I love a good pair of blue jeans. Comfortable and faded, frayed along the bottom hems from walking too many times without shoes. I also love the fun of pairing my jeans with a graphic t-shirt and baseball cap. Other days, I like to dress them up with a flowy blouse, belt, and earrings. I could probably spend too much time and money in a clothing store or two–ask my husband.
I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a spender, but I’m trying to learn to be a saver. I think that goes for my husband, too, although he likes to purchase things that tend to come from very different stores–think home improvement or electronics.
Thankfully, we have good communication and agree on allocating our finances, but it seems to be a constant process, an ever-changing balance to keep the books. Why is that? It would seem to be pretty straightforward–you make a budget, pay the bills and spend what’s leftover. Is that how it works for you?
To be transparent, it’s not that easy for us. We have a budget, and we faithfully tithe our 10 percent. We always have what we need. But I wonder if our finances’ fluctuation has a more significant parallel to our hearts’ variation than we might think. Could this be the reason why Jesus taught so much on money, generosity, and provision? Did you know that the Bible has over 2,000 verses on these subjects?
Author Randy Alcorn says this in The Treasure Principle, “God sees our faith and finances as inseparable.”
This thought makes a lot of sense because I believe it points to the motivation behind the tithe. God doesn’t need our money, but rather, He wants our hearts. He owns it all (Psalm 50:10). He gives us the ability to earn income (Deuteronomy 8:18) and the capability to decide what we do with our resources. It’s a learning opportunity–a chance for us not to worship the things of the world but the Creator of it.
In Bible school, I wrote a paper on why I believed Judas Iscariot was a consumerist. I demonstrated how he traded the presence of Jesus for the world’s treasures and ultimately realized their worthlessness. It’s heartbreaking. Yet, if I’m not careful, the same temptations are poised to poison my heart, too.
I’ve learned it’s about keeping my hands open and not in my pockets. It’s about sharing what I’ve been given–and sharing it generously. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
If I hold too tightly to the things of this world, my hands become full of stuff, and it’s impossible to take hold of what God has for me. And what does He have? More than I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). But don’t mistake the meaning.
What it truly comes down to is the issue of the heart. I love Psalm 37, verse 4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
The truth is, when we spend time with God and genuinely delight in Him; He is what our heart desires. And that is definitely sweeter than honey or money and far better than a new pair of blue jeans.