Quite a few people asked us to write about this issue of personal finance. The reason why Gathoni & I were a little hesitant about it, was the fact that our marriage is the poster-child of money mismanagement 😪 💔. I wish we had it all figured out and had millions of shillings 💰💵💸🤑 lying in our bank accounts in the Cayman Island. Then we would be confident of being an authority in this subject. Instead our reality is far from this. Many times, we have not had even had a single cent on us and just a few months ago, I was driving with tears in my eyes 😪 wondering where I would get money to buy diapers for our little one. That is why we dragged our feet to write this blog, since it was in the thing that were were most weak in and we ourselves needed saving just like most of you do.
This is when God reminded us of Moses. Moses, had a speech impediment, but God still used him and he became a leader of almost 2 million people for over 40 years. Peter denied Christ and yet God used him as the rock to build the 1st church. David was an adulterer & murderer, Jacob was a liar, Rahab was a harlot & Lazarus was dead!!!
God did not need our knowledge or expertise, He just needed our availability. And even though Gathoni & I were so imperfect in so many ways, He is still able to use us. He is in the business of using ordinary, weak & broken things for His own glory and His name. And so, we agreed to write this, and we pray that just as it has ministered to us, it will also minister to you and that at the end of this post you will know how to WIN with your money.
So, whether you are married, single or just clearing school, this post is for you. We pray that these Kingdom principles will enable you to better manage what God has placed in your hands.
Does God Care About Money?
Interestingly, the bible has hundreds of verses about Money. Also more than half of Jesus’ parables were about money & possessions. Jesus spent a great deal of His time here on earth teaching about money. So, Yes! God cares about money, simply because most of us spent a larger chunk of our lives, trying to make it, worrying about it & desiring it, more than anything else on earth. Money is important, very important to God. A majority of divorces in our world today have their root in disagreements about money. And that is why God placed a lot of principles in the bible about money, that if we are diligent in following them, we are going to win in this game of money.
The most important lesson to learn about money is that we are stewards of God’s money. Simply put, God has given us money to manage on His behalf. It does NOT belong to us. We are just stewards /caretakers /managers on his own behalf. A steward does not use his masters possessions for his own benefit but manages it following the instructions of the master. This is the starting point and most important principle to remember when dealing with money. IT BELONGS TO GOD. We are just stewards managing it on his behalf.
Our focus today is on one of the least used parables of Jesus. The parable of the Unjust Steward
Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “ ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”Luke 16:1-3
When Gathoni & I started dating, money was never an issue, since we had very little of it 😂😂😂😂. All the money we got, we spent it together, whether it was getting chips & kebab downtown or me getting her those native earrings from Maasai Market. We never discussed money or how to handle it, we just lived our life enjoying the little life blew our way. In our minds, we would always be this way. As long as we were together, it did not matter whether money was there or not, it was not the priority.
When we got married, things changed quite a bit! All of a sudden there was this pressure to move to a bigger house in a better neighbourhood. Then there was the pressure of getting a car. And then there was the pressure of looking good together. Oh my! things changed overnight!!! (Keeping up with the Joneses or was it the Kamaus😂😂😂😂) All of a sudden, money became the only thing that occupied our thoughts. We thought about it all the time, always thinking how we can be able to make more & more.
One time Howard Hughes who was at that time the richest man in the world, was asked by a reporter. “Howard, how much money is enough” He replied, “I just need to make a little bit more!“
Ain’t that the plain truth! We all imagine that if we just work a little harder, a little longer, and a little smarter, then we will make enough money and we can retire happily!!! Nothing is further from the truth. Money will never be enough. The needs will always surpass the supply.
The Mistake We All Make
Gathoni & I believed that our money belonged to US. We made it, and therefore it was up to us to decide on how we were going to spend it. Other than giving the required 10% as tithe to our local church, we spent the rest and sadly it was never enough. There were always more and more bills and the more money we made, the more the demands grew. It felt as if we were trying to fill up a bucket with a thousand holes in it. The more we sealed the holes (In terms of Personal Finance workshops & trainings) the more the holes popped up.
That is when we figured that maybe we were getting this whole thing wrong. And we looked to the bible to understand God’s interpretation of money.
God’s Idea of Money
The bible tells us in Psalm 24 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” It all belongs to God. All our money & possessions belong to Him. He is the giver & owner of it all, He only entrusts us with this wealth to manage it on His behalf. WE DO NOT OWN IT. That is what Gathoni & I never knew. And when we went to the teachings of Jesus Christ, he repeated this hundreds of times. It belongs to my Father, we are just managing it on His Behalf.
