Show Me the Money
By Van Walton

“Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!” Psalm 119:36 (NLT)

Of all the furniture I purchased early in my marriage, I have only one piece left: an antique oak china cabinet.

I hold on to it because it represents many of my life’s values, especially those relating to financial matters.

When it came time for my husband and me to “set up house,” we had no money for lamps, end tables, pictures, or rugs. We had to make a plan. What would we purchase first? How much would we pay? What was necessary? What was not? When could we even make the purchases? We had no money!

First we both had to find jobs, go to work, pay the necessary bills, save a bit, and pile up a few dollars for the items on our list. Let me add that giving to our church and charities fit into our financial plans also.

Putting our heads together, we made a list of necessary items. We prioritized and estimated costs. Then we wrote how long it would take to save until we could purchase the washer, table, couch, lamp, or sound system.

As we plotted our course and followed the path that first year, we laid down a foundation for future financial strategies, procedures we’ve consistently practiced throughout our marriage.

So what does the china cabinet have to do with my financial values?

The bottom line for our financial strategy became, “show me the money.” If we didn’t have the money in hand – the actual cash – we could not seal the deal.

One day while browsing antique shops with friends I spotted an antique cabinet I liked. Once I saw it, I found it hard to move on. Of course the price tag depressed me. I had no money to show. Later that night I told my husband about it. He shook his head. It wasn’t on the list.

So, do I ever get to buy the things I want? Of course! I remind myself of our family agreement: Show me the money.

SHOW – Has the store’s SHOW case or marketing techniques tempted me?
Rule #1 Never make unplanned purchases, even if you’re thinking, “I have been on the lookout for this.” If that is the case, it should be on your list.

ME- Is this about ME or the best interests of the family or community?
Rule #2 God didn’t give us money just to make us feel good. When it comes to money topics in the Bible, money is used for things like personal care, giving to others, and paying taxes.

THE – What is THE purpose for the purchase?
Rule #3 Treat money as if it were a serious tool to be used for the following: glorifying God, providing for the family, and serving others.

MONEY- Do I have the MONEY for this? If not, what can I do to get the money?
Rule #4 This rule is so simple it hurts. When there is no money, there is no shopping.

So how did I end up with the antique oak china cabinet? Because I had not spotted a table (we ate off a card table and camping chairs for many months), we agreed to slip the cabinet onto the list, replacing the kitchen table and chairs. Each week I set aside $10. Eventually I returned to the antique store, gave the owner the cash, and loaded up what is now one of our family heirlooms - the little chest that taught me the value of financial planning.

Dear Father, everything I have is Yours. Help me to use it wisely. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Looking for something to help you manage your money or tackle your debt? Best-selling financial expert Dave Ramsey is offering resources at a special $10 price for a limited time. Click here to learn more.

Visit Van Walton’s blog

Application Steps:
If you struggle financially, consider looking at your past six month’s spending habits. Track and categorize your expenditures. You may be amazed how much money you spend frivolously that could be saved for important purchases.

Does window shopping or catalog browsing tempt me?

Do I need to give up those pastimes?

How much money could I give to my church or non-profit organizations if I curbed my spending habits?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 21:20, “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” (NLT)

Matthew 6:24, “You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.” (MSG)

© 2008 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an awesome verse! I needed it today. I usually have another website that opens up on my homepage, but today I thought I would look here instead. That was God's prompting me to this verse. It is awesome how he speaks to us.
I work in real estate and have been working through an extrememly difficult situation since the beginning of May. I have been trying to make sure my focus is on Jesus. That my responses to bitterness and rudeness would be a light in a difficult situation and my actions would be a 'doer of the word'. I loved this verse this morning b/c it confirmed that I need to be eager to serve the Lord and not make money. No matter which way things work out, he will provide for me as he always does. To God be the glory! Thanks!

Blogger Tammy said...

Thank you for this devotion this morning. My husband and I are "Dave Ramsey Followers" and sometimes it can be sooooo hard! Especially when your washer goes out, your refrigerator goes out, and all in the middle of a move! I really needed this encouragement this morning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just working on a budget and was amazed when I read this today. I needed a fresh perspective and the timing was perfect for this particular devotional to be accessible. Thanks so much for your ministry to women. Your wisdom and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit about what to post when is remarkable and much needed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the concepts from Show
Me The Money. We are learning to
trust the Lord more and more. Our
daughter had an expense we had to
cover.I was going to have to transfer money from our savings at
the beginning of the month. In the
mail today we recieved a workman's compensation reimbursement check so we will not have to touch our savings account!!Praise the LOrd who is our provider. He abundatly meets our needs!!!!

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