Good finance is a matter of the heart

Early this year, I meticulously detailed my savings and investment returns. The numbers were growing (Phew, after all the swings last year), but something was missing, there was no glow - like the invisible, unimaginable, indescribable hand of God is missing. Soon after, He asked me to make a giving that I was reluctant, and He gave me this word.

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. - Philippians 3:19

In my journey towards financial independence, I've often lost sight of the real reason for being good with money. The increase in numbers can easily take place as the sole indicator of success (which is still important, but not the only purpose). I see money problems as a number problem. When that happens, money became so personal that I no longer surrender to God. I withheld spending that is purposeful and only considered this side of eternity. I've held onto my money selfishly, doubting God's goodness and wisdom in how I should use it.

On the contrary, my mentor does not have a financial plan, and they never withhold spending or giving. What I saw as vulnerable in a human eye, is testimonies after testimonies of how God provided and made them a blessing to others.

Above the numbers, solving personal finance issues is a matter of the heart. It may be less noticeable when you don't have much to spend, but the little things you buy or save still reflect your dreams and insecurities. If you have more income, the heart reflection is amplified in the lifestyle you choose. Life pursues of identity, beauty, self-confidence...the list goes on.  This is especially true for people who deal with relationship issues. 

And again, our personal desire will never be contented. To deal with money as money, without a heart of contentment, will be a never-ending run. 

Before we can start a budget or planning our investment,  it is imperative to know what we are searching for in our finance. We need to be able to answer:  Does your spending reflects who you think you are?

Timothy Keller once describes this, we are most satisfied when God is most glorified. If that is true, then best spend is one that holds up the purpose that God has given you.  For me, it's a calling to plant in faith amidst unknowns. For you, it may be something else like investing in learning or caring for someone.

At the end of Philippians, Paul ends with, "And God will meet all your needs according to his glories riches in Christ Jesus." - Generally, it's not about being extremely frugal or finding faith to save money. Our life purpose is bigger than that.