Hopefully, I've got your attention with this idea (because it's really important if you want to experience true financial freedom). But if you need some convincing, consider what Philippians 4:19 says: God will supply all of our needs.
Not some needs. Not most needs. All needs.
That means that you and I – any believer – we don't have a money problem. I choose to believe God for that.
So, if it's not a money problem, why is it a shame problem?
Just because God provides for all of our needs, does that mean we can't make bad decisions? Of course not! And speaking from personal experience, we all have the ability to get ourselves into some deep financial messes.
But if it's true that God is just waiting for us to show up to the financial fight so He can rush into our aid … what stops us from taking advantage of that?
This is where shame sneaks in.
Because there's some voice in your head that is saying, "You wouldn't be in this situation if you'd only …"
- Done better in school
- Saved more when you were younger
- Invested sooner
- Not gotten that coffee last week
- Put some of those groceries back
- Skipped that vacation
… and a million other voices of condemnation that hang like a cloud over whatever hopes and dreams you have that God could actually be FOR YOU.
But guess what the Bible has to say about condemnation? There is NONE in Christ (Romans 8).
THIS is why I have a problem with guilt and shame financial advice …
Yeah, you might be able to guilt someone into making a change, but it's not what God would do – and it will never stick.
So why do we try it on ourselves?
Why do we allow ourselves to wallow in a prison that we created for ourselves when God is ready to open the door?
In my view, this makes it dangerous to apply any financial advice before we've fixed the foundation. Because you might actually think you're improving but still be stuck in a shame-based relationship with money.
And there's no amount of money that will ever fix a deeper heart condition like this.
Breaking free from shame
Maybe you resonated with some of the internal voices of shame I listed earlier. Maybe you have your own. Or maybe you need to ask the Lord to search your heart and show you where you're believing a lie that He needs to replace with the truth.
Whatever the case, give this a try: write yourself a letter from Jesus.
If you've been carrying around shame for whatever reason, then sit down with pen and paper and ask God what He has to say about this situation.
Don't think too much about it. Just write down what starts coming to mind.
Let God know, "I've been carrying around the weight of this shame. I'm having trouble forgiving myself, and I think it might be causing me to doubt what You can do in my life. Will you show me the truth?"
I believe when we humble ourselves in this way, God WILL show up. As a pastor I follow has said, God wants to move where we want Him to move.
Editor's note: For those seeking a new way of looking at their relationship with money and who want to go deeper, SeedTime offers a six-week class – "True Financial Freedom" – that is designed for your church, small group, or individual study.
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