When people ask me for my hobbies and interests, I really enjoy saying “I love money” with tongue in cheek. I love the surprised and somewhat horrified looks I get at times. While I do say it jokingly for that response, truth be told, I really do love money. I love studying it. I love understanding it. I love investing it. I love growing it. I love spending it to further God’s Kingdom.
I have spent this month trying to take an account of people’s understanding of money. I’ve received a very wide range of different responses from my conversations with them. I’ve had students tell me they don’t understand the concept of a credit card so they don’t have one and in the same crowd and conversation, some who don’t understand them but still have them and use them frequently. I had someone compare investing to gambling and another make riches on well timed stock purchases.
To be quite honest, I am horrified that a student is allowed to graduate from high school, or even from a university and have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever regarding personal finances. People with a diploma from a fine university who can’t even tell the difference between an asset or a liability. It is no wonder that so many of our peers stand neck deep in debt and have no way out. But what’s most troubling is in the end, we must give an account for what God has entrusted us with.
Part of my fascination with money is that I firmly believe (as much as I believe my name is Jason) that the money sitting in my bank account isn’t really mine. In fact, I believe that it belongs to God and I am simply helping Him manage it for the time being. When my time comes and I must give an account before the Judge for my sins, I’ll also give an account for how I managed God’s money. I imagine that God will open up a spreadsheet and every dollar that I spent will be there for us to walk through line by line and I must tell God why I purchased two $100 pairs of shoes in college, and why I didn’t tithe that month. (Yes, I actually did that. No, I have no answer for Him.)
I have no doubt of my calling in life but I often wonder and think very thoroughly, where exactly does God want me to serve? What gifts and talents and interests has God bestowed upon me to use to further His Kingdom? In the last five years, my knowledge of finances has grown tremendously. I went from $6000 of credit card debt and a car payment to only having a mortgage as any form of debt. Instead of reading articles on ESPN.com, I read articles from CNN Money. Instead of looking at YouTube videos such as this, I spend my time reading personal finance blogs. My light reading before I go to bed? Investment books from the library.
Scriptures have given us more than 800 verses on how to handle God’s money His way. It is by far the most addressed issue in the Bible yet so many believers haven’t the slightest clue on what to do. Because of my increased love on the subject as of late, I’m beginning to wonder and pray if this is the area where I can have the biggest impact for God. My hope is that believers especially will have far better stewardship over their finances as a way of honoring God and furthering His Kingdom and so that more things like this will be more frequent and normal rather than an anomaly.