“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

We recently discussed the topic of how to handle money biblically in our couples’ bible study. Some of the points made were the following:

  1. Putting God first in our life includes putting HIM in charge of our finances.
  2. Tithing — It is not 10% for God and 90% for us. Instead. ALL of it is God’s. When you offer the 10%, ask God for wisdom for the 90%.
  3. Tithing is not the same as offering. The verse “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” from 2 Corinthian 9:6 was referring to “offerings.” Tithes were a given in the New Testament; there was no question about it’s validity or anything like that.
  4. We are blessed to be a blessing. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”- 2 Corinthians 9:8
  5. “One FLESH” = “One WALLET.” Husband and wife must talk and agree on financial goals, decisions and budget. We are to help each other and support one another in this area.

One of the suggestions made to help in financial management was to make a family budget and follow it with a clear and detailed accounting of one’s expenses. This is one point that I agree is a good idea, but I personally don’t do because I find it is too much work for somebody like me who doesn’t like numbers very much.  But this morning, I felt God give me a clarification on this matter.

Making a detailed budget and accounting ledger will only be helpful if it allows you to GIVE MORE for the kingdom of God and with much more cheerfulness in your heart as you do so. But if writing it down makes you realize how much you plan to give away and how little you have left  and it takes away the joy of giving, then something is not right. If you tend to look at your balance sheet as a means to make yourself feel justified that you can’t afford to tithe regularly… hmmm… that doesn’t seem very balanced at all. If seeing all those numbers on paper (or on your computer) makes you look at the amount you’ve already decided to give and wish you could use it for your own needs and wants; then it might breed the wrong kind of spirit (a covetous spirit) within you. In other words, if counting your money all the time makes you GIVE LESS, or give with a HEAVY HEART, then it might be time to do a “heart check.”

BUT, if putting down all your expenses neatly and in an organized manner gives you more freedom to GIVE MORE, then good for you! If after comparing your budget and the current month’s expenses, you find yourself excited because you realize you can actually allot a bigger amount for charity, then that’s great! If your balance sheet complete with bar graphs show you God’s faithfulness in providing all your needs and giving you with even more to share, then that’s wonderful! And if seeing all those numbers and counting all your blessings allows you to GIVE MORE with MORE JOY in your heart, then by all means, count it all!

Our family does it this way; we’ve decided on our financial faith goals and vision and with that in mind, we have a budget for all the major stuff (tithes, rent, housing loan, monthly internet fee, etc) and a working budget for our groceries and other expenses. As soon as the salary comes in, we settle all the major stuff, then just spend the rest according to our means (making decisions based on past experience as to what we can actually afford). What works for us may not work for you, but I’m just sharing just in case it does help you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it all boils down to how “ACCOUNTING” affects your heart. That is what really matters. For where you put your treasure in (whether you like to count it or not), there your heart will be. 🙂