Have you ever been afraid to obey God? One mark of being a Christian is that we fear God (in that we deeply respect, awe, and know that God is not to be taken lightly or played with). But I am wondering if you have ever been afraid to follow God’s commands to obey Him.
I remember a line from a movie as a youngster: “Humans fear what they do not understand.” So as a young kid, I made up in my mind to always understand everything—therefore I would never be afraid again. Although it helped me somewhat, I am sorry to report that “understanding” alone was not sufficient. I am still afraid of rodents, snakes, spiders, the ocean, roller-coasters, and various other things.
I have heard it said that the only unlearned fear we have as humans is the fear of falling. That is the sense of falling out of the sky and no one to catch you. Every other fear we exhibit as humans is learned behavior, according to some scientist. I can see some validity in this statement. I have witnessed parents laughing with a toddler to teach a toddler not to be afraid of a person or movie. I have witnessed children running away as they follow their parents running away from a “dog.”
Fear, terror, scariness, and being afraid are powerful emotions we face as humans. If we are honest, these emotions dominate our lives more than we are willing to admit. So are you willing to briefly think with me about how fear can dominate the way we handle money?
Because of fear relating to our finances:
- We either horde and fill our barns (Luke 12:13-20) or we spend like there’s no tomorrow (Is.56:11-12).
- We value riches over wisdom. (1 Kin.3:11-14).
- We make plans to gain dishonestly rather than prayer and wisdom-filled planning (Prov.13:11).
- We acquiring fiat currency as if it should be the number one priority instead of first seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt.6:33).
- We completely miss true life (1 Tim.6:17-19).
- We ignore that God is ruler of rich and poor (Prov.22:2).
- We separate giving money to the Lord and living righteously before the Lord (Matt.23:23).
I am sure we could list more, which would be a beneficial exercise. And as we list the ways fear leads us to sin concerning our finances, may we began to bring every thought obedient to Christ, so that the fear of the Lord— and not worldly fear—will regulate how we handle finances.
There is a practical wisdom in dieting that says “all types of food, in moderation, are okay.” Perhaps there is a practical wisdom of planning we can apply to our finances; giving to the Lord, savings for retirement and emergencies, paying taxes, and living—being content and having fun with the remainder. Planning out our finances can be frustrating, but I’ll end with words of a radio talk show host: “There’s ultimately only one way to Financial Peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus!”