Christian Personal Finance Part Four: Growing

Grow your income as a good steward

A Warning

In this post I want to talk about ways to grow your income. I’ll get to the Biblical foundation behind this idea in a little, but first I wanted to start with a warning. It’s one I’ve needed to hear as I’ve thought this through for myself.

It’s important to remember why we might want to grow our income. And it’s not so that we can selfishly horde away our stash of cash or so that we can lavishly spend it all on ourselves. We also don’t do it out of fear for the future. We don’t grow out income to give ourselves a sense of security that ought to come from Christ.

No, we grow our incomes in order to be good stewards. We don’t want to be a burden to others and we want to be able to give more generously to the Lord.

So, as we discuss opportunities for growth, we each need, for ourselves, to approach the topic with caution. We each need to guard our hearts against fear, selfishness, greed, and faithlessness.

A Parable From Jesus

This is the warning we receive from Luke 12:13-21. In these verses Jesus tells a parable. It’s the story of a rich man who had an abundance of resources. His harvest had been good. With so much extra, the man decides to store his abundance away so that he can live off the fat of the land, take it easy, and relax in luxury.

The problem is that on that very night, the man’s life is going to end. And the sad reality is that all his abundance will now become waste. Jesus closes the parable by saying, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

God wants us to be generous with what we’ve been given. Any extra we receive is an opportunity to bless others.

Three Ways To Grow Your Income

Ok, warning over. With a focus on loving God and our neighbors we’ll talk about how, as good stewards, we can grow our income.

1. Grow your income from within your job

If you are already employed, this is something you will want to start thinking about. What opportunities does your current job offer to increase your salary? Are there extra jobs you can volunteer for? Are their potential raises you can apply for? Is there opportunity to move up? Can you sign up for overtime? Very few jobs have literal dead-ends to them. Consider how you might increase your income where you’re at. Sometimes this is a long-term play. It might start with doing the little things no one else wants to do, so that 3 years down the line you are the one who gets the promotion.

2. Find a side-hustle

Do you like to make crafts that you can sell on Etsy? Do you like to drive and could you work for Uber? Can you write well and could you start a blog? The internet-age has opened up innumerable opportunities for most of us. But, maybe you like dogs and could start a dog-walking business in your neighborhood. Look for opportunities to marry your gifts and passions to earn a little extra.

3. Make your money work for you.

Consider investing your money. But, beware that this is a long-term play. Most people who view investing as a get-rich-quick scheme end up becoming poor quickly. One of the easiest ways to do this is to contribute through an employer sponsored retirement account like a 401k or 403b. These retirement plans earn you interest over time. Many employers also offer matching programs where you literally get free money for contributing to your own retirement. If you are already maxing out your 401k (and good for you if you have!) than consider IRAs or other taxable investment accounts like index funds. Websites that I’ve already mentioned in other posts like Acorns, Betterment, Vanguard, and Personal Capital can help you get started investing. To learn more about investing check out Listen Money Matters. The website and podcast have been super valuable to me as I learn more about this complex world.

Conclusion

As good stewards over what God has given us, we seek to make the most out of the gifts we’ve been given. We seek to water, feed, and grow the financial seeds that God has planted in our lives.

But, we always remember why. And it’s not out of fear or for selfish, greedy gain. It’s not so that we can sit back and relax in a life of luxury. It’s not so that we can feel more comfortable. No, we seek to grow the gifts so that we can give and share more generously with those God has placed in our lives. We grow our income so that more people can be blessed through us.

If you’ve liked what you read, check out my two books on Amazon: Growing Up: In, with, and under Jesus and God’s Story // Your Story

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