Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Many of us want to increase ‘much by much’ but for the majority of us, this isn’t the reality of how we grow. Most of us experience increase in life one increment at a time. It’s the day in and day out of pursuing the basics that brings ultimate increase and fruitfulness to our lives. Little by little may not be sexy but it works. As the old adage says, “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” Break your big goals down into small steps and tackle them little by little. Whether it be a financial goal, like purchasing your first house or a fitness goal, like running a marathon, you have to begin with the end in mind and then work backwards, tackling your goal, little by little. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish by doing little by little, day in and day out. You will build momentum and what may seem slow at the start will eventually become an avalanche. Don’t be hasty and don’t be impatient. Focus your energy on building your life little by little!
Luke 16:11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches.
Very few things in life are the cause of stress or delight than how we handle money. What you do with your money can make or break you. I believe God wants to redeem our approach to money so that we can be more free and effective in our lives. Stewardship is more of a spiritual issue than many of us care to consider. Jesus had more to say about money than about prayer, and it wasn’t all negative. I encourage you to develop an action plan today to quickly eliminate consumer debt, save at least 3 months of income into an emergency fund, invest into your future through a super-fund or home ownership and most importantly give back to God generously of what he has shared with you. These 4 steps are simple and yet require you to commit to the process of building financial freedom and peace of mind. Nothing will practically help your relationships, your well being and your life more than winning in the area of finance.
What you spend your money on is what your heart values the most. Consider where you have invested your finances recently. What does your investment say about what is most important to you? Lip service is fashionable in our culture but heart service is more concrete and a true reflection of what you truly value. What your heart loves, your will chooses. Money follows passion. Whatever you are passionate about will be resourced. What if we really took Jesus charge seriously, to invest our money in eternal matters, not simply the temporary? We would probably see a spiritual revolution take place. For this to become a reality, self needs to be crucified and Jesus needs to take centre stage of our hearts. Only then we will be surrendered enough to release into God’s hands what he has put into our hands!
In the centre of the compass is God. My relationship with him is the epi-centre of my life. God impacts my identity, character, ministry, finances, relationships, activities and everything in between. God is on the throne of my heart because out of my heart flow the springs of life.
True North on my compass is my Family. My family is always in my focus. Everything I am and do impacts on my family and I want to protect the integrity of my relationships with my closest loved ones. If it doesn’t work first at home, it simply doesn’t work.
East is my Health and Fitness. Apart from time, my health and well being is the most precious commodity I have. If my health goes, everything goes with it. Nutrition, Sleep and Training make up the core ingredients of this pillar.
South is my Ministry. From preaching to writing to studying a masters degree and mentoring others, my working life is super busy but I love the opportunity to be used by God to change someone’s life through my gifts.
East is Finance. This has come into greater focus for me the older I get. What you do with your money can make or break you in more ways than one. I think God cares more about this than many of us care to acknowledge. From savings to giving to investments to expenses, this is a must in my compass.
Does the compass metaphor work for you and if it does what would you include as your north, south, east and west?
Never underestimate the power of being faithful in natural things. In the kingdom of God, its first the natural and then the spiritual. Natural law reflects spiritual law and we can’t say we follow Jesus and then be lazy in our practical responsibilities. In some weird way, it can be easy to excuse tardiness and slackness by pointing to God’s grace but this would actually reflect a poor theology of grace. God’s grace empowers us to live holy and be faithful, not to make excuses for self-centered living.
In the context of handling money, Jesus said (Luke 16:10), ‘One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.’ How we handle little responsibilities says a lot about how we would go with bigger responsibilities.
All throughout my ministry I have been committed to doing whatever it takes to fulfil the mission and make a difference in people’s lives. As an intern, I would set the chairs and staging up and then preach on it later that night and then unpack it afterwards with a small team of people helping. Little did I know at the time but this was all preparation for planting and leading a thriving church in the future, where I would have to do much of the same. I so value teams of people around me that give sacrificially of themselves to the practical side of ministry.
We must seek faithfulness in the practical side of life because Jesus see’s everything as having spiritual significance. What has God put into your hands now? Rather than looking at the future alone, look at what is in front of you now and put your hand to it. Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all of your might (Ecc 9:10).