It is the second biggest cause of stress at the holiday season. Matter of fact, it is a major cause of stress all year long for many people. None of us like to talk about money, but the Scripture has a lot to say about how important it is to have margin in our finances. Money doesn't seem like a spiritual matter, but Jesus seemed to think it was a big deal. Not only is it a big deal during the holiday season, it is a big deal every day.
1. When we think of the word “spiritual,” what comes to mind? Why do we hardly ever think of money in spiritual terms?
2. God steered his people to practice and observe the tithe. In tithing, His people realized they didn't have total discretion in what they did with 100% of their money. It taught them that they needed to learn to live on less than what they brought in. Why is this an important lesson for us as well?
3. When we have no margin in our finances, obedience and generosity are the first things to go. Why do you think that is?
4. Jesus said that our hearts are led by our treasure and not the other way around. Have you found that to be true?
5. Discuss your reactions to the statement, “Happiness isn’t the outcome of your income.”
6. In what areas do you struggle with contentment?
7. Do you feel as though you currently have enough margin to be both obedient in giving to God and generous in giving to people? What difference do you think it would make to have that margin?
8. Do you think it's possible to lower your standard of living and experience a higher quality of life? Why or why not?
Sit down and budget. Begin to take steps to create margin.
Be obedient: give to God first.
Be prudent: save and create margin.
Be content: live on the rest.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.