A Wise Man Will Hear And Increase In Learning

Who among us believes it foolish to seek wise counsel from those who have experienced the same things in life that we now face? Not me. Quite the contrary, I value advice from others who have already experienced the challenges I face. We must carefully discern who is providing wise counsel and who is providing only loud opinions… but once we do we can feast on the wisdom they share and seek to apply it to our lives.

Scripture tells us that Solomon received a gift of great wisdom from God. He used it to lead God’s people and govern a prosperous nation.  People came from near and far to hear his wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29    29Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. 30Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. 32He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. 34Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.

We have it available to us in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. How much easier for us to learn from him than even those of his own time! What good reason would we have to avoid reading what Solomon wrote and considering how to apply it in our lives? It is free and we can test what he says for ourselves.

Proverbs 1:1-7

The Usefulness of Proverbs

      1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

      2To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,

      3To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;

      4To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,

      5A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

      6To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.

      7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Solomon covers a lot of ground for how to improve our life in interacting with other people and with God. Much of it applies specifically to finances as well. To begin with we should recognize that to become wise, in any area, we must first admit we do not have all the answers and we can learn from others. If we stubbornly believe we already have all the answers than we will get no wiser because we will reject or not listen to the wisdom others share with us. If we admit we have more to learn and we seek wise counsel we will increase in learning.

   5A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

Two more fundamental building block for a solid foundation on growing in wisdom are captured in verse 7.

      7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Honoring and obeying God is not just “something we do”, like going to church or praying or doing a Bible Study. Obeying God is “a way of doing everything”. Respecting, loving, and yes fearing God is the beginning of knowledge. From this foundation we can gain much wisdom.

Finally, we must admit that those who despise wisdom and instruction are quite plainly fools. Those who refuse wise counsel will remain fools. Let us strive to not be that fool, but instead remain humble enough to listen thoughtfully to advice from God, plainly available in scripture, and to advice from others whom we discern as having credible wisdom. That is how we grow wiser… and wiser… all the days of our lives.

Challenge yourself… are you listening to and considering God’s advice? the advice of others?

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

Contentment Is Essential For Financial Success

Financial success is not to be measured against an absolute standard of money earned or by comparison of net worth to others. There is always someone with more money. Financial success is achieved by matching our resources to our needs and desires while we humbly live for God and serve others. Finding contentment rather than coveting what others have is essential for finding this success. Then we are free to find our joy through relationship with Jesus Christ, who promises never to desert us.

Ecclesiastes 3:12  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;

Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

The United States of America is a wealthy nation. By global standards even many considered to have low income in the USA are relatively wealthy. Despite this relative wealth, most consider themselves to be living day-to-day or month-to-month. They genuinely feel that they are barely getting by. There is insufficient planning for the future, insufficient savings and little investment. There is much coveting and little contentment.

We could double the money everyone is earning and I dare say the broad results would be largely unchanged. Many people would have more stuff they want (and do not need), but would be no better prepared for the future and still be unsatisfied because they don’t know how to be content.

For those who can not find contentment with what they have, they may never have enough. There is always the potential to have more. The ability or willingness to be content provides a foundation for satisfaction in achieving personal success.

Of course, contentment should not be confused as an endorsement to be lazy. Instead, in proper context, contentment provides important balance in managing your work hours required to generate income, controlling spending and debt, in how you select your investing strategies… and opens wide the door toward giving to others and serving God.

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

Find A Financial Mentor You Can Trust

Each of us has the potential to have certain “blind spots” in developing or executing our personal financial strategy. For some it may be in developing skills or applying themselves to earn money. Many have a blind spot for spending without a budget, or blowing the budget by overspending even if they have one. Still others have blind spot in long term planning or in how to honor God by what they give to others.

Finding a mentor or mentors you can trust in these areas can be very helpful, in some cases crucial, for success. When choosing a mentor, look at their life and finances to see if it reflects what you are pursuing for your life. Don’t just pick someone who has a lot of money but has made a wreck of their family life. Pick someone that represents the result or outcome you wish to achieve.

If you don’t already have someone you know that would fit this description, consider getting involved in your community or local church to develop relationships with the type of people you admire and want to be like.  Invest in developing a relationship with them. Get to know them. Let them get to know you.

Once you have established this relationship you probably want to ask them directly about being a mentor or accountability partner for your personal finances. Make sure they are ok making that commitment so they can put the proper time toward it.

You do not have to involve them in every detail, but can have even general discussion that can help you get an unbiased “cold eyes” assessment of your plan and execution of your financial strategy. They can help you see more clearly where on your own you had a blind spot.

For a simple example… let’s assume Peter is trying to get out of debt and stick to a budget. Peter has always accepted that having over $100 / month spend on television programming is not only normal, but necessary. He may continually overlook this as an item he could cut from his spending. When he talks to Paul, Paul recognizes this is a “want” and not a “need” and can help challenge Peter to target spending reductions in that area. In this case, Paul is more objective to the decision, where Peter may be biased because he really likes to watch lots of TV. Peter finds a solution by signing up for a streaming service which replaces his expensive TV programming for less than half the cost.

Mentors that you trust and that have demonstrated the results you want for yourself in their own lives can be very helpful to involve in our financial plans and strategies.

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

Seek First His Kingdom Rather Than Your Own

When we truly seek and listen to Jesus, our view on the world will often get turned upside down. Man so commonly thinks that if I take care of my finances first, I can tackle anything else that comes my way. It is easy to focus on money first and put family or God on the backburner without even doing so on purpose. It just sort of happens gradually. Most of us never really set up even a steady target of what is “enough”. Those who make money, can make more and keep pursuing it.

Jesus calls us to seek first His kingdom rather than our own. By putting Him first, all else will be put in its rightful place.

Luke 12:13-34

Covetousness Denounced

     13Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

      22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

      33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This is a challenging principle, but a very important one. Ask God to help you focus on putting Him first, ahead of finances. Trust in Him to provide everything else according to His judgment.

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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 .

Trust In God to Help You Change, Not New Year’s Resolutions

At the end of every year, it is a natural time for us to pause and reflect on the year just completed. We assess the year and identify areas where we feel we should make adjustments. Many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, or stop drinking alcohol, or reduce spending. Although there is some psychology in leveraging “new year” as a fresh start, it usually falls flat for most. If they are not dedicated enough to change in June, they are not dedicated enough to change in January. Perhaps you have made some New Year’s resolutions this year. How is it going so far?

There is someone who can help us change. Our Lord has given us His written word in the Bible, He sent Jesus to come live among us and to die for our sins, and He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of those who submit to Christ. The Spirit guides and councils us, if we are willing to submit and listen. God can give us the foundation to frame up our life and the personal involvement to guide us throughout so long as we invest in our relationship with Him. His grace can give us real power to change… to turn away from things we should not be doing and to start doing things His way. Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven and we could have a “fresh start” anytime, not just in January.

Turn to the Lord in prayer. Study the Bible. Submit all aspects of your life to Him.

As far as a fresh start for finances… please consider the following and pray about its application in your life.

Guiding Framework for Managing Finances

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

On this page 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 and use it for His glory rather than your own. 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.