Ah, finance. Talk about solving THAT mystery. When “Quarter-Life” comes out, just go ahead and throw away those Dave Ramsey books. Go ahead and send Clark Howard some hate mail and go ahead and just leave all your financial worries to me.
No, seriously…don’t do any of those things.
Because while “Quarter-Life” does have an awful lot to say about what it means to be a stewarding believer, what it means to look at money the way Jesus does, what it means to rely on God for our economic needs…it never claims to be an end-all, be-all guide to finances. And even if it were that, even if it did have something of a workbook-type approach to doing your taxes or balancing your budget…it would still be just as important to include the part of our finances that is most important:
Recognizing that all we have is from God and looking at our responsibility in that regard.
So while some may come to the book with hopes that all their problems will be solved, all their questions answered…it may be a better approach to look at whether or not you are asking the right questions.
WHY are you saving? WHERE (or WHO, rather) does your money come from? WHAT are you spending it on?
In finance, as in all other struggles that surface during a quarter-life crisis, the biggest truth we can take from Jesus and His approach to dealing with crisis is to look at our hearts and our motives before we look at our thoughts and our actions. I tried to approach God about specific financial issues, and all it did for me was elevate them to an idolatrous status. i became so overwhelmingly worried about savings accounts, student loans, and bills that I ended up falling short in focusing on God as my Savior. I learned that, though these things should certainly not be disregarded, all of our money worries should be examined through the lens of our identity in Christ, as stewards and servants of Him as our Redeemer and the resources we have been blessed with.
There is oftentimes nothing more terrifying, frustrating, or mystifying as a financial woe. Its certainty, its urgency, its smothering worry can all gouge huge scars into our faith. But if we step into financial decisions and issues knowing the truths of the Father, that He will take care of us in a more perfect way than we ever could on our own, we can start to see our finances as an opportunity to lean more fully into Him.
And so, on this side of crisis, my biggest financial question is this:
In what specific ways can I more fully put God in control of my finances while making sure to do my duty as a steward of His riches?
That’s my question. What about you?