Expenses are an inevitable part of the human experience. Once there is a need, there is a cost associated with fulfilling this need. All are victims to the velocity and regularity to which bills are expected to be met. Yes “all”! Including children, disabled individuals, and the elderly.
I am convinced that there is no other thing which causes more hearts to be anxious, selfish, and greedy than bills. Equally, I am also convinced that there is nothing which makes our hearts more sad, depressed, frustrated, or angry than our inability to keep up with them. It is like an endless cycle which would drive anybody nuts.
The idolatry of numbers
The older I get, the more I realize how easy it is for me to idolize numbers. How much...? Do I have enough…? How can I reduce or increase...? Don't get me wrong, these aren’t bad questions to ask oneself.
In fact, asking ourselves such questions sometimes encourages prudence, accountability, and sobriety. However, numbers become idolatrous when every single decision we make is solely dependent on the adequacy and certainty to which we can answer these questions. Which in the real world, has led to many, including ourselves, choosing to participate in unfruitful means of meeting our expenses.
Unfruitfulness is not only limited to stealing or fraud but includes any extreme people are willing to go to generate wealth. It is such unfruitfulness which encourages disobedience when God encourages us on a path which is contrary to this way of life. However, what should I do when I can’t pay my bills?
Master over quantity
Jesus and his disciples faced a similar dilemma in John chapter 6 verses 1-14 when Jesus wanted to feed the people, who he was serving all day. According to Philip in verse 5, it would have taken up to half a year's salary just to give each member of the crowd a bite. In Mathew’s account, Mathew chapter 14 verses 13-21, The need was so overwhelming that some disciples asked Jesus to send the crowd home so they could buy their own food (verse 16).
What I found most humorous was Andrew’s response to the situation. Suggesting sharing a boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish to feed over 5000 people. How stupid and naive was this plan. Yet, it was all that was needed for Jesus to feed the multitude.
There is no greater remedy to one’s heart who is anxious or perplexed about meeting their bills than to be: “faith-filled.” Joyful is the heart who is prepared to trust the power, wisdom, and supremacy of God to meet needs irrespective of what the numbers say. It is one of the hardest and seemingly most foolish way to live, but it's the only way to please God and he richly rewards those who please him.
As great and marvelous the feeding of the 5000 men and their families was, it was the faith of Andrew which encouraged me the most. It must have taken him guts to suggest such a foolish way of feeding the multitude. Yet, his act of faith was greatly rewarded by Jesus in meeting the needs of the people.
Yes, bills are an inevitable force, but it’s dangerous when the need to meet them becomes oppressive. I will never deny how scary it is when utility companies threaten to disconnect our utilities, loan companies threaten to take away our assets and educational institutions prevent us from sitting exams because we cannot pay our bills. However, I also cannot deny God’s promise that he cares (1st Peter chapter 5 verse 7) and that he is able to richly meet our needs (Philippians chapter 4 verse 19).
Yow bill, take a chill!
Awareness of these promises seeks not to encourage reckless and foolish living. Our trust in God to meet our needs must be synonymous with our obedience to him. Trusting God gives us no room to be unfruitful or a sluggard.
Jesus, before his 3 years of full-time ministry, served faithfully as a carpenter. Contributing to the needs of his home to the best of his ability. Though he was confident in his father’s ability to meet his needs, he understood the importance of faithfulness in stewarding what was entrusted to him.
Even if we lose something if a particular bill isn’t paid at a particular time, there is still more life to live. Allow yourself time to grieve this loss then get back up and trust again. For God’s evaluation of our life is not what we have but how faithful we were as stewards of what he has given us. So, yow bill, take a chill! As we seek to trust in the one who loves and cares for us the most.
Akeel Henry (West Indies) enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained Biochemist who aspires to become a physician and a pastor. If you wish to share feedback concerning his articles, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached on facebook, Instagram (Akeel Henry) and on twitter (@A155_thevine).