Are You Digging a Hole, Investing, or Gambling?

There are always a lot of uncertainties in the world. Some may be global political conflict or wars or terrorism. Others may include domestic conflict between political parties with very different views. The world is still recovering from a recession with a lot of interference from central banks keeping interest rates lower than they should remain.

How do you handle your finances in a situation like this? Are you digging a hole, gambling, or investing with your finances?

Digging a hole refers to constantly spending more money than you earn. Even if you are not accumulating debt, if you are not saving money for future emergencies or future planned expenses (e.g. car, house, retirement, etc.) you are actually digging a hole for yourself that gets harder and harder to climb out of as you get older. This principle applies whether world events are volatile or calm.

Gambling reflects those who, often driven by greed, make disproportionately large investments, or bets, on things like oil or a particular stock that they think will make them “rich” if it moves in a particular direction. This approach may be acceptable as a speculative diversification in part of an investment portfolio but the typical investor should never assume any particular investment is “fool proof” and go “all in” on it. Sometimes it will work out, but it may also result in disaster.

A wise investor instead diversifies across multiple investments. He or she is prepared for unexpected moves in value of the investments in short term and long term. The wise investor does not always make the highest return on any one investment, but instead makes a steady and predictable return on investment regardless of circumstances.

So each of us should periodically reflect… “Am I digging a hole? gambling? or investing?”

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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 .

Righteous Attitude Toward Money And Possessions

Jesus speaks to us in Matthew 6:19-34 about a righteous attitude toward money and possessions and also reminds us how important it is that we ensure we are following God’s instruction, God’s light,  to guide our path.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Jesus reminds us that if we focus our time and energy on generating money and possessions in this world, we are focusing on the wrong things. Money and possessions are temporary. They will not last. We can not serve both money and God. One or the other may be our master, but not both.

While it is right to plan for the future, worrying about tomorrow is not helpful. It can not add a single moment to our lives, and if you study the adverse health impacts of stress you come to realize that worry may actually shorten our lives or negatively impact our health. We must put our trust in God… the creator of the universe who loves each of us individually us as a father loves a child.

Jesus reminds us also that those who think they see the light clearly… understand right and wrong… understand God and His will… but do not truly know Him are in trouble. They are in utter darkness, but not even searching for the true light to guide their path for they think they already have it. To ensure we stay connected to God’s will we must anchor our understanding of His character and will in the Bible and have an active, personal prayer life to come humbly before our lord and savior on a regular basis.

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

Strive for God, Not Earthly Rewards

In Genesis 14:17-24 Abram returns from a significant military victory in which he saved his nephew Lot along with other captives and many possessions that were taken as plunder of war. He takes nothing of the plunder for himself. He gives a tithe to Melchizedek, identified as both king and priest, returns the captives and the plunder asking only for the food his troops already ate and a share of the goods recovered for his allies.

17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High,[d] brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who has defeated your enemies for you.”

Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”

22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Abram makes a point to show that he did not fight to get riches. He fought because it was right to do so. It was a righteous battle. He gives to God through the tithe to Melchizedek and asks for some of the goods for his allies. Melchizedek gives praise and honor to God for the victory.

God wants us to follow Abram’s example… to fight righteous battles not for personal gain but to live in accordance with God’s instruction. The battles we are called to fight are not always literal. Many times we are not called to raise sword or spear but rather to speak the truth and stand up for our faith and resist those who wish to silence Christians through fear or persecution. Sometimes it may be choosing those we do business with or vote into political office based on their public demonstration of faith and honoring God instead of someone who is selfish and greedy for power… and helping convince others to do the same.

For those who may be struggling to apply to their lives, consider that often we will have an opportunity to strive for or fight for what God declares to be good and holy. We should do so. We should not look upon every situation as if the prime consideration is “How can I make money in this situation?” but rather “How can I honor God most in this situation?”

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

In God We Trust Indeed… Not In Money

It is far to common that we trust more in our money than in our Creator. Money in the bank helps us feel secure. High salaries help us feel confident and self sufficient. We must be cautious to use money righteously, as a tool, but to trust only in our Father in heaven.

Psalm 49

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

     1Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

      2Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.

      3My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.

      4I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will express my riddle on the harp.

      5Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,

      6Even those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?

      7No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—

      8For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—

      9That he should live on eternally,
That he should not undergo decay.

      10For he sees that even wise men die;
The stupid and the senseless alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.

      11Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have called their lands after their own names.

      12But man in his pomp will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish.

      13This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words.

Selah.

      14As sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for Sheol to consume
So that they have no habitation.

      15But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me.

Selah.

