Do you remember the story of the twelve spies—the ones Moses sent out from the Israelites’ camp to spy on the inhabitants of the Promised Land? Two of the spies—Joshua and Caleb—came back with one story: “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!” (Num. 13:30). The other ten came back singing an entirely different tune. These ten leaders of Israel, after spending forty days in the land and examining both its bounty and its population, reported, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are! . . . To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them” (vv. 31, 33).
Look at what the ten guys said again. They said “to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.” Seeing the circumstances and task before them—conquering a whole lot of really big guys across the river—caused them to see themselves as insignificant and ineffective. Their perspective was skewed, and the biggest problem about that skewed perspective was how they saw themselves.
Key #1: Perspective (Contentment, Wisdom, and Faith)
Sometimes when we encounter financial hurdles or when we try to communicate with our spouse about money or when we imagine our financial future in the face of today’s demands, we encounter a perspective problem. We start to see ourselves as insignificant or ineffective. We begin to see the fight as insurmountable because the problems loom large.
Seeing overwhelming circumstances
Causes us to feel small (like grasshoppers)
So that the overwhelming circumstances seem bigger . . . and bigger
Until we decide we won’t take on the fight.
Financial battles are no small thing. They can take us into territory requiring new habits, new priorities, and new vision. Our perspective toward our financial issues makes all the difference in the world—perspective undergirds the way we view ourselves, our problems, our future, and our chances of victory. Without a perspective that is rooted in truth, we can end up wandering in the proverbial desert for a few years or more.
We’ve already talked about having a stewardship perspective. Believing that God owns it all is the most fundamental perspective shift about our money that we can adopt. But I believe there are a few other key biblical perspectives that are important to have when it comes to our money. All of these perspectives are ways to reorient ourselves away from the inevitable overwhelming circumstances around us and toward the truth of God’s wisdom about money. They undergird us with a firm foundation, strengthening what is under the waterline. Having these perspectives makes us strong for the financial battles that are inevitable.
Ron Blue and Karen Guess, Never Enough? 3 Keys to Financial Contentment (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017).
We have just released a new Bible study on biblical book of Never Enough.
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