Tool, Temptation, Testimony?


Your Money Counts studies change the lives of those who study and apply. We are always grateful to hear how the Your Money Counts biblical finance studies have challenged and changed lives as the Word of the Lord is understood and obeyed. Here is one couple’s story:

My wife and I both carried a lot of wrong ideas about money into our marriage. At the root of our issues was a very real need for growth in our relationship with God. The more we learned of Him, the more we recognised our need to adjust our views on money. Slowly, lovingly, God taught us what He had to say about material possessions, contentment, and giving. The more we learned, the more we realised that MONEY ISN’T any of the following:

A measure of success

We used to buy things, and shop in places, that we felt gave us prestige.

These foolish pursuits landed us in a lot of debt and made us anything but successful.

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

A component of self-worth

For a long time, I relied on external factors - the house we lived in, the car we drove, the business we owned, our role in the church, the clothes we wore, and so forth - to give me a sense of value and significance.

God lovingly showed me that my financial worth has no bearing on my worth to Him.

He does not judge my bank account but my heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

He cares that I am His child, and that is where I must find my worth. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

A reward for spiritual living

I foolishly fell into the trap of believing that if you are good enough, you will receive financial rewards. I still had to learn that God’s economy is the opposite of ours - “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).

I realised that when God blesses us, He blesses us with virtues such as:

  • peace
  • humility
  • purity of heart
  • grace
  • love

These are things that the world often overlooks, and yet they are priceless.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for He grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2).

A guarantee of satisfaction

One of the biggest lessons I have learned about money is that it does not bring me happiness.

I look around at what the world has to offer me, and my soul cries out for something greater - something that is deeper, God-sized, and much more permanent in its ability to satisfy.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

God showed me where I was off track in my attitudes toward money and replaced my wrong ideas with a view that was pleasing to Him. Now, I see that MONEY IS all of the following.

1. A temptation

If you let money meet your needs and desires, be the answer to your problems, and eliminate your need for a Heavenly Father, you will become self-reliant.

What God desires is complete dependence on Him.

What God desires is dependence on Him. Satan knows when money is your weak link, and he will use it to defeat you if he can.

For this reason, my wife and I have learned that there are weak areas we must guard ourselves against.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).

2. A tool

Money has been a great teacher for us. We have had to learn about trust, resourcefulness, patience, and responsibility through our dealings with financial issues. These lessons are invaluable as our walk has been strengthened and our character has been stretched.

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

3. A test

With each lesson we have learned about money, we have walked away a little wiser and a little better equipped for the next time. We are learning to be better stewards and to give freely.

A friend recently shared with me that when we hold on to what we have with a clenched fist, God can’t put anything else into that hand. Yet, when we open our hands to give, then our hands are also open to God’s blessings. I love this word picture and what it means for us when we willingly and lovingly open our hands to give to others.

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).

4. A testimony

Our struggle with finances is a large part of our marriage testimony. Through training as a financial counsellor, we have been able to share our story with other couples at our church. “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).

God truly took two people and put them on a path to wisdom by His design. Our goal is to point others toward that same path.