Not Worrying About Finances

I’m a strong believer in budgeting and savings. You either tell money what to do, or it gets spent. You don’t accidentally save money.

That said, I’ve also learned that when it comes to household finances, unexpected things always come up. Three areas suck up money the fastest: vehicles, houses, and health. I’ve often felt very good about my cash reserve only to deplete it with a new transmission, unexpected health problems, or plumbing bills.

It’s in those times of unexpected bills, when your cash reserves start to dwindle, that you begin to worry (and maybe earlier!). I’ve worried quite a bit about finances over the years. Trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for everything is stressful!

A couple months ago, I was studying Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero with a church small group. As we began one meeting, I asked, what is it that can really disturb your peace? One person answered: “Finances.”

After some conversation, I asked, “How many bills have you not paid in the last five years?”

This person said: “I can’t really think of any.”

I replied: “Then, maybe it’s not really something to be worried about.”

After saying that, I thought of my own worry. I asked myself: In spite of all the surprises, how many bills have you not paid? I thought for a while, and I couldn’t really think of any. I might have forgotten the due date for a bill, but I didn’t miss paying for lack of money. It made me ask myself: Is this really something I need to worry about?

I am a Christian and a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus explicitly told us not to worry about these things because our heavenly Father would take care of us (see Matthew 6 and the Sermon on the Mount). In my own case, God has not only said He would take care of me, but He has done so over and over again, often in extraordinary ways.

Reflecting on our small group discussion reminded me of something that happened 14 years ago that I had never really appreciated. After college, I worked, lived at home, spent little, and saved money. Then, I got married, went to seminary, had two kids, and spent all the money I had saved.

When we arrived in Spearfish, SD to take my first job as a Pastor, we literally ran out of money. We had nothing left. The savings got us all the way through seminary but no further.

At this point, we were not facing starvation. We could have eaten beans, taco shells, and pasta. But we didn’t have much else. Making our new home comfortable and exploring our new location was going to have to wait.

I don’t think I told anybody about our situation. However, out of the blue, our deacon came over to our house. He gave me a handful of cash and said that the congregation had collected it to help us in our move. I was stunned. We now had what we needed to make it to our first paycheck. God provided, not just for our bare necessities but for other things for our blessing and comfort as well.

We have experienced many things like this over the years, but this story is particularly precious to me because it occurred at a time when I had so little. Reflecting on this has given me greater confidence in my heavenly Father’s will to provide for me and take care of me.

Can I say that I won’t worry about finances again? No, but because of the small group discussion, I will combat financial worry with new and better weapons. I may worry, but I don’t need to.


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