May 4, 2016
Finding Your Financial Voice
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19 (NIV)
“We don’t have a budget, we have credit card debt and we don’t know what to do.”
I could tell the words were painful to share as this smart, hardworking couple awaited my response. I quickly cut the tension: “First, don’t feel alone — you’re not the only ones who've ever made these mistakes. Second, you both have the ability to deal with this. And third, it’s going to be okay.”
I could see their relief. Their troubled voices had been working their way to the surface for a long time. Why did they wait so long to share their concerns?
The answer is easy. Most of us who struggle with money troubles keep it to ourselves. We can feel prideful, embarrassed and worried, and so we keep quiet. But these lies can keep us trapped in the snares of our own silence.
Like this couple, somewhere on our life journeys, we began to keep financial troubles to ourselves. But when we internalize the confusion around our common money troubles, it can quickly become a barrier to God’s plans for us to live in freedom. Yet God’s voice remains so very clear. He tells us to listen, surrender, obey, trust, serve, love and pray and He’ll take care of the rest.
We know that to be true, but in our silence we can forget God’s promises. And the enemy’s job becomes much too easy as our silence provides a clear shot at our unprotected heart and mind. This is not what God intended.
As we learn to live for free, we must find our own financial voice. And once we’ve found our voice, Jesus gives us direction on what to do next. In Matthew 18:19, He said, “… truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
God does not want our money to be a barrier in our relationships with each other, or with Him. Rather than staying silent, allowing worrisome and false thoughts to take root, we need to pray and plan and partner together before, during and after our money troubles. If we never speak up to each other, how can we agree?
We need to speak up sooner and louder. We need to talk with each other about our money troubles. No more will we let our financial silence inhibit our heart’s desire to love and serve God, our spouse, our family and our neighbors. Let’s raise our surrendered voices so God can calm our troubled hearts.
Right now, ask God to help you find your financial voice — with your spouse, your friend, your pastor or your advisor. Refuse to be quiet. Raise your voice. Speaking our financial troubles out loud begins to frees us. God wants to help you find your financial voice. And He promises that when you ask for anything in His name, it will be done. Find your financial voice. Your Father in heaven is listening.
Lord, You gave me a voice to speak to You and to others. So why is it so difficult to speak about my money troubles? I sometimes feel embarrassed or ashamed of my financial choices. Everyone seems to have it all together. Lord, hear me and help me find my voice. Help me raise my voice to heaven in surrender and repentance so I may use the money You give me as tool to bring You glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (NIV)
Proverbs 30:8-9, “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (NIV)
Today’s devotion comes from a new book by new author, John H. Putnam. We may know what the Bible says about money, and we may know how to handle money following biblical principles, yet so many Christians still wrestle with their finances.He Spends She Spends: Why God Wants You to Live for Free is a “why to” book that explores how we approach our money moments and exposes what’s hidden around our financial choices, then offers practical steps to live free.
In celebration of this recent book launch, John is giving away 5 personalized and signed copies! Enter to WIN a copy of He Spends She Spends and the corresponding small group participant’s guide by simply leaving a comment here.
Looking for encouraging words and a fresh perspective on faith and finances? Join the conversation by visiting John's blog today. Or start a fresh conversation with your friends by using the 5-week He Spends She Spends Participant's Guide and resources for your small group or Bible study!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you and your spouse, or you and your friend, really talk about money? Do you have a poor financial habit or trouble that you’ve kept private … creating pride, shame or regret? Will you find your voice, speak it out loud and bring your issues into the light for God to hear? Because He is listening.
© 2016 by John H. Putnam. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks John H. Putnam for their sponsorship of today's devotion.
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