Q: I know this isn't a spiritual question, but I just can't seem to get ahead financially. I can't blame the economy because I have a good job and everything, but I keep making dumb decisions that only get me deeper in debt. Praying about it doesn't seem to help. What should I do?
A: I've often said that God is concerned about everything that concerns us -- and that includes our finances. In fact, the Bible often speaks about our money and how we ought to handle it.
You say you pray about your financial situation, but what exactly are you asking God to do? Are you hoping He'll just intervene somehow and straighten out everything that's gone wrong? Or are you asking Him instead for wisdom to help you understand why you've gotten into this predicament, and wisdom also to know what practical steps to take to get out of it? I hope it's the latter -- because that's the kind of prayer God wants to answer.
What can you do? First, ask God to help you discover what you've done wrong. Part of your problem, I suspect, is that you've been spending unwisely, buying things you don't need or can't afford. Is it because you're trying to impress others? Is it just to make you feel good? Whatever the reason, face it honestly, and ask God to help you avoid it in the future.
Then ask God to help you take practical steps to bring your finances under control. Get a realistic budget -- and stick to it. Develop a systematic plan to get out of debt. Most of all, commit your money -- and your entire life -- to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth. ... But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:19-20).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit billygraham.org.