At 101 Church yesterday, Pastor James preached a message from Life Church on the basics of biblical finance. Think of it as finance 101. The principles really are easy but it’s having the discipline to act on them that is hard. If you can be disciplined though, the pay off is literally worth it! The principles listed below are based on Dave Ramsey’s theory of how to get out of debt. I have not personally used anything by Dave Ramsey – but have previously gotten out of $20,000 worth of credit card debt. It was not easy but a decision nonetheless I had to make and begin in order to be free from shackles of debt weighing me down everything month.
The Basics of Biblical Finance: How To Win With Money
Note: Money doesn’t fix your life. It only make more of who you are. If you are stingy with little, you will be stingy with much. If you mismanage little, you will mismanage much. Why should God trust you with more money when you can’t handle what He has given you? The only option to this is learn how to manage your money and GET OUT OF DEBT!
Debt = Risk. Therefore, you have to get out of it to not be so risky in life, especially if you have a family to provide for. It’s one thing (although not biblical still) to squander your money when it’s just you – but when others are involved, that is sort of shameful.)
There are 5 steps listed by Dave Ramsey to start this process. You can see more on his website: www.daveramsey.com. (He even has things to start teaching your children good financial principles!) And here they are…
1. PLASTIC SURGERY – get out from underneath your credit cards. This means changing your lifestyle and adjusting to where you SHOULD be living not where you WISH you were living. You are only enjoying “the moment” because at the end of the day you still owe the money to the bank.
Proverbs 22:7 “A rich person rules poor people, and a borrower is a slave to a lender.”
2. ACT YOUR WAGE – you should be living below your paycheck, not above. Many people feel they need to keep up with their neighbor but you don’t. In the end, you can’t take stuff to heaven with you. You can’t take money to heaven with you. If you make $500 a week. Live under that. If you are unable to do this you need to reevaluate your life decisions.
Proverbs 21:20 “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” (NIV)
1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
3. GET ON A BUDGET – often, we have no idea where our money actually goes. I have lived on a budget every week since I paid off my cc debt. If you make $500 a week, make sure every dollar is allotted a place on the budget.
Example: Paycheck: $500/week
$50 – Tithe
$50 – Savings
$100 – Gas
$30 – Groceries
$250 – Bills (if you pay your bills weekly, list the bill: $40 – Cable, $110 – Insurance, $20 – Trash, $70 – Towards car payment total)
$20 – Spending money
This totals to: $500. Only $20 is set aside to spend for something extra for the week. It’s the price you pay for racking up debt. Live lavishly then, and poverty-stricken (so it feels) later.
I was reminded 2 days before this message, “Blessings will continue to come if we are obedient”. God doesn’t have to bless us financially – but those who are good stewards with His money shall continue to be. What you give – you will receive. If you are stingy or greedy, expect that in return.
Luke 14:28 “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’ “
4. SAVE AND INVEST – how many times of “emergencies” crept up on us? It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable. So why not be prepared? It’s suggested to have 3-6 months worth of wages in a savings account for future emergencies. Then you don’t have to charge it! It is also said, starting at age 30 put $100 into a mutual fund each month. By the time you are in your 70’s you would have over a million dollars. It’s that easy!!! If you want something at this point, save up cash for it. By the time you save up the money, you might realize you don’t really want it. Impulse buying is never good.
Proverbs 21:20 “Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home; fools put it all out for yard sales.” (The MSG)
5. BE A GIVER – It’s fun to give. To see someone’s face light up because you were able to make their day, because you were able to help their children out in a time of struggle. Giving is the best remedy for the heart! But you can’t give if you are a slave to paying your bills. You can’t take time off of work, because you can’t afford to, to help a family out for a day or two when they need it. No one wants to be a slave to anything and yet we choose to be because living up to societies standards are more important than living up to God’s standards.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”
God has a plan for your money (or should we say His money?). But if we don’t manage our money, we can’t give. That means our church can’t give because we didn’t tithe. It’s a nasty domino effect. So ultimately when you don’t manage your money, you are not the only one effected by it… Think about it.
If you enjoyed this article, Pastor James could help you more than I can with questions. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.101church.org.