Category Archives: Ethics

Responding to Jealous Anger

When we pursue the things of God and receive His blessing (whether financial or otherwise), others will often become angry or jealous. They want our joy or success and resent us for it. For the wise, it is an opportunity for them to listen and learn about our relationship with God and how He is blessing us. However, many act foolishly and refuse to listen. How we respond matters.

Genesis 26:12-25 records that Isaac was living in Philistine land. Jealousy of others toward the success of Isaac (due to God’s blessing) drives conflict which ultimately leads to Isaac’s departure from the area.

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.

We see that 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. Abimelech becomes concerned by Isaac’s great wealth and commands him to leave.

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 worshipping 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-at-all-costs 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.


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

Taxes… Just as Aggravating Now as Long Ago

Many of us are frustrated or angry about the amount of money that our local, regional, or national governments demand in taxes. Given the exhaustive examples of how that tax money is wasted badly by the government or given away to others who are not working or paying taxes it is understandable why we would feel this way.

Do you know that Yeshua faced something similar during His earthly ministry? Let’s watch Jesus’ response when confronted by others to pay a tax (to the temple, not Caesar) from which He is actually exempt.

Matthew 17:24-27

      24When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?25He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27“However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

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. It seems those who collect other people’s money to spend as they see fit (e.g. tax collectors) have not changed much in thousands of years. Human nature is still human nature.

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, many would not understand or accept Jesus correct explanation of why He was exempt. It would cause them to stumble.

Similarly, we can sometimes make an argument that some of the taxes should not apply to us, or those who take in income in cash may rationalize that the government will waste it anyway and so they decide not to report their cash income. This is a typical human response for someone who is focused on what may be best for them or is just angry with the government waste.

However, Jesus was aware that refusing to pay the temple tax would stumble some and discourage them from following Him. The greater purpose directed Him to pay the tax even though He was exempt. Jesus was focused on a bigger picture than just the incremental tax payment.

How might this apply to us today? If we submit to Jesus, scripture commands us to proclaim Him publicly. If we proclaim Him publicly, but then give the appearance that we also break tax laws or worse, actually break tax laws… it could not only reflect badly on us personally, but on Jesus Christ whom we publicly represent. We may stumble people as they struggle to see what it means to live for Jesus Christ.

It is fine to be accurate in calculating tax payments and avoid paying the government too much. It may even be noble or helpful to actively campaign to lower the tax burden as it would help many.  However, we should avoid even the appearance of wrong doing in how we manage our finances in general, and our taxes specifically. Thus, we should pay what we owe by law.

When we decide whether or not to do something, each of us should take time to reflect… “Am I only considering how this affects me? or am I also considering how it may affect or stumble other believers or those who may be watching and deciding if following Jesus really does lead people to be different from others?”


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

If Anyone Is Not Willing To Work, Then He Is Not To Eat Either

Paul provided clear counsel in 2 Thessalonians 3 to address those who refuse to work and try to live in sloth off the hard work of others. If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. God does not want us to be lazy and be a burden on others, even if they are willing to support us.

      6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

      14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Receiving and giving help in times of emergency or exceptional hardship for those who are genuinely trying to work and provide for themselves, to the extent they are able, is good. However,  it is wrong for people to live in sloth, burdening others indefinitely without being willing to work themselves.

This principle applies today for all those who are taking money from government. The government does not have its own money. It takes money from others who earned it on the basis of their own hard work… and it does so typically against their will. God never intended for people to be dependent on the government, but rather on God. When we filter help through the government, we even take away the premise of thankfulness and voluntary giving in God’s name. Instead people perceive it as their right to receive someone else’s money. It encourages them to continue as a dependent of “free” money. It discourages hard work and self sufficiency.

Work hard and earn your keep. Do not be a burden on others when you are able to work by choosing not to do so.


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

Do You Serve Money or Does It Serve You?

We can learn a lot about someone’s character by observing them in times of grief or opportunity. In Genesis 23, we see the godly character of Abraham as he seeks to bury his wife, Sarah. He serves God rather than money. Money is a tool for him. We should learn from his example.

      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.

Reviewing Abraham’s actions at this difficult time reveals some important points to consider that can impact your finances:

  • The Hittites had great respect for Abraham even though He distinguished himself as a man who followed God and was a foreigner in their land. They worshipped other gods.
  • Abraham showed respect for the Hittites despite their different beliefs. This does not mean he agreed with them or participated in their false religion.
  • Abraham was not afraid to openly ask for help.
  • Abraham, though wealthy, was not greedy. He refused the opportunity to take advantage of the offer of receiving the land for free. He did not even haggle. Further, he avoided any possible appearance of wrong by conducting business in the open with witnesses.

