Giving Meaning to Money® Devotional
EDITOR — JON C. WIEBE
WRITER — MATT BELL
Matt Bell is Sound Mind Investing's Associate Editor. He is the author of three personal finance books published by NavPress, leads workshops at churches and universities throughout the country, and has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, and many other media outlets. To read his blog and learn more about his work, visit www.soundmindinvesting.com.
Free Indeed – An Easter Devotion
April 1, 2018
God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. – 1 Corinthians 7:23
On Easter, we remember Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection and I’ve been thinking about the apostle Paul’s words above and how they might apply to our finances.
What comes to mind when you think of financial freedom? For many, it means choices, options. Having enough money to do what they want to do, especially without having to work anymore.
But is that the best definition? Spending much of life waiting—hoping—that someday, one day we’ll have enough money to stop working?
Maybe financial freedom is available right now. But to attain it, we need to consider the ways in which we are not free.
Debt may be the most obvious form of financial bondage. But we can become financially enslaved in any number of ways:
- Getting our identity from our job, title, or income, and the workaholism that often comes with the package
- A sense of entitlement
- Running on the hedonic treadmill as we try to shore up our identity or self-worth through what we buy
- Envy or covetousness or jealousy
- A felt need for control, and using our bank or investment accounts as the gauge for how well things are under control
- Too little savings
- Too much savings
- And the list goes on
When Jesus said he came that we might have life to the full (John 10:10), I’m pretty sure he wasn’t casting a vision of retirement. He was talking about a type of freedom that’s available now.
As one who’s been involved in stewardship ministry for a long time, it’s easy for me to make the mistake of seeing financial freedom mostly as following biblical counsel to avoid the bondage of debt, maintain a reserve, live generously, build wealth slowly, live with gratitude, and more.
There’s a lot of good in all of that. But set against the backdrop of Easter, it all seems too small. Does anything come to mind that might be getting in the way of freedom? Is there some way that money has a grip on you?
Many people give up something each year during the 40 days of Lent as a way of remembering Christ’s sacrifice. What if this Easter we each gave up something not just for 40 days but forever—a way of thinking about money, perhaps, or a habit that has left us financially enslaved? What if we turned it over to Christ? Asked Him to take the burden from us, to unlock the chains, once and for all?
What if this Easter we responded to Christ’s sacrifice, and celebrated his resurrection, by accepting his gift of financial freedom—not someday, one day, but right now?
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36