Okay, so I am not really going to tell you how to spend your year-end bonus, but I do want to get you thinking about how you should spend your money in general and that would include any extra income that comes in at year’s end. If you’re a Christian, you may have learned that all your financial resources are a gift from God and that you are to act as a steward of those resources. That sounds spiritual enough, but just what does it mean? It means we ought to spend our money as God would want.
When I look at Scripture, I see God wanting us to spend our money in three ways:
That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Use your money to care for your family, help the poor, and build the kingdom. None of this is meant to undermine the wisdom associated with saving for a later need or being careful that our giving doesn’t create an undue dependency; it simply gives a basic framework of how we are to act as stewards of the money that God has entrusted to us.
Through the years, my wife and I have given to many. More often than not we give on a regular basis as this helps those we support with cash flow and also keeps us reminded of those to whom we give. We also, however, tend to give extra at year’s end. You probably do too. Maybe thinking through the grid above will make that year-end process a little less confusing and little more purposeful, and even help you know what to do with that year-end bonus.
John likes to help people wrestle with the big questions of life in his work with Search Ministries. He served as a pastor in Houston for 16 years, earned his doctorate at Biola University, and is a contributing author of Reasons to Believe: Thoughtful Responses to Life’s Toughest Questions.