How To Reduce Money Stress
The American Psychological Association reports that our #1 source of stress is money.
What if you could significantly reduce your anxiety over money? There is a way.
The key to reducing financial stress is to make a kingdom first calculation in your finances. Jesus stated it like this,
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33
Jesus calls us to subscribe to a kingdom first life-management plan. This means that life decisions are no longer my decisions, their God's decisions. It's no longer about doing it my way, but His way. Money included.
Sure, "kingdom first" sounds hokey, churchy, and unrealistic. You may be thinking that it may work for some, but not for you.
Before you write it off, you should get to know the original audience to which Jesus first introduced his plan. They had good reason to be some of the most stressed-out people on the planet.
Matthew 6:33 comes at the center of Jesus' most familiar sermon. A sermon we call The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus' audience is not the elites, but the outcasts. They are Galilean peasants (Matthew 4:23-25).
Great communicators know their audience. Jesus powerfully (and sometimes offensively) connected with his audience. So if you survey the sermon, you can tell a lot about the listeners as Jesus addresses their issues of life.
- Matthew 5:2-12 - Jesus talks about those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, are meek, hungry, and thirsty. Jesus is imploring these people not to look for these deficiencies to be satisfied in the world's systems but in His Kingdom.
- Matthew 5:21-48 - Jesus deals with anger, lust, divorce, honesty, and enemies. Sound familiar?
- Matthew 6:11 - Jesus teaches on prayer. The central statement of the prayer is, "Give us day by day, our daily bread." This statement is not merely a petition of prayer but an indication that Jesus is talking to people with minimal provision. You may live check to check. These people lived from day to day.
- Before launching into a discourse on anxiety (6:25-34), Jesus tells his audience that they cannot serve God and money (6:24). There can only be one master, and that decision will affect your approach to finances.
- As Jesus concludes His sermon, he draws them to a decision point (7:7-23). Notice that his final illustration is one of a strong storm that could destroy an entire household (7:24-27). These people were vulnerable.
If a kingdom first calculation would work for them, why would it not work for you?
Jesus wasn't telling them that they needed more money. He was telling them that they needed a new approach. Money is like most things you stress about. It's not about the amount; it's about the attitude. It's not how much you have, but how you think.
Your anxiety over money is not caused by the amount but by your approach. Make a kingdom first calculation.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read Matthew 6:25-34.
- List the commands contained in this passage.
- List the causes of anxiety in this passage.
- What does this passage teach us about the character of God?
List your top 3 sources of anxiety. Insert them into the sources of anxiety in Matthew 6:25-34. Read the passage back to yourself. How is this passage calling for you to change your approach rather than your amounts?