Modeling Financial Leadership April 18, 2022 | by John Brummitt According to a 2021 survey, of 34% of couples living in the same house, one or both partners couldn’t correctly identify how much money the other earns. Only 17% of parents with incomes over $100,000 per year have told or plan on telling their children how much they earn or their net worth. The survey also found people are more comfortable talking with friends about marital problems, mental health, addiction, race, sex, and politics than money.As a society, for the most part, we do not talk about money beyond the general talk of what you do for a living, where you live, or maybe something you purchased—if it was a good deal. For decades, money has been considered an “impolite” topic of conversation.Because of this gag order placed on money, we find more and more anxiety attached to finances. Even if you have a good income, many still feel this fear or anxiousness attached to our views on money. According to a recent survey by NextAdvisor, almost 78% of survey responders were at least a little anxious about their current financial situation. Only 14.7% said they were not anxious, while 7.4% said they didn’t know.Because we don’t talk about our finances, our children repeat the cycle once they are out on their own. Why do we think talking about money is in bad taste or inappropriate? Why does it make us uncomfortable to be asked how much we earn, invest, or have invested? I am not saying we all need to disclose tax returns or post earning statements on social media. Revealing the information doesn’t help negativity or anxiety regarding money. In actuality, it might make things worse, because people naturally compare themselves, saying things like “Well, I should be doing better” or “She doesn’t deserve to be paid that much.” Again, these comparisons are harmful and do not reflect God’s grace. So, what are we to do?Model biblical leadership when it comes to finances. We often place money in a different bracket than the rest of our lives. We give God most areas but view money as “something different.” This may result from guilt over not giving God full control over our paycheck, tax return, investments, and earnings. Because our use of money makes us feel sinful, we pretend God is not part of it. This is simply not true.God has given us clear guidance in Scripture regarding finances, income, and the accumulation of wealth to help us navigate this important area that impacts day-to-day living. We are not to worship money or put it before God, but we are also not to fear money. God is still on His throne, and He has promised to provide our every need.Our conversations about finances need to be based on biblical principles. Avoid saying “Look what I’ve done” or “Look what I have.” But also avoid the reverse: “I never had the money to do ________.” Don’t get stuck on the have nots and focus instead on the joyous blessings of God. If you want to end the negative feelings and anxiety surrounding finances, focus on His blessings and His sufficiency.Stop comparing your situation to others. You can’t look at someone’s bank statements or income and make a good comparison anyway. You don’t know what they have endured to get where they are, or why the Lord has blessed that person. Financial comparison is only beneficial for wage adjustment or justification in your working career. Do your research before asking for a raise or a job interview or get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to a neighbor with an entirely different career path. And when you become aware of negative feelings or feel financial anxiety creeping up on you, turn your focus back to the positive.I know this sounds simple, but research has shown that making a daily list of positive things in your life makes you a happier, more positive, productive person. The right outlook on money makes it easier for you to handle difficulties when they arise. Our focus affects our outlook on finance and our approach to talking about it with our family and friends. This article was previously posted in the April/May 2022 edition of ONE Magazine.