Debt-Proof your family
When the Bible talks about money, it talks about giving it, investing it, planning ahead with it, and yet not loving it. How do we help instill this kind of balanced view into our children as well as ourselves? And how do we debt-proof our families with the financial focus we need in order to survive a culture where money woes are so rampant?
According to many places in the Bible, right money moves all begin in the heart. It's all about motives. Mark 12:41–44 tells the familiar account of Jesus sitting by the treasury watching who gave what. The rich gave lots. And a poor widow gave little. But it was her heart the Lord saw when He declared she gave more than everyone—even all her living.
Looking closer at this woman by the treasury gives us a view of a financially stable heart, which, if striven after with God's grace, can help us debt-proof our children as well as ourselves.
So does your heart match the widow’s heart? Ask yourself these questions and see.
1. Am I grateful?
According to Romans 1:21, thankfulness is one of the safeguards against foolishness—in money matters and everything else.
It's hard to imagine a grateful person spending money unnecessarily, isn't it? A grateful heart is a contented heart—feeling no need for more.
Curbing the "gimme more" appetite with gratitude goes a long way in curbing debt, hasty spending, and other foolish money moves.
If the woman by the treasury had not been grateful, she might have been at home thinking of more ways to make more money.
2. Are my priorities in order?
Any kind of look through the Bible reveals the fact that believers have different priorities from everyone else. Consider the shock-value of Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21,"If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."
Having priorities in order means having an eternal perspective—the kind that puts God and others before self.
If the woman by the treasury had not been thinking of God and others before her own needs, she might have held on to at least one of those mites for herself.
3. Am I trusting the Lord?
Many well-meaning believers slip into debt without realizing the hidden sin of distrust crouching low in their hearts. Your family and your children will likely face financial trials ordered by the Lord to reveal the answer to this question, "Am I trusting the Lord?"
Turning to credit or loans often indicates trusting self or the plastic more than the Lord. How easy to forget the solace we find in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
If the woman by the treasury had not been trusting the Lord to provide for her needs, she might have kept those two mites to buy her next meal instead.
Like the woman by the treasury, we too can please the Lord with our finances. The key is to remember to watch our heart, “for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23.)