Category Archives: Ethics

The Wisdom of Solomon

Proverbs is timeless… so relevant for today that it needs no introduction. Pray that God would allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you to understanding the message here. Try not to hurry in reading this but pause and reflect after each thought. Ask yourself “How does this apply to me?” and “How does this apply to our nation or the world?”

Proverbs 10

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

      1The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

      2Ill-gotten gains do not profit,
But righteousness delivers from death.

      3The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger,
But He will reject the craving of the wicked.

      4Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

      5He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

      6Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

      7The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.

      8The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined.

      9He who walks in integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will be found out.

      10He who winks the eye causes trouble,
And a babbling fool will be ruined.

      11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

      12Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.

      13On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.

      14Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

      15The rich man’s wealth is his fortress,
The ruin of the poor is their poverty.

      16The wages of the righteous is life,
The income of the wicked, punishment.

      17He is on the path of life who heeds instruction,
But he who ignores reproof goes astray.

      18He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And he who spreads slander is a fool.

      19When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.

      20The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.

      21The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of understanding.

      22It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.

      23Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.

      24What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.

      25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

      26Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy one to those who send him.

      27The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

      28The hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked perishes.

      29The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright,
But ruin to the workers of iniquity.

      30The righteous will never be shaken,
But the wicked will not dwell in the land.

      31The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
But the perverted tongue will be cut out.

      32The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.

It is easy to skip through these quickly with a smirk and a recognition that they are true and wise, but fail to apply them personally in your own life. I encourage each of you to read through this more than once and pause on each thought, seeking God’s wisdom to enlighten you on how to apply it to the specific situations in your  personal life and the lives of those around  you.

A few comments regarding verse three that may not be obvious:

      3The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger,
But He will reject the craving of the wicked.

Verse three refers to more than food and physical hunger. We know there are righteous people who are physically hungry. Solomon is referring to “craving” or strong desires. The wicked will never have enough to satisfy what is missing, because they refuse to seek God, which is what they need. No amount of physical stuff can fill the emptiness they feel with the absence of  God in their life. Conversely, the godly will be satisfied in their relationship with God even when they do not have enough to eat.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

To Walk in Righteousness Is Better Than Chests of Gold

There is often a misconception that the righteous necessarily suffer in this world while evil and wicked men flourish. This is not so. It is good to pause and reflect that living righteously according to the Lord’s instruction also carries much blessing for the current life and not just for eternal life after we die. It is no guarantee for an easy life… that is not guaranteed for any. Quite the opposite. Trials and struggles are promised in this life. But how we navigate these challenges and our attitudes and values for what is important have much influence on whether we experience life with joy and peace or constant striving and struggle. In fact, attitude and values are a much better indicator of someone who will do well in life than just simply possession of wealth. Those who are filled with greed never have enough, never cease striving and find contentment and peace and joy.

It is far better for us to walk in righteousness than to have great monetary treasure.

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

     1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.

      2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.

      3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

      4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

      5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

      6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

      7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of strong men perishes.

      8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.

      9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

      10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.

      11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

      12He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.

      13He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

      14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

      15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

      16A gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.

      17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

      18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

      19He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.

      20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

      21Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.

      22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

      23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

      24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.

      25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

      26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

      27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

      28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

      29He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.

      30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.

      31If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

Read slowly and digest each verse for its full meaning and applicability to your life. Reread it once or twice. Pray for insight from the Spirit. Which path will you choose… righteousness or worldliness and wickedness? How will you let this validate your life choices or lead you to change some?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Consider The Effects of Your Choices on Others

As we read Matthew 17:24-27 we see Jesus’ response when confronted by others to pay a tax (to the temple, not Caesar) from which He is actually exempt. Jesus is very aware of creating a stumbling block for others and puts less emphasis on claiming His right to not pay.

24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax[e] came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house.

But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter?[f] Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?[g]

26 “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! 27 However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin.[h] Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

My first observation is that it appears the collectors of the temple tax wasted no time in coming to find new visitors and ask them to pay the tax. There is no record here of a welcome or greeting of any kind but rather the focus is clearly on collecting their money.

