A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his path ~ Proverbs 16:9
I have not accomplished many of the things I planned for my life. But that is just it. It used to be all about: Me. Years ago, I was looking for acting roles that would help me make my mark in the world and wasn’t too concerned with sharing my faith or being in a project that may make a mark with the Gospel.
But my acting goals are not the only thing God has refocused a bit. I’ll share a few more regarding my finances…
A Happy Home
My husband and I were, at one point, planning to purchase a home through means that I now believe Christians should avoid. This house was going to satisfy our desires, but God was not leading me to “buy” a house with debt.
God planted something else in my heart. We’re working towards owning a few free and clear properties and buying land that will be a home base for the Trinity Phix ministry. We’ll open the doors to anyone in need. It will also be place to fellowship, have events, and retreats. Though, I don’t know when this will happen.
I also know that my value does not lie in a house or any possession I have–but in Christ. And as this battle boils within, God simmers the struggle with His Truth. Whatever my current shelter is, whether it’s a house, an apartment, a motel, car, RV, tent, cardboard box, or under His sun & moon, I’m at peace with that. I know that my true home is not on this earth. And no matter where I am, I have God, so I am always at home.
Wise Saving & Investing?
In the world, you will find there are many ways to invest and/or save your money. You could simply get a traditional savings account, treasury notes, or opt-in to your employer’s retirement plan; you can invest in mutual funds, bonds, stocks, real estate or startups, etc. Of course, my financial plans and goals included some of this because this is what the world teaches. God stepped in and told me to be cautious and Biblically discerning while treading here. I should be picky about who I partner with for investing & business purposes. 2 Corinthians 6:14 definitely fits here.
Consider banks and other lenders, for example; most know that people were ripped off as their money piles up (Proverbs 28:8), and these types of businesses are ruthless. They are not entities I want to partner with. The Bible tells us to be merciful (Luke 6:36). Besides, Christians should be involved with lending that seeks nothing in return (Luke 6:34-35)–no matter how much people want to twist passages or scriptures (like Matthew 25:27) to justify lending at interest. And… you do not have to opt-in to your job’s pension scheme; you can save for retirement in creative ways.
Let’s not even talk about what some companies & banks do with your money as you let it accumulate. Depending on your lifestyle, some things you might not be able to escape, like having a regular (non-interest bearing) checking account–though Islamic banks could be a better option as they do not operate like a typical bank. For example, they do not lend at interest or invest in unethical industries; some Christians are beginning to put their money in these banks.
Just consider that there is a difference between using a service or buying something from an entity because you need it and actively partnering with a company and profiting off of what it does. For example, one may not yolk him or herself with a business by buying stock in the company but may buy an asset like property from the entity. No union there; you simply bought something for sale, and the transaction is done. Now, some people are even picker regarding who they buy from. I understand that; however, we do live in a sinful world. We often have to buy food, property, etc from entities we may not agree with. In Biblical times, people had similar issues, but we know we should not partner with unbelievers in business.
A Few Things I do Now
My husband and I live debt-free lives and are location independent. We are working towards becoming financially independent and learning how to live well on less. Our goal is to live off a small percentage of our income; it is used for giving, saving, investing, food, and other basic expenses. We are increasing our knowledge to become more self-sustaining. We try to make the few purchases we make, count. We aim to not waste money on things that will quickly depreciate.
If we need clothes or shoes (which is rare), we usually buy gently used high-end, vintage, or antique clothing made of natural materials (silk, linen, cashmere wool, leather, etc). These are healthier than fake materials, even if the production process was not perfect. Every now and then, we go ahead and buy from a sustainable indie designer who uses natural, organic fabrics and dyes. Or we sketch and design something and hire a freelance seamstress to bring our ideas to life if I can’t do it myself.
Most items we buy should naturally appreciate (or at least maintain value) if we need to liquidate some assets–except for a few electronics.
And there are other ways to set a little aside to save (Proverbs 6:6-8) or invest to help your family & those in need. Of course, some options could serve multiple purposes. As you filter through your choices with the Holy Spirit, consider old and new methods to diversify a bit (Ecclesiastes 11:2):
> Certain real estate
> Gold, silver, copper–gold is highly liquid, then silver
> Fine wine
> Vtg high-end designer clothing
> Fine gemstones/crystals
> Classic cars
> Fine jewelry
> Startups of fellow Christians u agree/own percentage of Co.
> Start your own business or buy one
> Keep some valuables in a buried, immovable safe
> Digital assets (buy websites, domains, cryptocurrency, etc)
> Other collectibles like art
You can even do stuff online, let it accumulate, & much more. You will have to do some work, research, and due diligence for most of the options above. It is best to invest in what you know, or seek out counsel. Just remember that if you are Christian, your faith lies in Jesus Christ; these are just things, which should be held loosely.
We know that our treasure is not in temporal things (Matthew 6:19-21). So most importantly we must give our time, gifts, & money to God. I don’t have much, but the time, gifts, things, & money God gives me, I share with others, the needy, and various ministries.
It’s funny how I was living in my own little world thinking my financial plans & goals were good. Thankfully, God gave me some clarity, altered my financial paradigm, & brainwashed me; he washed my filth-stained soul.
And, of course, God continues this filtering process, as I am constantly evolving. And it is not always this beautiful experience that emits a pleasant fragrance in the air. Sometimes it stinks. It stinks because, sometimes, I just don’t like what He says.
But I am letting go of my plans and goals, allowing God to work in me and guide me. I am truly thankful that He has God-centered my self-centered plans.
You have many choices in life, but your choice can either be led by the Holy Spirit or not. I can admit that there were many times in my life that I was leading myself. But now, at least, I know I’m striving.
I’m glad that even our self-willed plans are still His Plan, as we’re constantly growing and make mistakes unknowingly. I just fear that, at times, some of us do not listen to what the Bible & the Holy Spirit says because it interferes with our goals & plans. And if you allow your flesh to guide you, then you are not serving God–but the enemy.