Money is a gift from God. It is important that we see money the way God does… as a resource to allow His love for people to flow through us. This concept is illustrated in Psalm 112, revealing the lifestyle of a man who loves God and His word. Richard L. Eaton, author of Money with a Purpose (Amamzon), has experienced the life of a Psalm 112 man firsthand and has discovered the amazing fulfillment this lifestyle can bring. Here is how.
1. Rick, how would you describe your Christian existence before embracing Psalm 112 as your Life Game Plan?
I had been a tither from an early age, but I did not think being wealthy was part of God's plan for my life. I thought being wealthy and being righteous were two mutually exclusive things. We can go through life with wrong ideas that will keep us away from God's best for our lives. Wrong thinking brings undesirable results. That is where I was until the age of thirty. As Christians, we must base our thinking on what God declares in His word and not on our own ideas or experiences that may be contrary to what God has to say. We need to build our houses on rock, not sinking sand. 2. How would you describe your life now after experiencing the truths of Psalm 112?
In a word, revolutionary. Psalm 112 changed everything. One word from God (that is what Psalm 112 was for me) can change the entirety because I readjusted my thinking and what I believed about wealth and being in the right standing with God. For me, then, the two things were not mutually exclusive. But upon studying Psalm 112, I found it was God's will that believers have wealth (among other things) and that their wealth had a purpose. The purpose was to love people through that wealth. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. We become imitators of God when we express His love for people through our giving. There is no greater joy in life than that. And I believe we are more like Christ when we give to those who cannot help themselves. 3. What has this Bible Psalm taught you about giving, saving, and spending? Psalm 112 taught me that it is OK to have wealth if my wealth does not have me. Proverbs 3 tells us to honor the Lord with substance and the first fruits of all our increase. That is the beginning. By giving to God out of our first fruits, we acknowledge that God has given us the power to get wealth. Giving our first fruits to God, however, is only the beginning. The Psalm 112 man "disburses abroad his gifts to the poor." Gifts are over and above our first fruit gifts to God. I Corinthians 9 quotes Psalm 112 in describing the grace of giving that was on the lives of the Corinthian church when they gave to help the needs of the church in Jerusalem at that time. When we help others like that, God says that all grace will abound to us so that we can have our needs met and have an abundance to give to every good work!
Honestly, I am not as concerned about my spending as I am about my giving. Sure, I want to be responsible in my spending and honor God in that as well, but if I have my priorities straight, I have found that the spending takes care of itself. My father taught me to give to God first, always spend less than I make, save something out of every dollar made, and be generous to others. The last part I learned from my father's example. That may sound hard to do on a small budget, but if we get the first part right, God becomes our business partner and works with us by His grace, and there is always enough for every good work and having our own needs met, too.
"My father taught me to give to God first, always spend less than I make, save something out of every dollar made, and be generous to others. "
________________________________________________________________________ 4. People often say, "I don't make enough to give." What is the problem with that?
It may sound trite, but this is where faith comes in. We must believe what God has promised more than we believe what we see with our eyes. Malachi 3:10 tells us that if we give God the first 10th of our increase, He will get involved in our finances and open the windows of heaven to us. If we have the courage to take God at His word and start giving the first 10% to Him, we will see amazing things. Our church recently challenged people to take the "90-Day Tithe Challenge." If the people would commit to giving God the tithe for 90 days, the church would refund the tithe if they did not see a difference in their finances. I don't really agree with "trying" tithing, but the results were amazing. Something supernatural happens when we begin to trust God in our finances. If you have the attitude that you don't have enough to give, you will be stuck in that condition all your life. It takes courage, but it is a necessary first step to get on the path of supernatural generosity.
"If you have the attitude that you don't have enough to give, you will be stuck in that condition all your life."
5. Do you feel your success in life is because you obeyed God? Explain how and why, please.
Without a doubt. In fact, as a business, our company can trace our growth to the point when we began giving to missionaries out of the company's profits. We partnered with God, and He partnered with us. What a great arrangement.
6. Do you have any examples of where someone's finances changed because they began giving God His 10% due in a tithe?
Yes, many. Like a self-employed friend of mine who began tithing. The same week he began giving God that 10 percent, he received a new contract that more than covered the amount of his tithe. Another friend started tithing. She seemed never to have enough to make ends meet. Now, she always has enough to make ends meet. Nothing dramatic, but gradual.
It may not happen overnight, but God is at work in our finances when we put Him first. When we tithe, the Bible tells us that the devourer is rebuked for our sake. I have heard testimonies of peoples' "stuff" lasting longer. Articles like appliances, cars, equipment, and other items that normally must be replaced didn't break down as often. I have personally seen this in my own life. I have also heard of people getting deals on household goods they had to buy that did not cost them as much or that those needed items were given to them. We should not be focused on the greater income that comes but on the money we don't have to spend.
Haggai 1:6 says, "You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes."
What we can do to prevent the above calamity is found in the next verse..." Consider your ways." The people had been leaving God out of the equation. Putting God first with the tithe mends the holes in our pockets. People often say, "I can never get ahead." The remedy for that is to begin putting God first with the tithe.
7. What last word of advice or encouragement do you have on giving, saving, and spending WISELY?
Start now! Don't delay. Putting God and His word first in our finances brings great reward and a life of fantastic fulfillment. Giving your money a purpose allows you to live your best life!
Matthew 6:21--"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." _______________________________________________________________________ Martha Wild King, M.Ed., Author The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.