Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. ~Proverbs 30: 8b-9
When I was a young child, I took gymnastics. Walking across the balance beam was a challenge. You must understand how ridiculously clumsy I was as a kid. I’m still clumsy, but I rarely stayed upright as a child. I fell down more flights of stairs than is safe. I tripped over air. I fell off things, on things, and from things. I was on the floor so often, it didn’t even phase my family when they found me in a heap.
And, God knew how clumsy I would be, because He gave me very strong bones. It’s shocking I survived childhood, but that I survived it without any broken bones is truly miraculous.
I still have a difficult time walking a straight line.
Finding balance doesn’t come naturally or easy for me. It’s a struggle to stay upright on some days, especially in fancy shoes.
Just as we all lose our physical balance from time to time, sometimes we also tend to get out of balance with our finances.
On one side, greed, desire, and want can easily tip the scale and throw us out of balance. Before we know what’s happening, the almighty dollar is running our lives. We live for it. We give anything for it. We sacrifice good things on the altar of money. Money becomes our focus, an idol of sorts.
But, then there’s the other side, the side we don’t often talk about. When you have too little money to live, sometimes money can also become the focus, just in a different way.
Because we have too little, we’re constantly thinking, plotting, scheming, and working to meet our most basic needs. Money consumes our thinking, not the abundance, but the need. We’re worried about the credit calls or the eviction notice. We count every penny and hold them close to our heart. We need every single penny.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that when we don’t have enough money, it can monopolize our minds, our heart, and our lives. It can become an idol of sorts, in that it takes center stage. Money becomes our first priority, our love.
And I think of the verses in Proverbs – “Give me neither poverty nor riches…lest I be full, and deny thee, and say who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
Now, please don’t misunderstand, I believe you can be rich and not deny the Lord. I also believe you can poor and not steal or curse God. You can live a holy life whether rich or poor. Yes and absolutely!
However, finding balance becomes a bit more difficult at either extreme. Temptations are greater.
It’s easy to get tripped up when you’re walking on the financial balance beam.
What can we do to help find balance?
I’m not financial expert and honestly, we’re not in a great place financially. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re working to get there.
Here are few things that help keep us in balance.
- Remember, God provides. Philippians 4:19
- Enjoy your blessings. Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
- Give with abandon. Proverbs 19:17, Acts 20:35
- The borrower is servant to the lender. Always and always. Proverbs 22:7
- Distinguish between need and want. Philippians 4:11
- Work hard. Colossians 3:23, Proverbs 13:4
- Pay bills and stay out of debt. Psalm 37:21
- Rich or poor, one is not more Godly than the other. Proverbs 28:6, Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 10:22
- God gives us all talents. Some have the talent of making money. Matthew 25:14-30
- Money is not bad; the love of money is bad. I Timothy 6:10
- Learn to be content. Philippians 4:11
- Don’t despise or look down on the rich or poor. James 2:1-9
- Save. Proverbs 21:20
These principles will help keep us in balance, because they are Biblical, not because they sound good or make a great blog post. I believe we can find financial balance in our lives, because that’s what God told us to do. In His word, He tells us how.
It doesn’t mean there will never be times of need and it doesn’t mean there won’t be times of great abundance, but through it all, in whatever state, I believe we can find a Biblical balance regarding our finances.
I’m still learning to walk a straight line. At times, you’ll still find me in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, but I’m getting better and better at finding my physical balance.
I hope I’m also learning to find balance in my finances and contentment in my heart. I’m not anywhere near that place yet, but God’s not finished with me either. This life is all about learning and growing and becoming more like Him. There’s still time to find my balance.
What about you?
What are your thoughts on this subject?
Can you see how living in extreme abundance or poverty can make it more difficult to find balance? It’s certainly not impossible, but perhaps the temptation is greater?
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