Book Study
Lesson 1

Bring Your Whole Heart

Money can be managed with

OR

Right now, how much dread do you feel when you think about money?

1: mostly dread...10: delighted and hopeful

Whole Heart Video

Money Problems

money problems

ANXIETY

Money is consistently listed as the number 1 source of anxiety for Americans.

CONFLICT

Money is consistently listed as a top reason for divorce and the number issue that couples fight about.

DEBT BURDEN

There are more payday loan storefronts than McDonald’s storefronts.
The average American debt balance for credit cards, auto loans, and student loans is $13,510.

NO MARGIN

Roughly 60% of Americans would not be able to pay for a $1,000 emergency with savings.

Half of American households over the age of 55 have no retirement savings.

The Traditional Solution

Gain wealth through personal financial planning.

This solution may create margin and eliminate debt burden, but it often does not fix anxiety and conflict issues.

Susie

“I’m scared about not having enough.”

A bus driver about to retire with a net worth of over $1 million.  She gained wealth through wise personal financial planning, and, yet, was still scared.

Poverty in America, Matthew Desmond

Americans today are at an all-time low in people saying they are very happy (14%) with an all-time high in people saying they are satisfied with their family’s financial situation (80%).

Survey of 165 super-rich households (those with over $25 million)

“Most of them still do not consider themselves financially secure; for that, they say, they would require on average one-quarter more wealth than they currently possess.”

One respondent, the heir to an enormous fortune, says that what matters most to him is his Christianity, and that his greatest aspiration is “to love the Lord, my family, and my friends.” He also reports that he wouldn’t feel financially secure until he had $1 billion in the bank.

When you are anxious about money, to what degree do you believe that becoming rich will solve all of your problems?

1: Not true at all……5: I sometimes believe this……10: 100% correct

The Hidden Problem

knights
“During the conquering days of King Charles, an edict was issued that all citizens of King Charles should now become Christians. This edict went out all over Europe. Upon hearing the edict, people were obliged to get baptized. One particular group of people, marching soldiers about to wage war on a neighboring kingdom, felt the urgency to get baptized, so they marched towards a near-by river. As a priest led them through the baptism ritual, these soldiers decided to do a very peculiar thing. They raised their swords high in the air, and allowed all of their bodies to get wet, except for their hands that held their swords. They left their sword hand unbaptized since they had no idea how to reconcile their life as a solider with a life surrendered to Jesus Christ.”

We are not unlike these soldiers in that we often have no idea how to reconcile our money life with a life surrendered to Jesus. Except, instead of swords, we have unbaptized bank statements!

So, a separation has occurred:

Money Life

Jesus Life

This solution requires us to take on full financial responsibility

This is bad, since we were never meant to take bear this heavy burden

It is the hidden cause of anxiety and relational problems related to money.

When you think about paying bills and saving for emergencies, how close do you feel to Jesus?

1: No thoughts about Jesus……10: I am worshiping Jesus

What can be done?

Go to the source of all wisdom and knowledge and gaze at Jesus.

One big giving party

Let the reality of the Trinity enter your life!

Our God is a Giver:

  • He gives you your income
  • He gives you your time, talents, and health.
  • Most importantly, He gives you:

JESUS

HOLY SPIRIT

2 Seas

dead sea sea of galilee

Dead Sea

  • Jordan River fills it up
  • It’s dead to all life

Sea of Galilee

  • Jordan River fills it up
  • It’s teaming with life

Why the difference?

The Sea of Galilee gives what it receives, whereas, The Dead Sea has no outlet.  It is obsessed with accumulating.

Notice that the Sea of Galilee sustainably gives – it is still a sea (actually a lake), and does not bleed out all of what has been given to it – it manages its resources.

John Stott says, “What dominated Jesus’ mind wasn’t so much the living his life but the giving of it.”

May our money lives obsess about having a generous outlet.

But what if giving seems too scary or irresponsible
given your hard financial situation?

It is likely you have forgotten who you are and what you possess.

Activity: Authentically Give

You May Complete Activity on PDF Worksheet

For this exercise, we want to break any separation we may have formed between our finances and our life in Jesus Christ.

STEP (1): Share with another person a story of how the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ changed you.

STEP (2): Read the Apostle Paul’s discussion about what we should do with our money in 2 Corinthians 8-9. What stood out to you?

“Our happiness consists not in the knowing the things of the gospel, but in doing of them.” John Owen

    • Paul says that when we give, it is an “act of grace” (2 Corinthians 8:7). This means that by giving, we get to “do the gospel” regularly.
    • We should seek to become skillful managers of money so that we can do more acts of grace – more doing of the gospel.

STEP (3): Watch the following 3 stories of people who saw that giving was a way for them to “do the Gospel.”

STEP (4): Determine a giving system(s) that is most aligned to how God made you. Many families practice multiple systems simultaneously.

  1. First-fruit % every month (e.g., 15% of monthly income).
  2. First-fruit dollar amount (e.g., $50 every week).
  3. Increasing % (e.g., increase giving rate by 1% with every pay raise).
  4. Giving goal (e.g., give a total of $1 million by age 67).
  5. Median Household Income (e.g., give any amount I earn more than my county’s median household income).
  6. Residual income (e.g., give 50% of anything left-over each month after lifestyle expenses and necessary savings to sustain my lifestyle have been made).
  7. Financial finish line (e.g., my lifestyle maximum is $90,000 and any year I earn more than this, I will give the excess away).
  8. Giving Circle (e.g., pooling my giving money with my Bible study in order to give collectively to translate the Bible into a new language).

STEP (5): Using the Sea of Galilee model, map out how you want to authentically “excel in the act of grace of giving” and regularly do the Gospel in your life.

  1. Map out your percentage of income for giving, consuming, debt, and saving today.
  2. Show your ideal percentages of income in 10 years. Not to earn love, but as a way to worship Jesus and dream big.
  • Every person’s balance between income, savings, consumption, and giving is going to look different.
  • But the heart posture should be the same: complete and utter amazement at what we have received from the Father!
“By careful management, I should be able to give at least one-quarter of my income to the poor.” William Wilberforce

Transition

Unorganized spending habits, debt and bad credit all get in the way of us enjoying our Jesus-given riches in generosity. Next, we will learn about how spending plans help enable sustainable outlets of generosity.

Next Lesson