If you want to avoid conflict you generally don’t talk about a few specific things … especially money. Even in the church this topic often escalates to a heated discussion. This is especially true for the Christian struggling financially; which if we’re honest is the majority of the church. Why is it that a people who rightly believe God will bless every area of their lives struggle so desperately in this area? Why do we have so many broke Christians today? Today, lets discuss 6 reasons Christians are broke. If I can get through them (I, who hated taking finance and accounting and anything else math related in college) you guys will breeze through it!
They think God wants them to be poor (or at least doesn’t want them to be rich)
God tells us to not place emphasis on earthly riches plain and simple. However, some people seem to take this scripture as an excuse to not manage their money AT ALL. They neglect the resources God has given them and are … dun dun DUNN … poor stewards.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
Being rich should not be a Christians goal in life. Setting money up as an idol messes up the priority that God should be in our life. However, Christians should at least strive to manage their goods well and be financially stable.
Anyone who does not take care of his family and those in his house has turned away from the faith. He is worse than a person who has never put his trust in Christ. 1 Timothy 5:8
Scripture tells us that we should provide for our families and be good stewards of whatever resources God has blessed us with. That means whither you are a student still in school or a multi-millionaire you should manage what money you have responsibly.
If you are a parent you are responsible for passing on these good stewardship skills to your children. These lessons will be valuable tools to them one day. Having stable finances also allows you to be ready to GIVE TO OTHERS if and when the Spirit prompts you. We know from scripture that it is more blessed to give than to receive and having all the little money ducks in a row opens that door to you.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8
They are a “Once A Week Christian”
They attend Sunday service (usually… or at least kinda regularly) but don’t have a real relationship with God. Lacking this relationship leaves you un-attuned to the will of God for ALL your decisions … including your financial ones. How can you expect God to bless you financially if you don’t ever speak to him … or only do so when you get in a mess and want him to fix it. If you are not regularly talking to God (praying unceasingly), reading and studying the message he left us (that dusty bible sitting on the shelf), and fellowshipping with other believers (whose financial success and mistakes you can learn from) … how can you expect to be anything other than broke? God will speak to you through this personal time with him to guide you in all areas of you life … even your finances.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14
They neglect the spiritual side of things
Releasing our finances to the will of God is by no means easy, but my every means necessary. He gives us protection and covering over all the areas of our life we release to him. So why not hand over our finances?
Isn’t it ironic that we are willing to trust him with our souls but not our checkbook? There are three important ways to place our finances under this spiritual protection.
1. Pray over your finances: Pray specifically for God to touch, bless, and protect each area of your finances. IE: your paycheck, savings, investments, retirement, etc
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19
2. Speaking the word of God (and his promises) over your finances: God’s word is powerful and proclaiming it aloud over a financial situation is one way to bless it. Essentially, doing so is claiming the promises that the particular scripture gives over your specific situation.
The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22
3. Fasting and Praying (which deserves a whole post): Fasting and praying is a lost and dying art that I’ll admit I don’t do enough of. I used to, but like everyone else I just seem to get too busy and preoccupied with day-to-day tasks. In doing so, I and so many others fail to utilize what is quite possibly the most powerful spiritual tool God has given us. When fasting we remove all the distractions that keep us from drawing truly close to God reaching that one on one communication.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6
They neglect the physical side of things
Prayer and our other spiritual tools should always come first for a Christian BUT we can’t neglect the tried and true wisdom in physical practices. God is more than able to supernaturally rain $100 dollar bills down on your front lawn if that is how he so pleases to cure your financial woes. But how often do you see that happen? Without even attempting to read God’s mind here, what is more likely to occur is that through increased time in the word and prayer God will begin to guide you to practical steps you must physically ACT UPON to manage your money. Some of these might include: make and live by a budget, invest (real estate, stocks, a business, money market, etc), HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND, get out of debt… even if that means cutting up some cards, get a second job or quit your current one, start a side hustle or two (aka diversify your income).
And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? Luke 6:11
Good money practices are something I think it’s a tragedy we aren’t taught in the public school system today. However, thanks to Google it’s an easy search away to learn how to balance a checkbook or budget, ways to save money on everyday items, how and when to start saving for retirement, and just about any other money question you may have. If you truly have no idea when to start many colleges and banks hold free money management classes that can give you a jump start.
Here are a few free online courses to get you started:
They neglect their tithe and offering
You mean you have to give money away to NOT be broke??? Yep! This is a big one and if your interested in more of the meat and bones of it read my article Financing God’s Way 101. The short and sweet version is that giving back a small portion of what God has given you opens up the doors of blessing. We are basically giving a physical demonstration to God that we trust him enough to take care of us that we will give his church a portion of what is actually already his. If we try to hold back from God what is already his we will end up with nothing at all.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops Proverbs 3:9
And remember ladies, we must give with a willing and thankful spirit. If you give physically but WORRY about the money constantly you are holding back what is most important to God… your heart. Remember, it doesn’t matter to God how much you give but that you give with the right heart and spirit.
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4
They have a “poor spirit”
I read somewhere that being broke is temporary but being poor is life long. What that means to me, and what I have seen in many people, is that they have grown so accustomed to living without that they have no desire or hope of rising to something more. They are so used to not paying bills, begging gas money, losing jobs due to preventable actions, or not having enough nutritious food that they become numb to it. Often times they even seem to quit caring about cleaning their homes regularly and well. It is as if a spirit of poverty pervades every aspect of their life. And it is a spirit, have no doubt. Just one of the many deceptions the devil employs to drag a Christian down.
Jesus calls us to life and life more abundantly. Like I stated earlier, this doesn’t mean striving to be rich but to strive to be a good manager of what you have. Doing so and placing your means under God’s protection will allow your finances to be blessed.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
These are the 6 reasons Christians are broke today that appear the most common. Falling into one or more of these categories doesn’t make you a bad Christian, just a flawed one like the rest of us *wink wink*. We all have struggles and weak areas, that’s why we need a big big God who can hold us up. Recognizing these areas of struggle is just the first step in allowing ourselves to be shaped just a little bit more into the likeness of Christ. Who, honestly, looks a lot better than we do!
Have you fallen into one or more of these categories or do you know of one I missed? Comment about it below!