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QUESTION: I want to get on the right track by having a budget and paying off my bills. I am having such a battle with knowing how to spend money, how to save and how to eliminate my debt.  I have a trip that is coming up with my pastor for the weekend. I want to go, but looking at my finances for this month, I don’t really have any extra money to go and I don’t want to put myself in a financial bind. But if I don't go, I don’t want to seem like I don't have faith that God will provide for the trip. Of course I trust God, live by faith, and I want to be a responsible steward over my money. Do I say no to this trip, since it's not in my budget, or trust that God will provide for my expenses plus the expense of the trip? I don’t want to disappoint the Lord or my Pastor. 


The discussion of “money” among Christians can be such a contentious subject.  It’s difficult to not look around the church and neighborhood to see what others are driving, wearing or doing and desire the same, or formulate an opinion on how they “should” better be spending their money.  It’s just human nature.

Nevertheless, as each of us is accountable to our own response to the saving knowledge of Christ, we are also individually responsible for what we do with and how we spend the money we are blessed with.

The Bible gives us many guidelines when it comes to money.  It warns us of the evils and consequence of “loving” money... 

For the love of money is the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10).

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  This too is meaningless (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

...And compiling wealth (Matthew 6:19).

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19).

However, you speak of debt versus the desire to serve with respect to the issue of faith and the role it plays.

What I have found to be God’s desire in my life (and believe it is true for all of us) is to live debt-free.  It does takes faith to trust God will provide for our financial needs, but in the same way we shouldn’t “test Him” by living financially recklessly and then pray He will deliver us from our irresponsibility.

Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:7).

Your desire is “to get on the right track by having a budget and paying off my bills” and you are the only one who can do it.  One of the more successful programs that are often offered in churches is Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.  Information can be found on Dave Ramsey's website.