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.
How to Truly Change Your Financial Life
March 1, 2020
Financially speaking, what are you trying to change?
Are you trying to get out of debt? Earn more? Save more?
Part of the process will probably involve gaining some new knowledge. And part of it will involve changing behavior. But getting to a better financial place isn’t just about knowledge and behavior. It’s also very much about the heart. One of the most effective ways to cultivate the right attitudes of the heart is to memorize scripture.
My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 7:1-3
As we soak in God’s Word—as it becomes written on our hearts—it becomes so much more than head knowledge; it shapes our worldview, guides our behavior, and encourages us to stay on the right path.
To foster a life of good stewardship, here are some of the key verses I recommend memorizing.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23
What if you remembered these words each time you felt underappreciated at work? What if you knew deep within your soul who you’re really working for?
Budgeting & Planning
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5
Budgeting can be a tough sell. If you’re still resisting the idea, what if you let it soak in that planning your use of money is profitable? It’s just what managers of God’s resources do.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” – Proverbs 3:9
This is a cornerstone verse about giving back to God as our first financial priority. But it’s the following verses that often come to my mind during the offering at church each week as I thank God for his provision:
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” – Deuteronomy 8:17-18
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” – Proverbs 21:20
Do you have an adequate emergency fund? What if these words were written on your heart? Wouldn’t they motivate you to save a portion of all that you earn?
“Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5
Take encouragement from the idea that the biblical teaching to build wealth slowly may not be the stuff of dramatic headlines, but it does have the advantage of being highly effective!
“…the borrower is servant to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7
As you feel tempted to finance a new car, what if you remembered that God paid an unimaginable price for you and doesn’t want you to become “slaves of human beings”? (1 Corinthians 7:23)
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” – Luke 16:10-11
What if you saw all uses of money—from buying groceries to taking your car in for service—as spiritual activities because everything in your possession really belongs to God?
What financial changes are you trying to make? Get the knowledge you need, and take the steps you need to take. But don’t forget to read what the Bible says about those topics and write those words on your heart.