Can we trust our finances to God?
Widespread poverty compromises the financial freedom of many around the world, often resulting in a distrust of governments and society. Even those who aren’t struggling financially and the well-to-do no longer trust that their wealth is safe, given a global interconnectedness that makes financial systems susceptible to fraud, collapse of banks previously thought “too big to fail,” fluctuations in currency stability, depreciation of securities and other assets, etc. There’s certainly an erosion of trust in financial systems, practices, and institutions.
So, can we confidently trust our finances to God? The very notion may seem laughable to those who see God as a mere theoretical concept having little, if anything, to do with human affairs such as money matters; yet, this is a false, limited view.
As far back as Bible times, many trusted God for their financial needs and weren’t disappointed. One example is the widow who fully paid her debt from the sale of oil that multiplied through the prophet Elisha’s trust in God’s provision. Christ Jesus also proved God to be the practical and trustworthy source of supply when he paid the temple tax for himself and his disciple Peter from money found in a fish’s mouth. These examples may seem difficult to identify with in today’s financial climate, but they show that trusting God for our financial health is not unheard of or impractical.
So how can we build our confidence in God and find true financial freedom? It’s helpful to realize that God is Love and therefore all-loving, because then we begin to understand that it’s intrinsic to the nature of God, our divine Parent, to provide for every beloved child. And it’s reassuring to know that He “is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). This begins to instill confidence in God.
The realization that I could have more faith in God than in a fat bank balance brought such relief.
Gratitude is also important. When building of the original edifice of The Mother Church (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston) commenced, it was the overflowing gratitude of members whose lives had been transformed, especially as an outcome of healings they’d experienced in Christian Science, that resulted in it being completed in a little over a year, paid for exclusively from voluntary contributions. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, writes, “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more” (p. 3). She described the church project as “God’s business, not mine” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 140), trusting God rather than human financial schemes.
That same trust is just as valid today. Before I became a Christian Science practitioner, I worked as a banker. When I left banking to work full-time in the public practice of Christian Science healing, many thought this was foolhardy financially. On numerous occasions when it seemed that the earnings from my practice could hardly put food on the table, let alone meet other demands, I really had to exercise my faith and prove I would trust my finances to God.
Conviction that I could unfailingly prove God as my source of supply came one day while walking to a church service. Reaching out to God desperately, as I was extremely worried about how to pay an important bill that couldn’t be deferred, a gentle thought came by way of a question: Could I have more faith in God than in a fat bank balance? I knew in my heart that I could. This realization brought such relief. From that moment, I lost all fear about my financial situation, and since then, all my needs have been met naturally, many of them in ways I could never have imagined.
Jesus cautions us not to split our confidence between God and “mammon,” or human financial ways and means. He says, “No servant can serve two masters: . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). Referring to this quote, Mrs. Eddy refers to mammon more broadly as material beliefs, writing, “Material beliefs must be expelled to make room for spiritual understanding. We cannot serve both God and mammon at the same time; but is not this what frail mortals are trying to do” (Science and Health, p. 346). This is a warning against trusting matter in general. Elsewhere she explains that we trust either “the mammon of materiality” or “the God of spirituality” (Unity of Good, p. 49).
The spiritual qualities that back honesty in labor, wisdom in investing, discipline in fiscal matters, and prudence in planning, are important and necessary; however, where and in whom we place our trust, is paramount. Proverbs says this about trusting God: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. . . . So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (3:5, 10).
It may be worth a thought that the United States dollar—the world’s reserve currency—has this inscription on every note and coin: “In God We Trust.” I’m learning that I can trust my finances to God. And, I daresay, so can you.
Moji George, Associate Editor