When we make decisions our choices have the potential to affect one of the following three parties in either a positive or negative way:
Jesus himself identifies that the righteous decisions are those that first honor God and second benefit others.
““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV)
Jesus is a perfect example of this God-first, others-second habit:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:3-8, NIV)
Here is a simple way to apply these to passages to your decision making. When you are getting ready to do something ask the question, “who does it benefit?” If you are the only one to benefit from a decision, it it likely lacking the spiritual quality God desires. If, however, God will receive glory or others are helped it would be to their benefit. Fortunately, because of the way God made us there are some choices that benefit God, others, and self. For example, giving honors God, helps others, and is a grace we enjoy.
This perspective can be applied to many things including our wealth, our position, our influence, our friendships, our prayer, and more.
Ask yourself, is my wealth being used for God’s glory? Is my wealth being used for the benefit of others? Is my wealth being used to satisfy only my cravings and desires? May God teach us always to honor him with our finances as we help others.