Peter is caught off guard and appears to fib when confronted with the situation, as he was not sure how to respond.  It is worth noting, that if the Bible were a false record made up just to convince people Jesus was God then the disciples and followers would not honestly document so many times when they responded in the wrong way and made mistakes. These parts of scripture actually proclaim loudly the truth of the Biblical text.

When he approaches Jesus, likely trying to figure out how to broach the subject, Jesus already knows what happened and brings up the subject Himself. Just one more example indicating He is God and not just man.

At this point it is worth noting that the temple tax was deemed a measure of atonement for sin. As Jesus was free from sin, He could have rightly refused to pay it. Additionally, Jesus makes the point that God does not tax Himself anymore than a King taxes himself and thus Jesus would again be exempt.

However, Jesus was aware that refusing to pay the temple tax may stumble some and discourage them from following Him. The greater purpose directed Him to pay the tax even though He was exempt.

We also see that Jesus could have easily paid the tax without having this discussion with Peter. We see at the end how easily Jesus provided money when needed… and in such a memorable way.  It was not about the money. Jesus wanted to use this as a teachable moment for Peter and His other disciples and eventually all who read the Bible for generations to follow.

Each of us should reflect… when we decide whether or not to do something, do we only consider what is best for us or do we also consider how it may affect others? (e.g. Jesus paid the tax not because He was required to but because He did not want to stumble others.)

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org

Responding to Hostility and Jealousy

Human nature has not changed in thousands of years. When we experience God’s blessing and succeed, fools will look to  harm to us out of jealousy. The wise will instead seek to understand how we have prospered so they can learn and replicate it. In Genesis 26:12-25, Abimelech becomes concerned by Isaac’s great wealth and commands him to leave. While the situations we may face are likely to be different, the concepts are still similar.

Genesis 26:12-25

12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.

16 Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”

17 So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18 He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.

19 Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20 But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21 Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22 Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”

23 From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24 where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.

Isaac respected Abimelech’s authority and relocated to where Abraham had previously settled. When he dug wells he was met with more adversity and hostility from those nearby who challenged his rights to the water there. Isaac avoided conflict again… and again… and eventually found open space. He gave glory to God. He was not complaining about all the hostility he faced but rather thanking God for providing space for him to occupy.

Later God revealed Himself to Isaac at Beersheba and affirmed the promise to Isaac that was first given to Abraham. Isaac responded by building an altar and worshiping God.

I have a lot of respect for Isaac in that He did not try to react in this situation to hostility with violence. He sought open space to peacefully flourish and God granted it to him. While there are times when it is appropriate to fight, as Abraham demonstrated in Genesis 14,  Isaac demonstrates that there are times when the best response is a peaceful one. In this case Isaac was in someone else’s land under Abimelech and then moving into land near where others already occupied. He avoided a conqueror mentality in both cases. With his great wealth it is reasonable to conclude he could have mustered a significant fighting force. Else, why would Abimelech have been concerned?

God provides many examples in scripture where fighting is appropriate and others where a peaceful solution is best. We should be careful not to gravitate to easily toward a one-size-fits-all  solution of violence or peace and try to fit it to every situation. Instead, we should study God’s word and seek Him in prayer for wisdom in how to respond to adversity and threats in our lives as individuals, families, and nations.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Take A Lesson From The Ants

Many times, Biblical wisdom regarding finances is wrapped up and integrated in scripture that speaks broadly to how we should (and should not) live our lives. I like to review and share these passages as they are in that it is very reflective of real life experiences. Often the issues associated with finances are integrated and inseparable from other issues which influence them. For example, earning money is tied to not being lazy. Similarly, treating people the right way, God’s way, may be a part of your financial decisions as opposed to “get more money at all cost” such as taking advantage of others or lying to them.

The wisdom in Proverbs 6 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Please read it slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid reading so fast you can not dwell on the message contained here. Allow God to speak to you for your life and the lives of those you may be able to help.

Proverbs 6

My child,[a] if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
    or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
    and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
    for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
    go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
    Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
    like a bird fleeing from a net.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
    Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
    or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
    gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
    When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family.

