God’s Four Priorities for Your Money
I invite you to start a conversation about money in a crowded room and watch what happens. Some people will get angry because their neighbor has more; some will get excited at the thought of getting more, and some will feel anxiety because they don’t know how they will pay their electric bill this month—but all have been given an allotment from God.
What you do with your allotment is an act of obedience to Christ, and it’s also how you serve and glorify Him. If we do not honor God with our money then relationship with Christ will never be what it should. Where your treasure is, there your heart will follow.
In my book, Blueprint for Life, I write, “There is more written about money in the Bible than any other subject—including heaven or hell. One out of every ten Bible verses in a reference to money, possessions, or some principle that can be applied to the handling of personal property.” Money is obviously important to God.
In Blueprint for Life, I also share God’s plan for your finances. Here are His four purposes for your money.
In Malachi, God tells us to give a tenth of our money to Him in the form of a tithe. The word “tithe” literally means “tenth” and it’s to be given to support a local church or other ministry which carries out His Kingdom work.
Some people think it’s unfair for God to ask them to give up ten percent of their money. They have forgotten that it’s not their money; it’s God’s. Everything we have is a gift from our Father in Heaven. In fact, we owe every breath and our existence to God. We are His creation, not our own.
When we give back to God, it’s not just for the benefit of others or a church. When we give to God, it’s also for our benefit; it draws us closer to God. When we humbly surrender the things we hold most dear, we lift Him up, humble ourselves, and acknowledge that He is LORD over every area of our lives—including our finances.
Giving also helps to overcome a “poverty mentality.” When we don’t give because we are afraid we won’t have enough, fear holds us captive—but when we give back to God, and we see Him provide for our needs, faith overcomes fear. Giving isn’t just for God; it’s for us too.
After you give the first ten percent of your income to God, He wants you to take care of provision for your daily needs such as clothing, car expenses, housing, and prudent savings. Jesus has promised that he will provide for your needs (Matthew 6:33). It’s important to be responsible with what you have been given, determine how much is enough to meet your needs, and get and stay out of debt, so that you’ll have some left over for God’s third purpose for your money.
The Bible says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). After you have taken care of your daily needs, then you may have money left over to be a blessing to someone else. This is called an offering.
Offerings are free-will gestures to share God’s love. In Blueprint for Life, I write “The Bible mandates that we share with the needy: widows, orphans, and the poor.” Some offerings may be spontaneous as God shows you a specific need, but others should be planned as you commit to a strategy to consistently be a blessing to those in need.
After you have given God a tenth of your income, have taken care of your provision, and given offerings, then you may have more money left over. This is called abundance.
Abundance is the financial category in which you are free to follow your heart. This may mean a vacation for your family, or that you purchase a new car or even an extravagant vacation home. But one thing is for certain: If you follow God’s priorities for money, your heart will be changed, and you will be drawn closer to your heavenly Father. This is God’s promised fulfilled that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
I have learned from my personal experience that you cannot out-give God. He will not be outdone. When we give generously, we will be blessed in turn. The Scripture says, “Give and it will be given to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”
I dare you. Try and out give the Lord Most High. I think you will rejoice at how He responds.