Many people believe that financial freedom will be obtained only when they have lots of money and material things. This is a deception from the world. God warns us: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
Over the past 30 years, I have seen many wealthy people who have no peace in the area of finances. They are not “financially free.” They are stressed out by money-related problems, such as, Where should I invest my money? or, What if I lose my money? Sometimes they are workaholics with an unquenchable desire to accumulate more and more. Worry and anxiety dominate their minds in regard to money-related issues.
True financial freedom comes only from having God’s peace and joy in the area of finances. To obtain God’s peace and joy in respect of finances, I believe that the following steps would be appropriate:
1. Believe that it is God’s truth that will set you free from the deceptions of this world. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31, 32, emphasis added).
2. Recognize God’s truth that we are stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Our responsibility is to apply God’s financial principles and do God’s will. God’s promise is that if we put him first, he will meet our needs (Matthew 6:31–33). Once you have fulfilled your responsibility, you can “cast your cares on the Lord” (Psalm 55:22) and trust God to meet your needs. This should enable you to enjoy God’s peace.
3. With God’s help, learn to be content with God’s provision. The apostle Paul said,
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11–13, emphasis added)
4. Acknowledge that the accumulation of money and material things is temporary and not of any eternal value. (See Matthew 6:19–21.) In short, from an eternal perspective, God’s truth is that a selfish desire to become wealthy has no value.
5. Experience the joy of giving. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Giving with a cheerful heart and out of your love for God enables you to be free from the love of money and to experience the joy of giving.
In summary, one of the deceptions of this world is that financial freedom comes from having lots of money and material things. True financial freedom comes only from having God’s peace, joy, and contentment in the area of finances.