One of the first casualties of the fall was humankind’s ability to be honest with ourselves. When God caught Adam and Eve in the garden, they immediately denied their responsibility. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent.
Most of us struggle with self-deception too. We are continually misleading ourselves about who is to blame for our mistakes and whether we are living up to our ideals. One of the most significant problems is when we lie to ourselves about how spiritually mature we are. Most of us know enough about Christianity to convince ourselves that we are more spiritually advanced than we truly are.
But there is one area that always tells us the truth.
The Story Our Bank Account Tells
If we care to listen, our bank account will tell us a lot about our spiritual state. Spending time looking through our spending, saving, and investment history will tell us:
How disciplined we are
The first thing we notice when we look at our finances is how disciplined and organized we are. Do you know how much money you have in various accounts? Do you know how much you spend on coffee or entertainment? This is an area of our lives where it pays to have things in order.
Where our priorities lie
There is often discrepancy between what we believe we have prioritized and what we really value. When we look closely at where we spend our money, our true values become more visible.
How generous we are
Most people want to think of themselves as charitable, but the proof is in the numbers. Looking at how much we genuinely spend on helping others, or giving to churches and nonprofits that do, will tell us a lot about our generosity.
How we see the future
Our finances will also tell us a lot about our view of the future. If we are pessimistic about the future and feel like it is our responsibility to make sure that we are going to be safe and secure, our bank account will alert us.
True Motives & Priorities
All of these areas come together to reveal something about our stewardship. Stewardship means we believe that God owns everything and we are to manage (steward) those resources. Most Christians think of themselves as good stewards, but our bank accounts tell the truth. That is why Jesus spoke so often about finances. How we use the assets in our lives provide a pure reflection or our motives, desires, and priorities.
Spirituality touches every aspect of our life. There is no way to compartmentalize areas in our life that are left untouched by a vibrant relationship with God. One cannot say, “I am spiritually mature, but it does not impact my relationships or finances.” The thing that makes finances unique is that it is a record of decisions and choices intersecting with our entire life. If we are serious about growing spiritually, we will take a close look at our bank account.
What do your finances tell you?