A: Let me assure you that God is concerned about every area of our lives, including our finances. In fact, you’d probably be surprised how often the Bible talks about money, and our responsibility to use it wisely.
I’m sure almost any financial advisor would give you the same advice I would: Put down your income and your expenses on a sheet of paper, then prepare a balanced budget you can live with. That will probably mean cutting out some expenses you wish you could keep, but you’ll never overcome your debts until you do. Develop a realistic budget, then stick to it, regardless of the inconvenience.
The real question you must face, however, is this: What place does money have in your lives? Is it more important to you than God? I know that’s a blunt question, but most of us have become too concerned with material things, and we could live far simpler than we actually do. Jesus warned, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13).
This is why the most important thing you can do is put Christ at the center of your lives, including your finances. God has blessed you in many ways; almost every day I get a letter from someone who’s without a job or struggling far more than you are. Thank God for all He has given you, then ask Him to help you not only live within your income, but also to use your money wisely and for His glory.
Q: I supposedly gave my life to Jesus at a church camp when I was a teenager, but it didn’t last. I guess it was just an emotional experience that faded away. My life since then hasn’t been all that happy, and now that I’m older I wonder, have I missed something? — Mrs. M.G.
A: I have no doubt that your life would have been very different if you’d grown in your faith instead of letting it fade away. God’s plan for every believer is that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
What difference would Christ have made in your life? For one thing, He would have given you wisdom to face life’s decisions and problems. God doesn’t want us to drift aimlessly through life, trusting only in ourselves and our wisdom. Instead, God loves us, and wants to guide us so we avoid life’s pitfalls and discover His perfect plan for our lives. The Bible says, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).
In addition, when we give our lives to Christ, we become part of His family forever — and that means we’re never alone. Not only is God with us, but we also are surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ who care about us and can help us. The Bible says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
But listen: God still loves you, and it’s not too late to turn to Christ. You can’t change the past but you can learn from it. By faith open your heart and life to Jesus Christ and build your life on the truth of His Word, the Bible. You will never regret it.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.