What is financial freedom?
True financial freedom involves understanding and applying God’s principles for handling money. God’s Word mentions money more than eight hundred times—God is serious about teaching us the right way to handle money. Be warned: The choice to follow God’s plan for money may require you to reject some financial practices that are widely accepted.
Most importantly, financial freedom is recognizing that true prosperity comes only from God. “It is he [God] that giveth thee power to get wealth … ” (Deuteronomy 8:18). You must choose to serve God rather than money, because you cannot successfully serve two masters. (See Matthew 6:24.)
To be financially free, you must:
- Understand how financial obligations influence your priorities.
- Choose a good name over riches.
- Work diligently.
- Conquer slothfulness.
- Live within your means.
- Make wise purchases.
- Avoid debt.
- Try to get the best buy.
As you apply God’s principles, you will experience true freedom.
Freedom to Bring Glory to God
Exchanging eternal riches for the temporary pleasures of wealth only produces more greed. The more you gain, the more you want. When a believer is forced to borrow money to meet his basic needs, God’s reputation is dishonored, because God has promised to supply everything we need. However, if you follow God’s principles of finance, you will bring Him glory as others see His faithful, abundant, and timely provision in your life. (See Philippians 4:19.)
Freedom to Honor the Lord
A commitment to tithe (to give 10% of your income back to God) affirms His ownership of all that you possess. In Proverbs 3:9–10, we are instructed, “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” The testimony of financial freedom honors the Lord.
Freedom to Give to Others
Money is a gift from God. One of the benefits of financial freedom is the ability to give generously and cheerfully as you see needs in the lives of others. (See II Corinthians 9:6–12.) Financial freedom equips you with a plan to fulfill your financial obligations without fear of “not having enough.” (See Luke 14:28 and Proverbs 21:20.) You can even include “gifts to others” in your budget and then be alert to God’s direction to invest in the lives of others as needs arise.
Freedom to Live Peacefully
Provision for every need is a demonstration of God’s power and love. (See Matthew 6:30.) Those who are financially free can avoid the stress and other difficulties that accompany financial pitfalls.
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Timothy 6:9-10). We, too, must heed these warnings.
Freedom to Focus on Family Priorities
When a financial crisis occurs, family priorities often take a back seat. Working late hours, overtime, and the demands of taking on a second or third job add unwelcome pressures to the family as relationships suffer from lack of attention. However, families who maintain financial freedom can avoid those pressures and invest in their relationships instead of mainly focusing on ways to pay the bills.
As you study God’s Word, be attentive to His guidelines for financial freedom. Do not put your trust in riches, but “trust … in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).