| MOSAIC June 2013
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow…” – Matt 6:34a NIV
Really? Don’t worry about tomorrow? I don’t think I’ve heard that message from any of today’s top financial advisors.
In this world of panic over stock markets, housing markets, job security, increased interest rates, lost pensions there is a lot to make us worry. Advisors tell us we need a million dollars in our retirement fund just to survive! Listening to the news just raises our panic and dread over our future. Many are thinking: “We don’t have enough for today, never mind enough for retirement!”
But Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow…”
Now before we think it’s ok to stop saving altogether, it is important to remember the second part of this verse: “ …for tomorrow will worry about itself. ” Not saving and accumulating debt simply adds today’s trouble to tomorrow’s. So saving for emergencies and future needs is a wise thing to do.
But that should not take away our focus on today – and what we are to do with what we’ve been given today. Our opportunities, abilities, relationships, work, health, time, resources and money. The biblical message tells us that we are given enough for this day. In the dessert, there was always enough manna for the day (hoarding only spoiled the gift). In the New Testament, Jesus reminds us to ask God for our daily bread (not tomorrow’s) and to use today to seek His kingdom with all we have. He tells us that what gives life meaning is giving it away. This was – and still is – a counter cultural message.
Instead of worrying, remember that God is trustworthy – and he trusts us to make us his stewards. And also remember that God gives us everything we need to do what he has called us to (2 Peter 1:3).
If we really believe this, then the questions we may have to ask ourselves is what did we do with what God has already provided? Did we waste it? Did we use what God bless us with to put ourselves into the bondage of debt? Did we bring our master a return on his investment in us and all that he has provided? Or worse yet, did we rob God by not giving?
These are tough questions. And some of the answers we may not like if we are honest.
But the hope and promise of our God is that we can always stop the way we always do things and turn around. To seek His kingdom first. And discover that our money and life has the power to change the world when we give it away.
So what do we do if we’ve really made a mess of things? What do we do if we are deep in debt? What if we have no money left to give away? What if we’ve wasted the skills, opportunities and resources that God has given us?
Take hope. With God’s help, choose to be the faithful steward he has trusted you to be. Then start looking around you and see what God has already provided you with – resources, opportunities, imagination, creativity, relationships, and abilities.
Then ask the important questions:
- Where has God placed me?
What are the opportunities in my own backyard? What is training is available that can help me handle money better? Or improve my skills so that I can take advantage of new opportunities? What part time jobs are available so that I can eliminate my debt and free up those debt payments to use in a better way?
- What has God given me?
What am I passionate about? What things am I good? What do I need to improve on? What are the resources/skills that I already have and how can I steward them better than I have in the past?
- What is God saying to me?
This requires that we take time to pray and ask God – but also time to listen for what he is saying to us. What has he call me to do?
- And finally – What am I going to do about it?
This is the hard part. Deciding to do something. About your debt. About what you do with the God’s given you – whether you think it is a little or a lot. About how you will invest all you have for His Kingdom. About your neighbour. About those that God cares about – the poor, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the disenfranchised and how God has placed you here to look after them.
Answering these questions – and doing something about them – may not make you extremely rich, or provide for your ‘freedom 55 retirement’. But it will bring you life and freedom. And it will change the world. And best of all, it will let you hear the Master say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matt. 25:23).
Now you can stop worrying.