As you read scripture, you probably notice injunctions to help the poor, widows, orphans and other unfortunates. I believe that one of the reasons that God blesses some of us with resources is so that we can help others. When we properly manage our finances, and do well with the stewardship given us, we put ourselves in a position where we can help others. Blessings then increase for everyone involved.
Are You Putting Your Financial House in Order?
One of the basic truths about helping others is that it helps to be on firm footing yourself. Can you afford to take food to the local food bank if you can’t feed your own family? It is important to put your financial house in order and prepare yourself to be an instrument in God’s hand, helping the less fortunate. Here are some things you can do to help put your house in order:
- Get your debt under control: Stop spending in a way that adds to your debt. Begin paying down your debt. Debt represents financial bondage. In order to be financially free — and help others reach the same freedom — you need to begin throwing off the chains of debt. Make a debt repayment plan, and prepare to live debt-free where practical.
- Pay your tithe: My faith in tithing is quite strong. Tithing is, of course, something that is very personal, and the way you choose to pay it (if you choose to pay it) is between you and God. In my life, though, I have found that paying my tithing first has been a good way to ensure that my needs are met. Even in times of financial difficulty, my faith in paying tithing has always resulted in having what I need (even if sometimes I forgo what I want).
- Prepare for the future: Set aside money for the future, including an emergency fund and putting money in a retirement account. As you begin building toward a sound financial future, you will find that other things start to fall into place.
- Evaluate your spending habits, and make changes: Honestly look at your spending habits. Change poor habits so that the way you use money reflects your values and priorities.
Once your financial house is in order, with your debt repayment plan in place, your tithes going where they should, your habits on the mend and your future being built, you might notice that you have a little extra money. Or, perhaps, you have a little extra time. In either case, you likely find yourself in a position to help others. This help can including loaning money to friends and family who might need some help, providing a place for a relative to live while s/he looks for work, donating time to your favorite charity or buying groceries for someone who needs them.
However you decide to help, it can be a great opportunity to get outside yourself, providing service and drawing closer to God. If you are in a position to help others, through money or time, look around and see what you can do. You might be surprised at how it can become easier to keep your finances in order, and to better manage your time, when you take the time to serve others.
So, are you in a position to help others, or are you working towards being there as soon as possible?
Jon | Free Money Wisdom says
This is the beautiful thing about living debt free. You know those stories about people writing anonymous checks or taking in orphans? I want to do that as much as I can. I’m taking steps now so I can help people with the Lord’s resources for the remainder of my life. Encouraging post Miranda!
Michael V says
AS I sit here and read your article , I want to tell you it is the truth. I have done all of the above and have been blessed with the guidance to follow sound principles to become debt free, with an emergency fund and budget and retirement savings for my peace of mind. Knowing everyday that I am blessed to not only lived through multiple strokes, but to have followed the path I did. It allows me the chance to give back. Becuase the poor michael was going to heaven. now i must make sure the rich michael does too. As i read this article i was thinking what to do next. And as god as my witness i looked down to see the check i had written to a man i don’t know who was in the paper and had lost everything. They started a fund for him. I was going to the bank today. How i feel is amazing. With all my medical problems i feel terrible. This random act of giving makes me cry and puts me ontop of the world. Following this article and Dave Ramsey will help get you to be debt free so that giving back in some form becomes a part of what you do. The feeling you get is as priceless as being debt free and maybe more…….
michael v says
In short. if you can give, please do….
Interesting article. I agree that it is important to have your financial house in order but I don’t think it is needed before helping others. Some of the most popular biblical stories where people who gave everything, like the poor lady who gave her only two coins.
Michael V says
I agree that giving is important. Again having my financial house in order has allowed me to help more than i ever have before….In fact before I was the one who needed help…Although i needed help because it was my fault, i got help from strangers…..And now I do the same…….When my life was not sound, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and financially….I could help no one…….Yes we must remember to give back, in many ways……I will try to everyday…
I believe that people (Christians or not) are designed to help others either using our time, talent or treasure. I agree that we can help others more if we have fixed our house (faith, ready our hearts, getting out of debt, saving money, becoming rich, financially free and most of all knowing the purpose God intended for us) first.
Thank God for confirming things in my heart through this article. Thanks Miranda
I am struggling finacially and have recent found a great church that has a hold on my heart. I need to set my finances straight and just give to God. I am still unsure how to go about this. I am a good person who helps people as much as I can, even if it makes my financial situation hurt a little more. I think what I am lacking is God, because I keep paying it forward and nothing ever comes back around but more financial hardship. I keep praying and I keep helping others with my time and efforts and keep saying “God has a plan for me, this too with pass. Let go and let God” I have to beleive that it works, otherwise, I will end up pennyless very soon.