As believers who faithfully give of our abundance to move God’s Word, we can expect to receive blessings in the material and spiritual realms. In addition to our monetary giving, there are other principles of financial stewardship we can learn and apply to keep us prospering in the material realm. These include living within our means and living debt-free.
Living within one’s means is spending only what we have available to us, that is, not spending more than we earn. There are many resources available in bookstores, in libraries, and on the Internet that give wonderful practical advice on how to live within one’s means by budgeting, spending wisely, saving, etc. These resources will be of greatest benefit when we have our thoughts lined up with God’s Word in this area. What we’ll briefly consider here are two ways we can line up our thoughts with the truth: (1) by being content and (2) by not comparing.
God’s Word tells us in I Timothy 6:6 that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Godliness is a true, vital, spiritual relationship with God. It’s fellowship with our heavenly Father! The word “contentment” means “satisfaction with what one has.” It describes a mind satisfied with its lot. A true, vital, spiritual relationship with God accompanied with a mind-set of contentment is great gain. It profits us. We profit without spending a dime!
It is fairly easy to get caught up in wanting more and more. But the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to make available is not measured by the number of things we accumulate.
And he [Jesus Christ] said unto them [his disciples], Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Godliness with contentment is the great gain, not the things we own.
Another mind-set that helps us to live within our means is that of not comparing. God’s Word tells us that He promises us all sufficiency.
II Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
With all grace abounding toward us, we have all that we will ever need. We don’t ever need to compare ourselves with others and what they have. God’s Word tells us that He will supply all we need in life.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Remembering this helps us to live with a satisfied mind-set and not focus on what others have that we might want.
God’s Word also tells us that to compare is not wise.
II Corinthians 10:12:
…they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
There will always be someone who has more than we have materially, and there will always be someone who has less materially. But no one has more than we have spiritually (Romans 12:3). What others have in the material realm is not our standard for contentment and living. Having a mind-set of contentment and of not comparing can help us operate the financial stewardship principle of living within our means.