8 Practical Ways to Love God More Than Money

8 ways to love GOD more than moneyI write this article as much to myself as to you: I fully realize how money will persistently and insidiously seek to capture a bigger and bigger portion of my heart and my life.

I also know that drifting through life doesn’t work because I seldom drift closer to God.

Perhaps this is why Jesus declared these two loves to be polar opposites:

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. – Matthew 6:24 NIV

I am convinced that we need to be very intentional about keeping God first and money last. These tips will help.

1. Have a Regular Prayer Time

I am not talking about praying over a meal or even talking to God as you drive to work. These prayers are fine, but loving God means committing your time to Him. Set aside some time every day just for Him. He would love for you to do so.

2. Serve Others

The second greatest commandment (after loving God) is to love others. Do you serve your family? Do you serve your co-workers (even your subordinates)? Do you check on the widow who lives down the street? Do you volunteer to mentor a child of a single parent?

Notice that I haven’t said a word about money so far. Why? Because the best way to not love money is to proactively love God. As Jesus said, we can’t love both.

Now some money tips that will help us love God . . . .

3. Be a Giver

Why do I emphasize giving? Because doing so is the antidote for loving money.

God is the ultimate giver (He gave his only son). The more we develop a giver’s heart, the more we become like God and demonstrate our love for him.

4. Plan to Increase Your Giving for the Rest of Your Life

This isn’t about tithing, nor is it about legalism; it is about systematically ensuring that we never become complacent. Some of you struggle to give anything at all while others are stuck at 10%.

Why not set a goal of giving a greater percentage annually for the rest of your life? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give 30% or 50% or 70%? After all, this is about loving God; this is radical and this is about not being like everyone else.

5. Plan to Give Spontaneously

Budget a set amount to keep on hand to be able to bless others as needs arise. Jan and I keep a “bless envelope” on hand packed with cash earmarked to give. This is a fun, grass roots way to keep our giving real.

6. Meet with Accountability Partners

Do you know others who are striving to radically love Jesus? Meet with them regularly to encourage each other, share ideas and give testimonies of ways that have worked. Nothing motivates more than hearing from someone else who has actually done what you are considering.

7. Automate Your Finances

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “lead us not into temptation.” (Matthew 6:13 NIV) Keeping money easily accessible is, for some, a temptation. We keep a small buffer balance in our regular checking account, then have every dollar above that buffer amount transferred monthly to a less accessible account.

8. Set a Maximum Limit for How Much You Keep

Change your thinking from how much you give to how much you will keep. This is not a vow of poverty nor should it be a time for imprudence. But, unless you set a cap, you will drift to higher and higher standards of living without realizing it. Is this not what everyone around you does? Be radical, set that cap, and you will start viewing those pay raises as opportunities to give more. Remember to create a plan that honors God instead of money!

I hope these few thoughts will motivate you to love money less and love God more.

What other ideas do you have? Leave a comment!

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  1. Will

    Oh, setting a max to how much I keep… interesting. It would certainly cut down on the chances for ridiculous spending… hmm.

  2. Kirsten

    I didn’t think I’d find anything “new” in this list, but I hasn’t considered how automating my finances could actually help me be a good steward, but that’s an excellent point. Also, giving spontaneously and setting a limit for how much you keep – genius! I need constant reminders to not be a tight-fisted miser. I recently write a guest post on how I hold on to “stuff” because, deep down, I have a worry that God won’t provide any more. But by giving proactively, I can ward those fears off even more.

  3. James Salmons

    In my experience, the problem most Christians have when they are poor with money, and associate it with a healthy rejection of serving money instead of God, is that they fail to recognize one fact. It is the value that you are really promoting with the whole direction of your site.

    Becoming a good manager of money is not the same as loving money. While the Bible warns against loving money in a way that makes us a slave to it, the Bible also teaches a lot, a whole lot, about becoming good stewards of what God trusts us with.

    In fact there are passages related to getting the best interest on our investments (put funds in a bank rather than hidden in a closet), doing work that is most profitable (plant in the fertile field), and many other practical things.

    Making money a god results in greed and dishonest dealings with other. Managing what God gives us as good stewards means honesty in business, using a right proportion of what we receive for our own good and that of our families, and doing all the generous things mentioned in this post.

  4. Alexis

    I love how you mentioned serving others. I think that is one of the most important things to care about in life.. I love giving to others without caring about receiving anything back.

  5. James C

    Setting a maximum limit for how much you keep will need tweaking from time to time due to the constant devaluation of our money, commonly called inflation. Perhaps indexing how much to keep to a market basket of certain basic foods, gasoline, electricity, and taxes (just a preliminary list) would help keep that in balance. Certainly not an easy task but otherwise after perhaps five years or so, the part you keep may show some strains depending on the inflation rate. Just something to think about.

  6. I always give even a small amount every mass. I handed to my daughter our love offering and every time she puts money in an envelope, I know she is very happy for doing it.

  7. Designated prayer time is something I’ve been slacking on lately. Thanks for this reminder!

  8. Chev

    This is ironic. Something scares me about not having any money when God gave me the money. He can give me more if he wants to and make sure I don’t have any if it suits him. Yet, no matter what I tell myself I can’t seem to shake the feeling. I am going to take up some of these stuff; make myself give it all away. The bible tells us that who freely gives will freely receive. Though, I don’t want to give expecting to receive.

  9. Naomi Young

    I like #6 Accountability Partners Meeting….Proverbs 11:14, 15:22; 20:18
    But Woe to those who don’t Pray & Seek God’s guidance when following those we council with—Prov. 1:7; 19:20-21; 1 John 4:1; Prov. 3:5; 1 Cor 15:33-34 and so many more!

  10. Juanita B.

    Wow!!! You hit this rigt on the nail.. Thank you for the word of encourgement. This is something I don’t need to think about, God is good!!!! Keep them coming!!!

  11. Busola

    Spot on. I love the reminder about setting a regular time aside for God. Thanks for this post.

  12. Marge

    The bible tells us to sell our possessions and help the poor. Is it the same thing if I put my “stuff” in donation bins, like the Salvation Army and Goodwill?

  13. Veronica

    How do I know where to set the cap especially when trying to save for retirement in this economy?