“You have got to hear what this guy says about money!” “This guy’s system is a sure-fire way to get rich, and quick!” Unfortunately, we often look to financial gurus to learn about money. The latest and greatest get rich quick scheme can be tempting, especially for us men. There is something about the allure of making money fast by finding a loop hole in the system that makes men, in particular, do some pretty crazy stuff. Most of us in the United States declare ourselves to be Christians, but we rarely look to Scripture to be our guide through life. That is the one thing I strive for each time I meet with clients: to teach God’s principles of handling money. Although there are hundreds of Scripture passages about money, let’s take a look at four of them.
1. 1 Timothy 6:7 “For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it”.
This Scripture tells us that God owns everything. We were born with nothing. Everything that we have comes from God. Now, you may go work hard and do things in order to purchase things, but ultimately the opportunities come from God. Understanding this Scripture forces you to live according to God’s principles with money. If your money is His, then you should manage it in the way in which He prefers. In a marriage, this means that two become one. There is no longer “his” and “hers”, it is “ours”. That is what God prescribes for you, therefore, you should practice that principle and merge all of your money and assets. After all, it is ultimately all His anyway.
2. Luke 14:28 “Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion”.
Plan ahead is the main lesson from this Scripture. Each month, your household budget is the “tower”. Before each month begins, sit down and calculate the “costs” (your expenses) for the month. Make sure there is enough “for its completion”. How many times have you gotten to about the 20th or 25th of the month and realized there’s no more money, but quite a few more bills. That is the result of a lack of planning. Sit down, as a couple, before every month and tell your money what to do.
3. Proverbs 24: 3-4 “By wisdom is a house built, by understanding is it made firm; and by knowledge are its rooms filled with every precious and pleasing possession”.
In other words, having wealth comes from wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. In personal finances, these three things come from good bookkeeping. Keeping the checkbook balanced is vital. It will tell you where you stand and prevent you from making giant mistakes. Mistakes that will cause you embarrassment and cost you money. It is best if one spouse is the bookkeeper. If both try to do it, it will cause a mess. Decide which one of you pays more attention to detail and determine that spouse to be the bookkeeper. I don’t know about you, but “rooms filled with every precious and pleasing possession” sounds kind of fun to me.
4. Proverbs 14:15 “The simpleton believes everything, but the shrewd man measures his steps”.
A simpleton, or a naïve person, is usually ignorant. Ignorant does not mean stupid. It only means a lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, good personal finance is not taught in our schools. If any finance is taught in schools, it certainly is not taught using Scripture. This lack of knowledge causes us to “believe everything” such as credit cards are smart and sophisticated, whole life insurance is good, and a list of other money myths that prevent you from winning. Instead, I encourage you to seek out the truth about money. You’ve already taken a step by receiving this newsletter. Sign up for a Dave Ramsey FPU class. Hire a Christian financial coach. Learn, so that you can measure the steps you take with your money.
Don’t take any of this advice because I told you. Take the advice because it comes from God’s instruction manual for us: the Bible. God will never lead us in the wrong direction, we just have to be willing to seek out and follow Him.