As Christians, we can strive to follow Abraham’s example in dealing with non-Christians. For those who are not openly hostile and seeking to kill Christians, we can conduct business with them and show them proper respect. We treat them as someone God loves and someone whom we would love to reach with the good news of the gospel.  However, we do not hide our faith. We openly live so as to show that we follow and serve God. Our behavior and attitudes should differentiate us clearly from those who do not follow God.


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

A Father’s Wise Advice

The wisdom in Proverbs 6:1-15 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Please read it slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid reading so fast you cannot 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.

Take great care in giving a pledge or guarantee on behalf of neighbors and strangers. Do not do so unless you can afford to lose that amount if something does not work out.

1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

      2If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

3Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Be not lazy. Instead, be industrious, taking ownership for your own care and for that of others you are responsible for. Think ahead, well beyond the short -term daily provision but rather looking ahead to the future. It may seem far off now, but if you don’t prepare now, you will face crisis later.

6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

Do not devise evil for your own financial gain.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

13Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;

14Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.

15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

Consider scripture from Proverbs as if it were advice from a wise, loving father… because it is just that.


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

Choose Your Own (Financial) Adventure – But Do So Wisely

I remember as a child reading a style of book that was called a “choose your own adventure” book. This style of kids’ book has a basic story line with several outcomes for each situation the characters encounter based on which choices you as the reader make for them. For example… if in the story the main character faces a choice to go into a cave or continue in the forest… the reader chooses and turns next to the page that continues the story based on that decision. The outcome is different based on the choice the reader makes.

The same is true in life. Yes, for each of us there are some preset assumptions for our adventure… who our parents are, where we are born, what value system we are taught, etc. However, we each have the opportunity to make choices for ourselves that influence the outcome of our personal story. This is true whether or not we choose to admit that we are making decisions that matter. Do we get up and find a job? Do we work hard? Do we show love to others? Do we obey God?

We make decisions every day. It is just that we at times overlook the importance of how even our seemingly daily, “small” decisions influence the outcome of our life.

I used to think it would be helpful to have a guide to help me choose wisely as each situation came up in those choose your own adventure books. What if I had a map that showed which choices led to success and which to destruction? Wouldn’t that be great! It would help me navigate to the best possible outcome for whatever story I was in.

While no one made a guide or map for the choose your own adventure books, God did in fact provide a guide for helping us in our everyday life decisions while we deal with other people and with God. Of course this includes managing our finances wisely!

While the Bible as a whole provides much value and insight here, Proverbs in particular comes to mind as providing lots of specific applications of wisdom for how we make our daily decisions. Many of the Proverbs are laid out in such a way as to contrast righteousness and wisdom to wickedness. We do well to study Proverbs consistently and apply it as God intended as the guide to help us navigate our lives to the best possible outcome.

Do not think of scripture as something old and out of date. Instead, think of it as part of an instruction manual that God has given you… yes you, specifically… for your life. Read it as if God meant for you to use it in making your daily decisions, because He did!

I always encourage you to click the link and read the whole scripture, but I have highlighted some verses in the article that have more applicability for finances specifically.

Proverbs 17

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

      1Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife.

2A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share in the inheritance among brothers.

5He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished

10A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

18A man lacking in sense pledges and becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.

23A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom to pervert the ways of justice.

At first glance, perhaps some of these may not be clear in regards to finances. Take time to dwell on them. Verse 10 and 12 strike me of very applicable to those of us who may make mistakes with our finances from time to time. Someone who wishes to help us may rebuke our unwise choices and we should take care to keep pride at bay and remain humble enough to receive their correction, even if they don’t say it in the nicest way. We will be the benefactor of the message if we do. Similarly, let us not be the fool trapped in his own folly once we have made a poor decision on finances. Be willing to admit a mistake and get out of it, even if at a loss. This could apply to overextending our debt by buying too big a home or too expensive cars and doing so on debt instead of saving ahead. The interest could cost you dearly. It could apply to investing in stocks when we make a poor choice and have a losing position.

10A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

Take time to really reflect on each of the verses in today’s article. Think of situations and decisions you are facing today in your life. Which verses in today’s reading is God putting on your heart to apply in your life to help you make the right decisions?

