to think about saving however you budget.
These are some of the categories I have in my YNAB budget.
Some possible jobs God may be asking you to invest in:
- To financially support missionaries.
- To give 10% of your income to your church every month.
- To sponsor a child through something like WorldVision or Compassion.
- To pay off a debt.
I’m not going to share all the things I do with my money that aren’t self-interested, because that’s boasting, but I will recommend the following amazing organizations that I care about that maybe you might care about, too.
Pre-emptive Love Coalition – Empowering women, children and families that are refugees and fighting ISIS. They are essentially “unmaking violence.”
Food for the Hungry – I love food, so supporting this organization aligns with my goals. Plus, they just have a really great structure of helping communities become sustainable.
CAMH – The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is in Toronto and helps a lot of people in some incredible ways. Definitely a very good cause.
My church – Whether I understand what my money does here or not (I actually happen to trust the people in charge, so I’m not worried), I give in obedience to the command from God to tithe.
These are goals that may take a while to work up to, or maybe by sacrificing in one area (clothes, lattes, eating out) you might be able to make these goals a reality right away. Either way, consider how God may be calling you to be more faithful in your savings account, by giving your money a job to do.
“It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Jesus (Matthew 4:4)