Who Are You?Brenda Hamm
Financially speaking, do you know who you are? I realize that most people probably haven’t even thought about their financial identity. Even for those who have, what in the world does it have to do with finding some financial breathing room, getting out of debt, or investing more successfully?
Since you’re reading this devotional, I assume you are a person of faith. And yet, that’s no guarantee that you understand your biblical financial identity.
If we don’t understand who we were made to be, or if we haven’t fully embraced it, that leaves us vulnerable to our culture’s point of view. And in countless ways, both subtle and overt, our culture tells us we are “consumers.”
What’s in a word?
That may sound harmless, but have you ever looked up what it means to be a “consumer”? To consume is to use up, destroy, or spend wastefully.
But it’s worse than that. You see, “consumer” is more than a word; it’s a worldview.
If I’m a consumer, life is all about me—my pleasure, my comfort, my happiness.
If I’m a consumer, happiness is found in money and what it can buy.
And if I’m a consumer, life is a competition to have more.
This is the direction the culture pulls us in, and if we’re not intentional, our lives can start to look a lot like that. BUT A consumer is the polar opposite of who God made us to be and what he made us to be about.
The Bible doesn’t say life is all about us; it says life is about God (Matthew 22:36-38).
The Bible doesn’t teach us to love money and things; it teaches us to love people (Matthew 22:39).
And the Bible doesn’t say life is found in competition; it says life is found in contribution (Ephesians 2:10).
Those are the three overarching purposes of our lives: To love God, love people, and make a difference with our lives. That means those are the three overarching purposes of money. Orienting our use of money around those purposes will lead to the most successful, satisfying experience with money.
Remembering you are a builder
To the two servants depicted in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) who made something more of what was entrusted to them, God not only said, “Well done.” He also then entrusted them with more to manage. With all that He entrusts to us, we’re encouraged to build our lives wisely.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27
You were designed to be a wise builder. The “rock” is God’s word. Build your life, financially and otherwise, on a foundation of God’s word and it will stand strong. The “sand” is the shifting fads and philosophies of our consumer culture. Build your life on sand and it will fall.
Anything less is settling for too little
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The New Living Bible translates this as, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
Our role is to take all that has been entrusted to us and build—a thriving relationship with God, loving relationships with others, and lives of meaningful contribution.
Take action: One day, the Master really will return. One habit that will help ensure that we will be found faithful is to ask these questions as we consider various financial decisions: What would a manager of God’s resources—a wise builder—do in this situation? And will this choice help me love God, love people, and make a difference with my life, or could it hinder any of that?