What is the difference between financial freedom and financial independence?
When you hear that does it sound like the same thing to you?
There are actually a few differences.
When I hear the word independence, I think of my teenage children. They often tell me (by text message, of course) that they want me to be there for them when they are in a pickle, but other than that, they want me to stay out of their business.
They want their “independence”.
And how often do we treat God the same way? I want to do my own thing with my business and my money, and I will call you when I am in a bind.
Well once you have accumulated a good size nest egg, we need to fight the tendency to think that we are Financially Independent from God, and that we can somehow supply our own needs.
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
We know the stories from the Bible about the rich young ruler and how he put his hope in his wealth. Or in Luke, when a certain rich man wants to tear down his barn to build a bigger one so that he can “take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Jesus says, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” The barn builder died that night.
There are many wealthy people in the bible. God is not against wealth.
And to maintain our dependence on God, we need to aim for contentment. As we grow in wealth, realize it all comes from God and it all belongs to God. We are just stewarding it for a time.
Most people have a passion. Sometimes it stems from a painful situation you have gone through. For our family, it was infertility. The desire to have children and not be able to have them is a terrible thing. But it has led our family into Adoption and Foster Care. And in the last 5 years, we have had 46 children (mostly babies) come thru our house for as short a time as one night, to as long as 30 months. We actually just adopted our newest son through Foster Care. My family has chosen to give our time, our talents, and our money to something that was our greatest hurt, but now it is our greatest passion.
You probably have a similar story of a passion in your life. As you attain financial freedom, as the world puts it, don’t lose your dependence on God. Use your time and your giving in an area that you are passionate about.
Do you want to use your time and work at a passion of yours where you can make a difference?
Maybe you’re working in an area that you don’t really enjoy anymore and you have enough money. You could then start spending your time doing other things – working in other areas that you do enjoy and find significance in because you don’t have to worry about the money side of things because you have enough.
Remember, that contentment is realizing that you have enough.
Some people are really good at making money and they enjoy the process of making it. In that case, you could focus more on what you want to do with the excess money have- you may focus on giving and who you want to support that aligns with a passion that you have.
One practical idea would be to set up a separate account for a portion of your money. The intent of this account would be to give it away. All profits from this account would be given away every year. You maintain control of the principal amount. That way if something happens in your family life that requires that you use the principle, you still can. But the idea is to one day give the whole balance away and not use it for your purposes.
So I wanna stress to you that when you see the words financial independence and financial freedom -there is a distinction between the two.
We are all dependent on God. 1 Timothy 6:17 says command those who are rich in this present world, not to be arrogant, nor put their hope in the wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. Wealth is uncertain and therefore we should not put our hope in it.