Three Places That Can Revolutionize How You Manage Money

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Most of what we know is simply a culmination of our experiences. 

God uses those experiences to form us. 

While I often point out the Biblical teachings that have formed my view of money, today I want to do something different and talk about events and activities that have shaped how I think about money.

If you participate in these types of events, I bet they will help change you, too.

Funeral

Funerals make me introspective. 

In a short service, your life is summarized and categorized by its fundamentals.  Perhaps I’m just morbid, but funerals always help me put things in perspective. 

  • Am I spending time on things that really matter?
  • Am I prioritizing things and giving attention to items with lasting value?
  • Will there be an eternal reward for me?

Funerals make me realize that the game of building, storing, and accumulating is so silly.

Mission Field

Living five years in a developing nation has changed me.

When I went on my first short term mission trip, I remember God challenged me in so many ways to rethink my view of money. 

  • Is my obligation only to myself?
  • How should I responsibly manage what I have?
  • If God expects more from those to whom he gives more, then does God want me to be doing more?

I encourage anyone to go on a mission trip (especially to a developing country), as it ultimately helps you develop a godly world view.

Hospital

Several years ago (or many years ago) I spent a day at MD Anderson in Houston (a hospital that specializes in cancer treatment). 

During that day, I met several cancer patients who were afflicted by the disease at various levels.

That day changed me.

In the afternoon, I sat with a terminal patient who was saying good bye to his young kids.  While I was there to be a support, I found there was little strength or guidance within me to offer this man. 

Once again, it was a reminder of my mortality, but it also reaffirmed that life is too short for the mundane. 

Working to pay the bills just doesn’t cut it with such a brief lifespan.

It made me want to be sure that I was investing my life in things that truly make a difference in the lives of others.  Something that makes a contribution to the Kingdom of God.

While it might seem like these events have very little to do with money, they offer the perspective necessary to responsibly handle my money and career. 

What events have transformed how you look at money?

Comments

  1. says

    The mission field definitely changed the way I handle money. It’s probably also annoyed my friends and family. :)

    I can’t buy Stuff anymore. If it doesn’t have a use, I don’t want to waste money on it. My mom loves Stuff, especially kitchy stuff that is used once a year. My dad and I found six Christmas wreathes, and my mom still “needed” to buy another. She has *several* different bunnies for Easter, yet when we went to a craft show she “needed” to buy another one “because it was cute”. I argued with her about it in public. For some reason, that absolutely drives me bananas now.

    I didn’t used to be like that! I’d buy comics just because they were Superman and toys just because they “clever” (my favorite is still my Potato Head Storm Trooper with a potato masher for a laser gun) or had to do with Lord of the Rings (I have LOTR chess, Risk, and Monopoly, to name a few).

    The thing is, when I found out the girl who would eventually become my wife would sometimes go to college hungry because they had no money at the end of the month for food, my attitude on buying things for things’ sake completely changed.

    The other thing that changed was my desire to drive down debt. If I had had none, God would have kept me in the mission field. He wants to send me back, but I owe too much money. Every dollar I find is going towards debt now.

    I can’t wait until I have no more debt, because then I can use what God gives me to bless others even more.

    -j

  2. JMD says

    I certainly agree that the areas you have mentioned have impacted how we have changed and are still changing our lives and how we handle money. We have helped to bury various family members that had not been able to save for their final expenses. We also have incurred staggering medical bills from facing cancer and the treatments twice.

    One thing we have definitely learned is to save and then save some more. Live debt free and trust God for guidance in all areas.

  3. says

    I grew up in Portugal and I can say first hand that it does change you—for the better. I know for a fact that because of my missionary experience in Portugal materialism has less of a hold on me than it would have. It also gave me the perspective that there are others out there suffering in abject poverty. It keeps you grounded and centered on Who really matters.

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