By Katie Jones
God's Brave Women - Katie's Story
I am one of those girls God has called to talk about a ‘taboo’ subject within the church. MONEY.
And I ask Him for courage every time I do.
After graduating from a private Christian college with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, I had a large amount of student loan debt, and I didn’t like the idea of spending a good portion of my adult life paying off that debt.
Through my years of schooling, I was exposed to courses on finance, statistics, and business all through a biblical lens. The Bible gave a real blueprint on how to run a business, as well as how to handle our money. It seemed clear that if we were to apply these biblical business principles into our own work and personal finances, there was no way we could avoid having some sort of success with them. My passion started to develop as I thought about my own life and imagined how my future might change if I put these truths into practice.
Could I really live debt-free? Could I make a decent amount of money and be able to donate and provide for many organizations and ministries? The Lord gave me these desires, and I knew that through hard work and help from the Lord, it could be done! That is when my journey really took off and I decided it was time to get serious about my financial health.
As I began to develop a deep interest in financial literacy and gained more knowledge about these topics, I felt the desire to share all that I had been learning. However, when I took these conversations outside of my college classroom I almost felt ashamed to bring up money around my other Christian friends. It felt like such an outlawed topic to talk about! But I didn’t understand why it had to be that way.
"I almost felt ashamed to bring up money around my other Christian friends. It felt like such an outlawed topic to talk about! But I didn’t understand why it had to be that way."
For a while, I had kept my financial education a bit of a secret from other believers. Whenever I heard teachings about money and finances within the church, it always seemed to be about how we shouldn’t “fall in love” with money because that was the root of all kinds of evil. This is absolutely true, however, the Bible has many other lessons to offer about finances than that, but no one seemed to be discussing them. Jesus himself did not refrain from teaching people how to handle their money wisely.
Did you know that the Bible mentions money, wealth, and possessions over 2,300 times? In fact, Jesus spoke about money about 15% of the time, and many of the parables throughout the Bible are on finances. I was learning that God doesn’t want us to love money more than him, but he also doesn’t want us to be poor stewards of it either.
"God doesn’t want us to love money more than him, but he also doesn’t want us to be poor stewards of it either."
Over time, I began to realize that being a follower of Christ is so much more than going to church, reading the Bible, and praying. Though these things are vital for a rich relationship with Jesus, being a follower of Christ is a way of life that should impact all areas of our lives. This includes our work and finances. I knew I had to help educate believers on this topic that I felt the Church was skipping over in the Bible.
Knowing the Bible promoted good financial health gave me the courage I needed to speak out about the financial principles it teaches. No one could deny the teachings that come straight from God himself, I just needed to be brave enough to start the conversation.
"Knowing the Bible promoted good financial health gave me the courage I needed to speak out about the financial principles it teaches. No one could deny the teachings that come straight from God himself, I just needed to be brave enough to start the conversation."
Two years ago I set out on a journey to teach other Christians these biblical principles so that we can all live fruitful lives for the kingdom! To this day I still get a few sideways glances when I tell others that I coach Christians on how to work and manage their money in a way that reflects their faith. Most people that hear this concept for the first time didn’t even know that our faith could (and should) impact our finances at all!
Through the process of value-based budgeting, my husband and I have been able to do so much more with our money than we thought possible only 3 years ago. We have been able to pay off over $30,000 in student loan debt in 4 years, we purchased 2 duplexes as rental properties, invested more in our retirement funds, and have freed more of our money to be able to give generously to our church and other ministries.
I am driven by this passion to equip other Christians with these financial tools to not only help them live a financially healthy lifestyle but also to free their money for the things that matter most to them. I know many of us wish we could give more or do more for the Kingdom. I know I did. I know we all desire to live a truly worshipful life. Even though a few people may think it is odd to be talking about finances within the church body, I find strength knowing that we can truly use our finances as an act of worship!
Even though a few people may think it is odd to be talking about finances within the church body, I find strength knowing that we can truly use our finances as an act of worship!
It has taken a lot of courage to teach on a topic that is not popular and seems taboo within the body of Christ. Even though I have been on this teaching journey for 2 years now, I continue to ask God for the courage to do what I do.
I want to challenge you to be brave with your financial journey as well. Step out in faith and talk with someone about your finances and think about what changes you could make with your money that might align it more with your own faith. Then watch and see what God can do.