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
    and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
    Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
    When you sleep, they will protect you.
    When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
    and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
    is the way to life.
24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
    from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
    Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,[b]
    but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
    and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
    and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
    He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief
    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Such a clear and relevant passage, rather than add to it, I encourage you each to read it again, slowly… thinking about each line and how it may apply to you or those you may be able to help.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Live by the right, very high standard (which is set by God rather than man)

Yeshua sets a high bar when He instructs His followers on proper behavior in how they are to treat one another. We are to engage others using a very challenging and selfless standard He lays out for us in Luke 6. Ultimately we are instructed to treat other by the same standard we want God to apply to ourselves.

Luke 6:27-38

    27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

      37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

The closing line says it all… we are to treat others by the same standard we wish for God to use in His relationship with us. Take time to dwell on that and truly allow yourself the humility to accept where you are not living up to the right standard. I clearly have room to go in this area. There is more grace and mercy I can pour out to others in my relationship with them… more love… more giving. I pray the Holy Spirit helps me and I know He will, because He always does. Praise God He is so compassionate and loving and filled with mercy and grace in His relationship with me. Let me be so to others.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

 

Avoid Even The Appearance of Impropriety

We should not take advantage of others in conducting business just because they may allow us to do so. There may be a variety of reasons why people may make special offers to us during our lives and we must use discernment to understand when it is right and good to accept a gift and when better to graciously refuse an offer.

The most obvious scenarios involve bribes or services that people offer to get special favors in return from us do to some position or influence we may have. This type of behavior is not proper, but unfortunately may be common in our government, business, and politics.

Genesis 23 provides insight into one such matter in the life of Abraham as he seeks to bury his wife, Sarah.

     1Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4“I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” 5The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6“Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.” 7So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. 8And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site.” 10Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth; even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11“No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” 12And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. 13He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me that I may bury my dead there.” 14Then Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15“My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

      17So Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, which faced Mamre, the field and cave which was in it, and all the trees which were in the field, that were within all the confines of its border, were deeded over 18to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field at Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave that is in it, were deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth.

Abraham recognized that he was in a position of influence and financial strength and that those who offered him the land for free may have felt pressured to do so.

They may have felt obligated to do so out of fear of retribution or condemnation, or to gain favor for future “favors” from Abraham, or just out reacting to a quick decision based on sympathy. Abraham was wealthy and not all of the men he was discussing this purchase of land with were wealthy. Their decision in a moment may have been damaging to their finances. Perhaps Abraham just wanted to avoid even the appearance of impropriety to maintain his good name.

Abraham paid full price. He did not even accept a discount. Under different circumstances, he may have negotiated and received a better price, but he was content without negotiating or accepting favors in this scenario.

We can strive to follow Abraham’s example in our business. We can conduct business with others, considering what may help them as well as what is good for us. It should be our goal to conduct business fairly for all involved rather than to take advantage of people for maximum personal gain.  We should treat those we do business with as people God loves. Our behavior and attitudes should differentiate us clearly from those who do not follow God, even if it costs us money.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Biblical Guiding Framework For Financial Freedom

God lays out important principles for managing finances in the Bible. He wants His people to be wise stewards of the resources He provides.

In this article we lay out a high level framework that  provides valuable insight for those who take time to genuinely understand and apply it. I have paired the elements of the framework with some of the scriptures that support them, but there are many other scriptures that could be added.

You can also check out our Resources section of the website for other organizations with a great depth of material on this subject.

1 – Earn Money: Develop a skill and work hard to generate income.

  • Colossians 3:23 – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
  • Proverbs 6:9-11 – But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

2 – Control Spending:  Set a budget that matches your income and stick to it in order to control spending. This budget should include short term “monthly expenses” but also saving ahead for long term expenses like a house, university education, future medical expenses, retirement, and contingency funds for the unknown.

  • Proverbs 6:6-8 – 6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.

3 – Control Debt: Carefully consider any debt before committing.

  • Proverbs 22:7 – Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
  • Romans 13:8 – Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.

4 – Invest: Choose to invest your financial resources for growth. Don’t stuff your mattress with cash in hopes of avoiding risk.

  • Matthew 25:14-30 – Jesus teaches us through the parable of the talents. Click the link to read the scripture.
  • Ecclesiastes 11:1 – Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.

5 – Diversify Investments: Diversify investments to manage risks.

  • Ecclesiastes 11:2 – But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.

