“Oooh, candy floss!” I was at the funfair with my small daughter and she looked longingly at that big, pink, fluffy spinning of sugar. The seller held out a stick of candy floss which was bigger than my daughter’s head. He asked, “How can such a little girl like you, eat such a big candy?” “Well, that’s easy,” said my little girl, “I am much bigger inside than outside!”
When managing our money, we are always tightly focused on externals. My job, bills to be paid, desires to be met, investments to follow, an uncertain future to deal with. It is much more important, first of all, to focus on internals, because they will determine how well we deal with the externals. Consider an iceberg; we are most interested in what’s above the surface; tools and techniques to improve our financial state, income, expenses – and that’s goof of course. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There is a much larger mass under the water which we don’t see. The area under water in our financial life is our character, our motivations, our values and our dreams.
While we are mostly focused on outward ‘circum-stances,’ we need to focus on inward ‘in-stances.’ How we are within – because what is in comes out! Our internal book-keeping will determine our outward activity.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, pay attention to all that is true, all that is noble, all that is righteous, all that is pure, all that is lovely, all that is honorable, in short, to all that is virtuous and worthy of praise. Do everything I've taught and transferred to you, what I've told you and shown you. Do it, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8,9)
Being is more important than doing. First of all, I need to organize my life and only when that is done, to determine how much money I need to finance it. I need to learn who I am, what motivates me, what do I really want from life.
This is where being a follower of Jesus gives us great advantages. A Christian is not better than anyone else – but a Christian is better off! We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, bringing all the resources of God Himself into our lives.
“ … for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
We receive power to overcome temptations, to work effectively, to build up our resources, to defeat the power of mammon. Love to serve God and our neighbor, to use our money for good and to share freely. We receive self-control to be disciplined with our spending and saving, to think in the right way from a sound mind about our financial dealings, and to live moderately, enjoying God’s provision.
A well-used description of how we can have strong ‘in-stances’ are the 7 virtues. A virtue is a foundation for moral well-being and strength, behaviors that help us to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. Financial decisions must be taken inside-out, from the heart.
In the next blog, we will look at the 7 virtues and how the Holy Spirit can develop these virtues in our financial management, so that what comes out will be provision for all our needs, peace in our financial lives, and prosperity in all we do!
Start by looking at what the Bible says about managing money with a Compass study! We always place more emphasis on the inside then the outside!