God may also show you through His word some examples of where you handled a situation well, even if the outcome was not what you wanted… thank Him for the encouragement!

Continue to study and apply the wisdom contained in Proverbs to specific issues in your life. Use the wisdom God provides to help your find the best outcome based on choices you make that  influence your own personal adventure in life!


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

A Light to Guide My Path

We have probably all experienced a time when we are in true darkness. Perhaps camping in the woods on a very cloudy night? Maybe just in our house when the power goes out at night or we wake up at night and walk around the house without turning lights on so as not to disturb our family. Sometimes we can start to remember our way around if it is familiar circumstances… but how well do we do when there are unexpected obstacles (e.g. toys left out in pathways, etc.) or imagine if someone rearranged all the furniture! Usually we will not do well. We will trip or fall or gather bumps and bruises. It is really hard to get around without being able to see where we are going… to recognize clearly what are the obstacles that could hurt us and which is the safe path to travel.

That is why God has given us the Bible! What a glorious gift to His people to have His written instruction book for life. If we choose to use it, it serves to light up our path so we can safely find the right path for living and avoid the traps and obstacles that could hurt us.

Psalm 119:105

105Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Proverbs in particular serves to provide timeless wisdom for us in how we should deal with our fellow man and also with God whether or not we are focused on finances or more broadly at life in general. It reminds us of what is good and what is bad. Remember, true goodness is that which is identified by God as right, not that which is identified by man as right. Man often gets it wrong. That is why God wrote it down!

Read Proverbs often, and not as if you are trying to win a race for reading quickly but rather pausing and considering how each verse is relevant not only in life today, but specifically how it may apply to your life. Then allow yourself the humility to admit where you are wrong and work to change your behavior and attitude. Those who are too proud to admit they are wrong, never get the benefit of learning to do better.

Proverbs 16

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

       1The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

      2All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives.

      3Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established.

      4The LORD has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.

      5Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

      6By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

      7When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

      8Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.

      9The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

      10A divine decision is in the lips of the king;
His mouth should not err in judgment.

      11A just balance and scales belong to the LORD;
All the weights of the bag are His concern.

      12It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
For a throne is established on righteousness.

      13Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And he who speaks right is loved.

      14The fury of a king is like messengers of death,
But a wise man will appease it.

      15In the light of a king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.

      16How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.

      17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.

      18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

      19It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

      20He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

      21The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

      22Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it,
But the discipline of fools is folly.

      23The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.

      24Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

      25There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

      26A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.

      27A worthless man digs up evil,
While his words are like scorching fire.

      28A perverse man spreads strife,
And a slanderer separates intimate friends.

      29A man of violence entices his neighbor
And leads him in a way that is not good.

      30He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things;
He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.

      31A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.

      32He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

      33The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

Many like to believe they are in control of their own life, but we are not in control of our lives. We can influence our path and choose how we react to the unexpected. Truly, the most impactful thing we can do is to submit to God and seek to follow His instructions for how to live our lives. We can seek relationship with Him, obey Him, and then trust in Him even through the tough times.

I recognize I have not focused this article on what is specific to finances, but if you read the scripture carefully, it speaks volumes in regards to how we work hard to earn money, treat people while we earn money, submit to God as priority over our money, recognize God’s sovereignty over our situations, etc. There is much to harvest and all we must do is humble ourselves in submission to the Lord and seek His wisdom and then seek His help to apply it in our lives.


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

How Is Financial Planning Like the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is considered by many to be one of the most important sporting events in the world each year. Many from around the world tune in to watch it even if “their team” did not make it to the final game. Much time and preparation is spent certainly by the teams in preparing for the game, but even by many spectators and fans around the world as they prepare parties and tailgating and other such events to watch the game.

Many people spend more time preparing for, watching, and then talking about the Super Bowl then they actually spend preparing their personal financial strategies. One could spend a little time reflecting on which will ultimately be more important for each of us… but we quickly conclude that perhaps we should spend a little more time planning our finances, even if we have to wait until the big game is over and behind us.

Financial planning may not sound like much fun, so let’s try to make it a bit more interesting. In some ways it is like preparing for the Super Bowl.  Without good planning and execution, you will never win. “Luck” or “winging it” is just not good enough to carry you to victory. Proper preparation for a Super Bowl victory begins before the season every starts.

