One of my many entrepreneurial career paths was being a financial advisor. Helping people save money and grow their wealth is one of my favorite things. While I have always understood budgeting and the basics of that, it wasn’t until I heard about the Biblical Money Management Principle Of The Circle that I understood more about how to truly manage Kingdom finances.
In order to talk about the Biblical money management principle of the circle though, we have to start where most of us begin. The cycle of Want. I think most of us want to be a blessing to others but fail to make it from point A to B because we lack clarity around the vision. One of the things that blind us is always wanting more. The “Cycle of Want” as my pastor calls it, is that constant desire for more.
Cycle Of More
We weren’t intentionally wanting more, and maybe that’s the problem (we weren’t intentional). We would simply expand our lifestyle as the income grew without much thought. There was no vision. At the time we had sold our home that was plenty big for us and upsized into a home that is still too large for us in both mortgage and overall size.
It wasn’t just financial. What I didn’t realize is how it would influence even personal interaction. I’m convinced that our actions spill over into other parts of our life, meaning you truly can’t compartmentalize. In some ways the cycle of want allows greed and envy to seep into our hearts. This drive to succeed and to appear successful colored the interactions I had with others and with my family.
During this time, we gave as we felt led and even tithed. There was no outward appearance of this cycle impacting us. However, beneath the surface, there were the small things eroding away our chance to make a greater kingdom impact.
When you’re consumed with anything other than God, you miss your true purpose. What’s required is a value transformation. The realization that He’s given it to you to, steward and distribute and He owns it all. The value transformation is the turning point. It’s the ah-ha moment for Christians to go from just giving out of compulsion to understanding a mission.
Live Like A King
I like to say, we are all “Kings (and Queens)” AKA Kingdom Leaders. Kingdom Leaders go out to gather resources and bring them in to be distributed. Their constituents are the beneficiaries of the Kingdom Leadership. Kingdom Leaders are under the authority of the one true King and yet have delegated authority to expand the kingdom.
When you get this vision of truly what it means to be a Kingdom Leader or if you prefer, missionary in your world. You can make a value transformation and ultimate go from getting to giving. It’s a mission mindset versus a giving to get mindset. My personal opinion is that most people don’t grasp what giving does. It allows you to go from success to significance. Giving is what opens the door to being blessed, to be a blessing.
I always enjoy the exercise where you dream you won the lottery and what you’d do with the winnings. The problem is that God isn’t going to give you resources like that if you don’t already have a plan. You can say you’d give 20% away, but the reality is that if you aren’t doing that now, you won’t do it then. I don’t know if you can fully get the transformation necessary to turn the corner without having the circle of blessing drawn.
The Biblical Money Management Principle Of The Circle
The best way to teach your children about temptation and prepare them for it is to set up boundaries and role-play the events. The best way to train people who work for you is to set up boundaries (standards) and role play with them. You decide beforehand what you will do before it happens so that you’re more likely to get the result you desire even when you might be weak or unskilled. It makes sense that the best way to carry out our mission as kingdom leaders is to set boundaries and role-play the concepts.
The circle of blessing isn’t just a really clever marketing word for “budget.” It’s also extremely practical for other areas of our life. Radio host Dave Ramsey says a budget is you telling your money where to go before it ever gets there. Budgeting doesn’t have to be a scary word. The circle of blessing doesn’t have to be as detailed as a budget would be to be effective.
Draw The Circle
The concept is pretty simple. Imagine everything you could ever want in life and draw the line.
Don’t think of the “Circle of Blessing” to be this negative, no-fun budget. God wants you to live an extraordinary life. He wants you to live out not just your dreams but HIS dreams. Drawing the circle can be fun. You get to dream as big as you want, you could even say, “I’m not dreaming big enough” and then 10X your dream. You could have a few homes, nice cars, and world trotting vacations. The key to drawing your circle is grasping a vision for your finances as a resource to be used to expand the kingdom.
There are practical resources for budgeting. Our family didn’t find any that fit how we received income, which can fluctuate wildly from one month to the next. Using percentages and “rules” for accounts helped us far more. We designated a percentage for giving when we did this exercise that gets to grow as our income does.
The takeaway is that the circle of blessing encapsulates a lens which you now view possessions and giving through. How does this beach home impact our giving? How does this new car/vacation/tv/subscription/eating out,…. affect our mission? Is it inside the circle or do we have to expand the circle in order to obtain it?
Essentially, you’re telling God, I won’t grow more than this circle so that I can give the rest away with a heart of contentment.
This post was inspired by the Chapter: A disciple is just and generous in the 10 Qualities of A Disciple By Dennis Rouse.