I was just reading an article that started out “Traditional Financial Advice Is No Longer Relevant.” My initial thought was, “Why not?” But further reflection led me to realize, much to my chagrin, that not everyone thinks the way I do. When it comes to money, my thinking is totally shaped around what the Scriptures teach about handling money and possessions. I firmly believe that most people would be much happier if they also shaped their financial thinking based on what the Bible teaches.
Isiah 55:8-9 tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Our culture is continuously trying to change our spiritual lives by bringing man’s ways into the Church instead of taking Christ’s ways out into the culture. In Matthew 28:19-20 we are challenged as disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” When we bring man’s ways to the Church we are doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus commanded us to do.
So what does all this have to do with the “new normal” as far as money? The article goes on to say that we should be living within our means. We should prioritize our spending. We should save as much as possible. We should find new ways to save money. We should build up our emergency fund and not purchase things just to stimulate the economy.
So how do these “new normal” suggestions compare to a Scriptural perspective? They are tracking exactly what we have been taught in the Scriptures! Stay out of debt, keep track of your expenses, know where your assets are and how they are being protected/invested. Focus on your needs (food, housing, clothing) and not your wants (everything else), and be content with what you have.
Our Scriptural economy has existed for more than several thousand years. Man’s economy changes almost as fast as the weather. In man’s economy people are looking for the next great item that is going to provide them with happiness. Unfortunately, most of the time they are already looking for somethings else before they get the last new item home from the store! Contentment and happiness are fleeting in man’s world.
Forget about the “new normal” for your finances. Why not take a look at the “old normal?” Pull your Bible out and pay attention to what the Scripture teach about money and possessions. Happiness isn’t measured by more things or more money. Happiness is measured through contentment and knowing all things come from a good and gracious God. Unknown to the authors of the article I read, the new normal is really the old normal, the author just didn’t realize it.