So What Does God Want us To Do With His Money?
This question is the starting point of winning with your money. Please note that money in itself is not evil. It is just a tool (like a hammer) and can be used both for good and evil. The problem with culture right now is that we have idolised money. The more the money one has, the more they are honoured and held in high esteem. Money has become driving force of culture. Everyone (us especially) want more of it.
Remember the bible warns us that the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil. That is why, today, people will do everything just to have more of money. They will kill, bribe, cheat, lie, fornicate, covet…and the list of evils is endless. So the more money you get, you still want some more. It never satisfies or delivers its promise. Its an endless pit, and all of us are falling fast without even knowing it.
In the parable of the Unjust Steward, that I shared earlier on, the shrewd manager uses his master’s possessions to win friends by giving them hefty discounts. That is when the master congratulates him for being clever & wise. Doesn’t make sense right? Why did he commend him instead of firing him? Herein lies the secret of what God wants us to use his money for.
This photo right here depicts it all. God gives us a little money/resources which He then asks us to give it back to him, trusting that He has something better for us. So, Gathoni & I, just like most of you, hold on to the little that we have, saying, “it’s not enough”, “it’s too little”, “I do not have enough to give”. All this time, Jesus is standing there holding a bigger and better Teddy. Remember, God is not interested in your money, He is interested in your heart. Will you obey Him and share the little that you have? Trusting that He has something better in store for you.
God was the perfect example. He GAVE his only son. So he does not ask us to do something that He would not do Himself. The bible is full of verses about sharing with those in need. I absolutely adore this verse
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.1 Timothy 6:17-18
God’s idea is that He entrusts us with HIS money & possessions so that we can give & share with those in need. When Gathoni & I 1st learnt this principle, we were shocked. How can we give, when we barely have enough for ourselves. And also the verse above and many more refer to the ‘RICH’. By all standards, we were NOT rich. Rich means having a million bob just idling in your account. Rich means having a row of flats in an upmarket area. We were far from rich, so definitely then this did not apply to us.(So we thought!)
Please take a minute & click on this link, fill in your annual income for your house hold and see HOW RICH YOU are as compared to the rest of the world.
I assure you, you will be SHOCKED!!! If you fall above 20% of the world’s wealthy, then my friend 1st Timothy 6:17-19 is talking about you 😂😂😂😂
Also, God reminded us that GIVING is not about how much you have but how much you have LEFT. That is absolutely important. God does not care about the amount you give, He cares about how much you have remaining. This is the ‘trust’ meter that God uses to rate you.
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”Luke 21:1-4
Wow! did you hear what Jesus said. SHE GAVE MORE than the rest of the rich folk, because she gave EVERYTHING that she had. So, we have no excuse not to give. Even if its two cents that you have, just give it and God will honour it.
So Where Should We Give?
If you look around our society today, there is a lot of need all around us. Many, many people are in need of one thing or the other. I would ask you, that you seat down together and pray over this and then agree together a on a percentage of your income to give. Ask God and He will show you where it is that you are to support and give towards. The most important thing is not the amount, but the heart. Give, even if you are in debt or almost being kicked out of your house, just give.
Someone once told me, give that which you need the most. That is what is going to cost you the most. Gathoni & I never give that which costs us nothing. Even if it the last meal you have to eat, just give. (Remember the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath, and the way the flour & oil never ran out until the famine was ended)
One of our couple friends gave Gathoni & I a testimony about how 2020 was their best year ever. Prior to this, they struggled financially, they were barely able to make ends meet. That is when they stumbled upon this principle of giving. So, they decided just to try it out, as they had nothing left to lose. So, any little money that they got, they set aside the bigger chunk of it and gave it away. Interestingly, God brought people their way who were in need and they gave out the little that they had. True to it, they both started to get more work, despite it being a Pandemic year. God opened a lot of doors for them for the 1st time in their marriage. They called us so excited about it saying that it works and they wished that more and more people would know about this magical biblical principle of Giving.
There you go folks, Now you know. We pray that God will direct us all and help us be faithful stewards of the money & possessions that He has entrusted us with. May we all be kind, generous & willing to share, especially to those among us who are in need.
To God Be All The Glory,
I am a disciple of Christ, passionate about serving God’s purpose to my generation. I am a husband to Gathoni Kiruthi and together God has blessed us with 3 amazing children