Jesus talked about money, a lot. But around this time of year it can seem like we don’t want to talk about money we just want to spend it. In fact today we don’t even have to have it to spend it, we can charge it. So loosen up, it’s the holidays! We can talk about money after the new year. That’s when we’ll set a budget and get our finances under control. Right? Wrong! Let’s talk about it now. Because how we handle money is a part of how we follow Jesus. So this holiday season what would it look like to honor Christ financially? Here are two financial principles from 1 Timothy 6:17-19 to apply this holiday season and beyond.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
1- Don’t be haughty! Or proud. This is bigger than just looking down on others because you have money. Pride is more dangerous than that. There can be a foolishness and arrogance behind the handling of our money because of pride. When we are proud we tend to think we are above the dangers that threaten us. But the truth is none of us are above falling prey to poor financial management. Especially during the temptations of the holidays. Let’s not be haughty when it comes to this. It is a buying time of year, and we are going to be bombarded with all kinds of cool new things that we didn’t know we wanted. And pride would tells us we can have it. So here are some practical ideas to avoid being haughty financially.
- Make a budget. Decide a head of time what would be a responsible amount of holiday spending. What can you afford? If you are married decide together with your spouse what is our holiday spending budget.
- Stick to the budget. The hard part is not making the budget, but actually sticking to it. Be ready to tell yourself no. If you feel you need accountability in this tell a close friend your budget and ask for help in sticking to it. Asking for help is a good first step in not being haughty.
2- Be ready to share. We should be generous. We want to be generous. But are we ready to be generous? Not just in your heart, but in your bank account. Are you ready to be able to share with others. We can desire to be generous, but spending irresponsibly on someone else is still spending irresponsibly. Remember, financial generosity is connected to financial responsibility. The command to be generous comes after the command not to be haughty. Often we can’t be generous or we are not “ready to share” because of past financial choices made out of pride. We were haughty. We thought we “needed” or “deserved” this phone, this cable plan, that car, etc., and now we are not ready or able to share generously with others. As this holiday season approaches, what are different financial decisions you could make in order to be more ready to be generous towards others? Maybe it is not eating out as often in order to give an extra gift to a neighbor that is not normally on your list. Maybe it means cutting back in different ways in order to put aside money each month for the purpose of being ready to share with others when needs come up. That would take thinking less of ourselves, but when humility is a part of our everyday financial decisions we will be more ready to share with others.
People of Veritas, I hope we have a financially Christ honoring holiday season. After all, Christmas is all about Christ, right?