There are somethings that come naturally to us. Some people can pick up a basketball for the first time and on their first try they make it into the basket. While for other people it might take hours of coaching and practice to be able to make a basket. For me managing my money did not come naturally. What came naturally to me was spending money as soon as I received it. What came naturally was overdraft slips, and late payment penalties. So I found a coach to help me with this.

Dave Ramsey is a Christian man who helps people get their finances under control so that they cannot be mastered by debt but be free to live a life of generosity. Here is an online resource that can help you take control of your money in 7 Baby Steps. But even with those steps we might not feel compelled to be wise stewards of the resources that God has given us.

It’s the gospel that can give us the motivation to not spend our money carelessly. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin and purchase us back from the darkness, and because of that we are no longer our own, but we are His disciples. We now realize that we aren’t the owner of our resources, but we are a steward of them.  If we think that our money is just our own we’ve shot the ball and totally missed basket. As a church we understand that we are called to first believe the gospel, which enables us to worship God, live as a family and be on mission.  Since being a follower of Jesus is our identity we can now prioritize how we spend our money accordingly:

  • Prioritize Jesus. Our identity is found in the person and work of Jesus, our Creator and Sustainer, Savior and King.  Without him we are lost, so we must prioritize our relationship with him, and live our lives in worship of him.
  • Prioritize human relationships. We were created to need one another, to love, serve, and help each other.  Therefore, we must prioritize our relationships with people: our family, our church, our friends, and our neighbors.
  • Prioritize Mission. God has given us the mission to make disciples, and he calls us his disciples to participate in this work.  We are entrusted with the message of Jesus – we get to proclaim his work that saved people from death to life!  Therefore, we must prioritize the gospel, using our resources to bless, care for, and share the gospel to those in our circles of influence.

Once we align our priorities according to life as a disciple, we can begin to evaluate our wants in light of this framework, and spend accordingly. I love having my finances under control because it now gives me the opportunity to be a blessing to other people. With the coaching of how to handle our resources, and the motivation of the gospel, we now have a real shot at getting our finances in order.

Practical Theology: Check out that link to the Dave Ramsey website and meditate on how a follower of Jesus should prioritize their money so that you can slam dunk your finances.