      16Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;

      17For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His glory will not descend after him.

      18Though while he lives he congratulates himself—
And though men praise you when you do well for yourself—

      19He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They will never see the light.

      20Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
Is like the beasts that perish.

We all perish. Money will then be worthless, even if we managed to accumulate a bunch of it. Money can not help us enter into the kingdom of heaven. Put your trust in Jehovah, money is but a tool He can use to bless us or a trap Satan can use to tempt us.

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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 .

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

Prosperity and the Love of Money

Many today preach a false gospel about prosperity. They teach that if you have enough faith  you can command God and use His power to give you a bigger house or more money. For those who study the Bible for themselves this can quickly be recognized as foolishness.

There are plentiful examples of wealthy people who served God such as Abraham, Solomon, and David. As a matter of fact, wealth used to honor God can be a great resource. Great wealth was used to build God’s temple. Wealth can be used to help people around the world and of course to share God’s word.

However, there are even more abundant examples of poor people who served God with great faith, such as the prophets and disciples… and even Jesus Christ Himself.

Luke 9:58

58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

Wealth is not an indicator of someone’s relationship with God.

The love of money on the other hand, when it replaces the love of God, leads many to ruin.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 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.

Matthew 6:24 reminds us of the following:

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

It is easy to give lip service and say that we serve God and not money. If you truly reflect on how you live and where you spend your time… would it tell a different answer?

Want to look at it more objectively? Take on a challenge for a week. Without doing anything out of the ordinary in your schedule, keep track of where you spend your time. You can, of course, do this for more than a week. At the end sum up by category where you spent your time putting the most time at the top and the least at the bottom. You will likely see things like “sleeping” near the top and that is ok. You will have “eating” and “TV or internet or online  entertainment” and such. You may have a hobby. Many of us will have jobs to include. Mom’s who take care of their children full time should absolutely give them self credit for the category “taking care of children” for this is one of their most important responsibilities before God. Where in the list does “prayer” show up? Where in the list does “Bible study” show up? How about “rest”, as God commanded us to observe the Sabbath? What about “helping others”? Do not exclude work from the analysis as a “must do”. How much we do and what job we do are choices and they do compete with the time we can devote toward God. If your work is pleasing to God and honoring His kingdom (e.g. ministry outreach formally or informally in your workplace or mom’s taking care of their kids, etc.) do not feel bad that you spend a significant portion of your time there. If, however, work is only a means to gain an income it may have a different consideration. Ultimately you are the “judge” and you should prayerfully consider what changes you should make rather than get defensive and just rationalize why you are already doing everything right. Consider involving an accountability partner whom you trust and who shares a true faith in Jesus Christ.

You can of course complete a similar activity tracking over the course of a month where you spend your money.

For most of us, the results will make us think and more objectively challenge ourselves on how much time we really devote to what we serve. Do we serve money, our own selfish desires, or God?

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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 .

 

Fix Your Thoughts on What Is True, Honorable, and Right

There are many traps that can lead us to fail in executing our personal financial strategy. One of the most common mistakes is to take our thoughts off of what we are trying to accomplish and focus instead on the obstacles in our way or get distracted focusing on what others have that we may want.

We can easily get distracted by lies and frustrations that are not productive focus for accomplishing our goals.

“If I only have a better car, bigger house, newer phone, etc. then I will be happy.”

“I deserve (or need) a better job, and more expensive clothes, etc.”

“I will save more in the future, when I am making more money.”

“I don’t have the job skills I need, so I can never accomplish my goals.”

“Others had an easier road than me. I am just not lucky enough.”

Scripture tells us to avoid the trap of coveting what others have and comparing ourselves to them.

17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” [Exodus 20:17]

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he gives additional guidance to help us.  

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. [Philippians 4:8]

This instruction applies broadly to all aspects of our lives and is certainly applicable to how we manage our finances. We do best when we focus on what is true and honorable and right. Instead of focusing on what others have or what we think we deserve or our frustrations over obstacles we face, we stay focused on our financial plan and working toward achieving our goals.

Set goals, steward progress, remain focused. Yes, be aware of obstacles enough to plan a way around them… but don’t focus on them as permanent blocks in your path. Instead of focusing on what you think others do not deserve, focus on what you need to do to be successful.

  • Stay focused on and content with what God has provided.
  • Focus on the plans you set to accomplish our goals, or on developing good plans.
  • Steward progress toward those goals.
  • Avoid distractions and traps that could lead you astray.
  • Pray for God’ s help, praise Him as He works in your life, and give Him thanks!

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

We help you create a simple but effective framework for a personal financial plan including generating income, managing debt and spending, investing and giving.