Are You Financially Awake?Pam Franz
“What does Jesus have against sleep?” One of our kids asked that question several years ago while we were on our way to church on a Sunday morning.
In Mark 13, Jesus told His disciples to “keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back…If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.” Jesus is not against sleeping, taking a nap, or taking a vacation. He is reminding us that we need to be “awake” about how we are using the time and resources he has given us.
The Money Connection
One of my job hazards is a tendency for my mind to drift toward the financial implications of, well, just about everything. So, I keep thinking about what it would look like financially to live in a constant state of preparedness for Christ’s return. If He came tomorrow, I think He would care about what He saw inside our checkbooks and our hearts.
I think he’d want it to be clear that we know who we are, financially speaking. He’d want it to be evident that we look at the world through the eyes of a steward, not the eyes of a consumer.
I think He’d want to see us living with contentment. He wouldn’t want to see a hunger for stuff we don’t have or jealousy over what other people have. He’d want to see gratitude for what we do have. He wouldn’t want to see us living under a cloud of guilt or shame over past financial mistakes. Sure, He’d want to see us taking responsibility for cleaning things up, but He’d want us to know that He is quick to forgive all who seek His forgiveness.
I think it would please Him if He saw that our financial lives were marked by patience – a willingness to wait until we can afford things before we buy them, and the realization that our ultimate happiness won’t be found in what we can buy.
I think He’d understand if those attitudes didn’t come naturally or easily, and if we sometimes felt uncertain about the economy. But He’d want to see that we’re leaning into Him for strength, encouragement, and perspective.
If Jesus showed up tomorrow, I think He’d want to see that we’re not winging it with His money – that we have a plan. After all, according to His own instruction manual, it says those who profit are those who plan (Proverbs 21:5).
I think He’d want to see us living generously – not just because the Bible teaches that generosity is to be our first financial priority (Proverbs 3:9), but because generosity has become a natural way that we express our gratitude for all that He’s done for us.
I think He’d want to see that our finances are in order – that we keep some money in reserve (Proverbs 21:20), are cautious in our use of debt (Proverbs 22:7), take a slow and steady approach to investing (Proverbs 13:11), and try to be smart about spending decisions big and small. After all, He said that faith and finances are tightly intertwined (Luke 16:11).
Company’s Coming, But We Don’t Know When
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) reminds us that God has temporarily entrusted everything we have to our care. We don’t really own any of our stuff; it all belongs to God. It’s all to be managed according to His instructions and for His purposes.
How Prepared Are You?
What’s your response to the idea of living in a constant state of financial preparedness? If He returned tomorrow, mostly I think He’d want it to be clear that we cherish our relationship with Him above all else. Yes, He’d want to see the fruit of that relationship, that our financial attitudes and behaviors are being increasingly shaped by His teachings and leadings. But also, that we live with a sense of peace about the areas that are still kind of messy. A sense of peace that’s been shaped by His grace.