It’s no small thing to say that you believe in eternity, that our lives on earth are merely a tiny dot on the eternal timeline and that what we do during the dot effects what happens after the dot.
That belief should impact everything we do—how we spend our time, what consumes our mind, and how we view and manage money. Here are three ways that the reality of eternity should change the way we manage our money.
1. Eternity changes money from a goal to a tool. A goal is an end. God did not design money to be an end, but a means to end. Money is a tool that we get to use to reach our community and the world. It can plant churches. It can send missionaries. It can be a part of changing eternity.
2. Eternity changes the logic behind hoarding. The ancient Egyptians buried mummies with their possessions, thinking that they could take their temporary treasures into eternity. It didn’t work. The riches were either stolen, unearthed and placed in a museum, or disintegrated. For those who believe in eternity, hoarding is illogical. Hoarding leads to loss. Letting go leads to gain. Eternity makes living generously the logical choice.
3. Eternity changes the question. In the book, God and Money, John Cortines and Gregory Baumer write that we’ve been asking the wrong question. When it comes to giving, most of us ask, “How much should I give?” The eternally minded person asks a different question—“How much should I keep?” The latter question provides a very different starting point that recognizes God’s ownership of it all, and that He gives us His resources to impact eternity.
Now, let’s looks as some ways we can start managing our money in light of eternity.
1. Pray about your generosity. Ask Him to give you an eternal mindset when it comes to managing money.
2. Spend some time to thinking about your treasure in heaven. You consider your bank account. You consider your retirement account. How often do you consider your eternal treasure? Take some time to think about your giving and your investment in eternity.
3. Follow the Give-Save-Live pattern of managing your money. This is the biblical pattern for managing our money, and it places giving as the financial priority. Develop your budget around the Give-Save-Live pattern. When you get a paycheck, give first, save second, and then live appropriately with the rest.
4. Automate your giving. Set up your online giving to take place the day after your paycheck hits. This is a great way to ensure that your eternal investment is the priority of your finances.
Manage your money in light of reality, in light of eternity. Give generously. Save wisely. Live appropriately.