6 –Consider Carefully and Seek Wise Counsel: Whether choosing how you will earn income, how to control spending or debt, or how to invest to grow your finances you should carefully consider your strategy and seek wise counsel.

  • Proverbs 22:3 – A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
  • Proverbs 15:22 – Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success
  • Proverbs 14:15 – Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.

7 – Steward Your Financial Strategy: Once you establish your financial strategy you must periodically review and analyze all elements to ensure you are following it and it is effective. This applies to earning income, spending, debt, and investment.

  • Matthew 25:14-30 – Jesus teaches us through the parable of the talents not only that we should invest, but that a good steward periodically checks on the effectiveness of his investments and makes adjustments according to their performance.

8 – Ethics: Following God’s instruction in how we manage our finances is more important than the actual dollars themselves.

  • Proverbs 22:1 – Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
  • Proverbs 22:5 – Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 – That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.

9 – Do Not Be Greedy: To those who love money, they will never have enough. Money is a tool to serve God and to support yourself and your family. The draw to “get rich quick” brings much risk.

  • 1 Timothy 6:10 –  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10 – Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!

10 – Store Up Treasure in Heaven

  • Matthew 6:20 – Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7 –  You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
  • Proverbs 22:9 – Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Victory Comes Through Wise Counsel

We are all at different experience levels and have different gifts in regards to many aspects of life that affect our finances. We have a certain perspective which contains some bias based on our prior experiences and personality. As an individual, we will not see and understand a situation as well as if we approach it from multiple perspectives including wise counsel from those we trust.

Proverbs 11:14

  14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

I remember a great example where my family was walking from a van to the entrance of some entertainment we were going to on vacation. I was focused on the destination, where is the gate, where do I buy tickets, and “marching” quickly with purpose. Yes I was focused on my goals. My wife, however, also interested in our shared goal, had a very different perspective. As I promptly walked passed a beautiful flower display she gently tugged at my arm and showed it to me. I am glad she did. We were approaching the same situation and had the same goals, but very different perspectives while doing so. Together we had a better view then individually.

This same concept is true for controlling debt, controlling our spending, behaving according to the ethics and guidelines that God has lined out for us in the Bible, making decisions with regards to generating income, saving, investing and stewarding our finances. Seek wise counsel from people you can trust or from professionals. To seek counsel does not mean you must follow it. It simply provides more background and understanding and perspective to help you make wise decisions and achieve victory on your goals. Of course, we should be cautious as to who we trust and how we weigh the opinions and insight of others. To listen to the counsel of a fool is to join him in his folly.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

How Can I Share Generously and Yet Increase What I Have?

It makes no sense by our logic. How can we possibly scatter what we have to share with others and yet increase all the more? How can it be that someone who withholds what they are due to pay someone results only in want?

Our sinful, selfish nature often encourages us to hold tightly to whatever we have, regardless of whether we are due to pay it to someone else. It certainly wants us to believe that we can’t possibly share generously with others… “scatter”.

We are to trust in God’s ways rather than the world’s ways. Obey and watch Him bless our lives through our obedience. Rebel and you will experience hardship and lose your joy. Happiness found in the moment will only vanish all too quickly.

Proverbs 11:24-28

      24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.

      25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

      26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

      27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

      28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

Reflecting on the scripture… consider that when we find contentment, purpose, and peace through Christ we will have plenty regardless of our bank account balance. When we clutch tightly to every dollar as if our life depends on it… even when it is due to someone else… we will never have enough. There are always more things to buy or more money to accumulate.

When we bless others through our generosity, we will find greater joy in our lives and prosper in what we do. When we help others, God and others will help us. When we withhold what we have that others need we will be cursed, but when we provide what others need we will be blessed indeed.

Whether we seek favor of others or seek evil, we will find it. Let us not trust in riches as they may come and go like leaves on a tree. One season brings riches and the next takes them away. Instead put our faith in God who created all things.

Take time to consider how you may apply these truths from scripture in your own life. Pray that God will help you. Identify at least one or two you need to work on in specific situations and make a simple plan to get started addressing it this week. Do not delay or make excuses to come back to it “someday when things are not so tough or busy”. Someday may never come. Don’t delay.

Matthew 6:31-33

31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .