Budgets and The Bible: Employing Christian Principles in your Family Budget
Christians are often told to be “in the world, not of the world.” This can prove ever-difficult in a world where secular media seems to rule the population. In order to build healthy habits, it is necessary to find creative ways to work faith into everyday life. One area of life that faith is often left out of is the family budget. After all, money has been called the root of all evil. But we can’t live successfully in the world without it. Therefore, Christians must find ways to use their money in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Love of Money
The Bible says that the love of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil. Therefore it becomes important to register when you are becoming too attached to money. Having money is not a bad thing, and it is always important to be prepared for emergencies, but most of us have a lot more than we need. It is always good to give to others, and to do so without bitterness of losing funds.
Many of us guard our money tightly. We see people on the streets asking for money and are immediately suspicious. Is that person really homeless? What if I gave them money and they spent it on drugs or booze? We use these questions as excuses to keep our money to ourselves. We must ask ourselves though, what if they do really need the money? Even if they do misuse it, would we use it any better? Is an act of goodwill ever really a waste?
Often enough, we use our money to indulge in unnecessary or inappropriate behaviors. Whether it is supporting an immoral company or buying products that enable an ungodly lifestyle, we can all pay more attention to our spending. Even if it costs more, it can be better to buy from a company that practices sustainable, healthy business rather than “cutthroat” companies that mistreat employees or harm the earth in order to make a profit.
The most obvious way to work your faith into your budget is to give money to the church. If you attend a church regularly it may be appropriate to set aside a certain amount of money (10% of income is traditional) to support them. Organizations often go to churches asking for money, so setting aside some money for regular offerings and some for special causes is a good way to support multiple causes close to your heart.
If you don’t find church necessary to rendezvous with God, or just want another way to “give back” to the community, charitable organizations are the way to go. Think about causes that are important to you and find an organization that supports it. Be sure to research any organization you want to give money to. Look into how much money goes into overhead and how much goes to the actual cause. Look into how they complete their mission as well.
Making it about more than the money
Ultimately, many of these things don’t have to focus on money. If you truly care about a cause or organization, giving money won’t hurt. You also may be inclined to give time and resources rather than just cash, which is great, and can mean even more. The same thing goes for giving to the homeless. Giving to someone won’t be difficult if you care about people more than material goods.
It is important to be smart with finances. In this world, we cannot take care of our families without money. But we can often cut extraneous spending to lead to a better life for ourselves and have enough to give to others. Making a conscious effort to think about how our faith and budget interact is important to avoid falling into the trap of treasuring money.
Phillip Marks spent 25 years working for community newspapers before recently making the transition to digital media. When he isn’t busy enjoying the great outdoors, or spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, Phillip shares his expertise on personal finance and budgeting as a writer for Cheap Check Store.