If you try to take a toy away from a 2-year-old, you're most like going to hear the child yell, "Mine!" Two-year-olds have no problem declaring their ownership of something for all the world to hear.
Almost from the beginning, we begin staking our claim of ownership on things. My girls can tell you exactly which things in our house belong to them. And many times they aren't interested in sharing those things.
Unfortunately, even as adults, we spend time figuratively yelling "Mine!" We want to hold onto our possessions with a tight hand. And, many times, the more we have, the harder we try to get more.
Yet, that's not what God had in mind for us when He blessed us with our money and possessions. He never intended for us to claim ownership of everything. As a matter of fact, the Bible is pretty clear about who owns things. Deuteronomy 10:14 says "To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it."
Everything belongs to God. None of it belongs to us. That's not exactly the attitude we bring to the table most of the time. When God asks us to part with our money and possessions, we often grumble and act as if none of it belongs to God.
The truth is that God blesses us with money and possessions. He graciously provides for us. In return, He asks us to follow His principles for using those material possessions.
Too often, we take what God gives, and we close our hands around it like a 2-year-old. If God wants us to use our material possessions for Him, he has to pry our fingers off.
God wants us to hold our possessions with an open hand, not a closed fist. If our hand is open, then it's easy for God to use what He has given us for His purposes. But, if our hand is closed into a fist, God can't get to our possessions without first opening our hand.
Having an open hand and heart about your possessions reflects your attitude about the ownership of those possessions. If you hold your material goods with an open hand, you reflect the attitude that God owns everything. If you hold everything with a closed fist, you reflect the attitude the you own everything.
All this week, we're going to look at how we can teach our kids to have the right attitude and follow God's principles with our money. But none of that is useful if we don't have the right attitude about ownership.
Memorize Deuteronomy 10:14 with your kids this week. When selfish attitudes crop up in your home this week, remind one another that God owns everything. He simply allows us to use the things He blesses us with. God has a lot to say about money. Much of what He has to say goes against everything the world tells us to do with that money. Following God's principles for what to do with our money is a whole lot easier if we've already determined in our hearts that our money and possessions don't belong to us. They already belong to God. Since they belong to Him, we should handle them the way He wants us to.
Changing your attitude about ownership can radically change the way you handle your money. Teaching your kids God's principles for handling money can save them a lot of heartache and struggle.
It all boils down to one simple concept. It's not ours, and we shouldn't act like it is.