Start with the end in mind. Teams don’t just show up in training camp with the intent to “play football”… if they do, they do not win very much. They must define success and goals along the way to evaluate their performance in moving toward that success. Winning teams come into the season planning to play for the Super Bowl rings! They don’t just plan to play catch and throw and suddenly find themselves in the Super Bowl. There is short term sacrifice for long term success.

Similarly, for our financial planning you must define what success looks like for you. Define your personal goals and steward progress toward them. Think big! Do not limit yourself to simply having money for earthly things, but also to store up treasure in heaven. How you view your success will strongly influence how you play the game!

Define your goals… define success.

  • Matthew 6:20-21 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7 –  7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
  • Proverbs 22:9 –   9He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor.

Steward your progress toward those goals and make adjustments when called for. If something is not working as you expected, do not be afraid to consider making “in game” adjustments to your game plan.

  • In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus teaches us through the parable of the talents that a good steward periodically checks on the effectiveness of his efforts and makes adjustments according to their performance.

With every game there are rules. If you do not know the rules and play by them, you will likely not do well on the field. Penalties for failing to follow the rules can ruin your game. In finances, as with most of life’s challenges, God has laid out the rules for us in the Bible. Know what God says about how we should treat others and how we should conduct our earthly affairs. It is also true that man has added some rules, called laws, as well. We should heed both sets of rules.

  • Proverbs 22:11A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.
  • Proverbs 22:55Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13-1413The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Plan carefully and seek wise counsel. Do you ever see a winning Super Bowl coach who did not have a staff of assistant coaches… advisors? The head coach makes the final decisions, but the good ones listen to the advice of others and weigh carefully in their decisions the counsel of others.  Surround yourself with bad counselors and you will fail.

  • Proverbs 22:3 – 3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
  • Proverbs 15:2222Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.
  • Proverbs 14:15 –   15The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps.

To win at any level, you should carefully evaluate your gear… your tools. In football, you need the right shoes, gloves, helmet, pads, ball, etc. In financial planning, the tools you use (or don’t) are also important. They can be of great help or set you up to underperform your abilities. We recommend you visit our Resources section of our website to find some organizations we recommend that provide helpful tools to assist you in “elevating your game”… to be more effective and successful in planning and managing your finances.

It is important to focus on fundamentals to excel. No team will win the Super Bowl on trick plays and misdirection if they do not also have strong foundation in executing the fundamentals well.

Super Bowl Champions do not start with trick plays and 80 yard touchdown plays as their foundational strategy and neither should you in your financial planning.  Avoid greed… assuming you can win with a few big plays… a few high risk investments that are “sure to pay out”. You may want to put a few in as diversification, but don’t put yourself in a position to win or lose solely on “making the big play” over and over again. 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 –  10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:1010He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.

Let’s talk more about your Offense (e.g. earning money) . Offense wins games. Your offensive stars:

  •  Hard work and a great attitude are a formidable pair. Develop a skill and work hard to generate income.
    • Colossians 3:2323Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
    • Proverbs 6:9-11 – 9How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10“A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest”— 11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.
  • 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 –   1Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.
  • Diversify investments to manage risks.
    • Ecclesiastes 11:22Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.

Finally… Defense wins championships! No one can win unless they can stop the other team from scoring. Similarly, no one can earn enough money to win the game if they spend like drunken sailors. Just consider government spending, which almost always outpaces essentially unlimited income from taxes – it is never enough to satisfy those in government. Defense requires discipline.

  • 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.
  • Control debt. Carefully consider any debt before committing.
    • Proverbs 22:77The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
    • Romans 13:8 –  8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
  • Save money. Save for known expenses and for unknown. Save for today, and save to have money to invest tomorrow.
    • Proverbs 6:6-8 –  6Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, 7Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, 8Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.

Perhaps with a little less fanfare, do not forget Special Teams. They may not affect every down, but they can make the difference in a win or a loss. Prepare for long term expenses such as buying a car, paying off a house, paying for college education, preparing for retirement. To be successful, you must prepare for these things in advance… you can not wait until the special teams is on the field to start planning !

One last piece of advice for your game plan in financial planning… even with the best game plan, you can’t win if you don’t start playing the game! Don’t wait for the “perfect” time to get started.

Ecclesiastes 11:44He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

(If you are too worried about the clouds and winds to start preparing the fields and planting the crops… waiting for perfect conditions… you will not have a harvest. The perfect time never comes. Look only for a good or appropriate time to get started.)

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you prefer a “non-football” version, please review our Guiding Framework.


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