When I was a uni student, living off the weekly pittance that was student allowance, I used to think about all the things I might do with my graduate level salary, which at the time was nearly triple my student allowance. The logic being, “well, if I can survive on student allowance, the other 2/3 of my pay was basically discretionary – mine to spend as I wanted”. And spend I did, until my graduate salary – once seen as big and excessive – only just made do.
You see when our income increases, our lifestyles normally increase too.
The 2018-19 budget was handed down on Tuesday night. And on the surface it looked like good news for taxpayers over the next 7 years – tax cuts. High, middle, and low income Australia all fared differently, but putting politics aside, it comes down to more money in our pockets.
It’s tempting to think of all the ways that extra money could be used… like my graduate salary, it’s easy to think the extra money the government is giving me is mine to spend as I want… we need some new dining chairs, maybe a new TV or a couple of nights away somewhere.
But as christians we’re called to view money differently.
In the bible we’re told:
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13
We’re told that if we are serious about putting God at the head of our lives, that money, and the things it can buy, must not be an object of desire.
So while it’s tempting to pre-emptively spend the $530 in tax cuts as we see fit – a new outfit, a meal out – what we should be doing is thinking about how we can serve God with our money.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Think about this: in light of Hebrews 13:5 how should I treat increases in my income? Should I increase my lifestyle to match, or should I be content with my current lifestyle and think of ways I can use the extra money to serve God? Should you expand your lifestyle to the amount of the tax cut you will receive? Or should you increase the work of the kingdom by the amount of your tax cut?
At Creek Road we talk about having a heart for Jesus, a heart for the lost. What does this mean? It means that if everything we do is for Jesus, then we need to desire for the lost to connect with Jesus. It means having a heart for giving to the work of telling people about Jesus.
A change in the amount of our disposable income is a good chance for us to reconsider our giving – to review how we are filling our lifestyles.
If we have hearts that are changed by Jesus’ work on the cross for us, then we need to have a heart for giving.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
Vicki Meehan – Communications and Media Manager