Hudson Taylor on Faith, Spending, and Debt
One of my all time favorite books that I try to read at least every other year or so is Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China in the mid to late 1800’s. The book is a biography written by his children that details his work establishing the China Inland Mission which is still in operation today.
What’s the secret? The secret lies in his deep devotional life and trust in God to provide as a rule of life. As he stated:
Drawing for every need temporal or spiritual, upon “the fathomless wealth of Christ.”
This of course influenced his view on debt and spending which he saw as contradictory to a life of faith in God to provide:
To borrow money implied to my mind a contradiction of Scripture – a confession that God had withheld some good thing, and a determination to get for ourselves what he had not given.
Debt is now being called a national disaster. So many start out their careers burdened with tens of thousands of dollars. We drive and possess much that we don’t completely own. The thought of living without or waiting on God is foreign to our generation. What if we trusted God to know and provide what we needed? Think about these questions:
- Are you burdened with debt? Maybe you need to get on a plan to get rid of it and began living in freedom. Our family has found Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace materials to be helpful in this regard.
- Do you feel a sense of entitlement to have that leads you to consider buying what you can’t afford? Try getting on a budget that allows you to live on what you actually make and set priorities for what you need and want. You might be surprised how richly God has blessed you and how satisfied you might be in Him, without a hunger for more stuff. Our family uses YNAB or You Need A Budget to track expenses and set our monthly budget. Also check out EveryDollar.com.
- Would you love to give and live generously, but you can’t because of things you have (too many debt payments) or things you want? God promises to provide for the sacrificial, regular, cheerful giver. God directs us to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth. Giving and living simply are great tools in this regard.
It takes discipline to try to live with generosity and without debt, credit cards, overspending today. But it’s worth it. Check out a few other Hudson Taylor quotes on money that challenge me to live simply and generously with complete faith in God:
- “My experience was that the less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become.”
- “We can afford to have as little as the Lord chooses to give.”
- “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supplies.”
- Once when told the bank account was down to $.87 he said, “We have $.87 and all the promises of God.”