Finding Peace and Security in our Finances
Finding peace and security with finances is often challenging but it is especially so for single parents. During COVID-19, the stress is even greater.
So, how do we find peace and security with our finances? It’s tempting to believe the solution is found in having more money, but more money doesn’t bring more peace. Rather, peace is found in the presence of God regardless of our financial situation. This can seem like a difficult truth especially when we are juggling so much when it comes to bills, reduced household income, and the complication of child support. But peace can be found during the chaos of single parenting. Whether we have a lot of money or are living on a tight budget, a mindset of abundance and trust in God as our ultimate Provider helps us move into peace with our finances. Three perspectives will help us find peace and security in Him.
- Check what we value
Check what we value
First, we need to check what we value. In talking with people who have more money than they need or with those who need more than they have, we find that regardless, our peace is found when we keep money in its rightful place. Whenever money takes the place of God, whether too much or too little by our standards, that’s when we lose our peace. It’s not bad to want something but it is important to identify how badly we want it. If our desires gain a higher place in our hearts than God, our priorities are out of whack.
Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of a widow who comes to present her offering at the temple. While many others put large amounts into the treasury, she puts in two coins, worth very little. Jesus calls his disciples and tells them, “Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on”. God isn’t looking at the amount of money we have or do not have. He is looking at our hearts and our priorities. This widow knew where her treasure was. She was not afraid to give all she had. She demonstrated her security in God and not in her last two coins. When Jesus saw this, He recognized her devotion to God and gave his full approval for her actions.
Like this widow, we need to check our hearts and identify what we value. Money is never meant to be our master. We were never intended to value it above our relationship with God. Yes, we use money for the things we need but it cannot become a source of happiness, pride, or something we rely on to raise our kids according to godly principles. Money is intended to simply be a tool. Whether we have a lot of money or a little, money cannot bring peace or security. If we let money define our peace or security, our values are out of line with God’s intention.
Especially as Americans, we have so much already. Money can bring temporary pleasure, but our finances cannot be our source of peace and security. We need to check where our values are. Do we trust God and His ability to provide or are we counting on a worldly supply? Philippians 4:19 says “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. We must regularly check our hearts and determine what we value most.
When you think about what you value most, what things are in the top three? Are you placing God first above other things?
One of the ways we can maintain peace and security in our finances is by aligning with God’s priorities and keeping Him first. Another way is through generosity. Often, we can be very selfish but choosing to live according to God’s principles of kindness and generosity breaks us out of that “me” focus. When we give to others, even when we ourselves have needs, this generosity becomes a powerful tool to remind us to trust God with our finances. It helps us avoid the illusion that we are in control and instead places God in charge.
When we give to others, it does something for our hearts. Receiving is necessary and good too but there is a paradigm shift when we recognize that, even in our lack, we have something to give. And, teaching this to our kids is incredibly value too. When they see us give, they pick up on the idea that generosity matters and that money doesn’t have to control us.
Tithing also matters. God promises that when we live according to His principles, He will take care of us. Following His ways isn’t always comfortable but it’s important. When we give as single parents, we live from a place of power and demonstrate that for our kids. If we choose not to hoard our resources, but give instead, that free handedness brings blessing and life and freedom. It takes the focus off us and puts it onto others. As we do that, we open ourselves up to see what God is doing around us and how we can be part of it.
Furthermore, the National Institute of Mental Health did a study and found that “Generosity makes you healthier. When you do something good for another person, you encourage the release of endorphins which can bring about a “helper’s high” that helps fight stress. Research has also proven that having a generous attitude greatly improves your immune system, extends a person’s life span, and acts as an antidote to pain.” Science tells us that generosity pays off. Our acts of generosity are good for our hearts and our health.
There are blessings in both giving and receiving. Have you experienced “helper’s high”? When have you felt the gift of generosity in your own life (whether as a giver or as a recipient)?
When it comes to finding peace and security with finances, we need to check our values, be generous, and be grateful. There will always be someone with more money than you (unless you’re Jeff Bezos). When we measure what we have against others, we lose our peace and feel more anxiety. Instead, when we focus on being grateful, expressing thankfulness for what we do have helps us find peace. God’s word helps us see that gratitude is an important antidote for anxiety. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
When we ask God for what we need, we release a pressure valve of fear about not having enough. We open our hearts to be ready to receive what we need from Him. Rather than feeling like we must provide everything in our own strength, we transfer that burden to God.
Besides, being grateful reminds us of what we do have and helps us avoid the trap of overspending on things we don’t need. Gratitude unlocks blessing. A daily practice of gratitude helps us find peace and security in the provision of God.
Do you have a regular practice of gratitude? What does this look like for you? How can you be more intentional? How?
Being grateful, being generous, and checking what we value, can all contribute to a greater sense of peace and security and we all want that, especially with our finances. Confidence in God is what being rich truly means. Relying on money is false security. True security is found in God and His provision.
We maintain this focus in three ways, 1) checking what we value, 2) being generous, and 3) being grateful. Philippians 4:11-12 says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.” Contentment is not rooted in how much we have or don’t have. Rather, peace and security are found in God alone.
As you walk the journey of single parenting, we want to help point you toward peace in God. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at email@example.com.