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Friday, May 2, 2014

10 Financial Principles Straight From The Bible

10 Biblical Financial Tips
It amazes me that Dani and I, who both grew up in Christian homes, who were both saved at young ages, didn't start learning all of this financial stuff until we were married. In the 16 months since taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University we have discovered a whole world of biblically-based financial advisors, blogs, websites, books, and more that talk about managing your money from a God perspective.

Neither of us learned this growing up. I never once heard it preached from a pulpit. I never remember hearing it on Christian radio. Maybe the whole trend of managing money God's way is just now starting to catch on, but I also think it's sad that more pastors don't preach this stuff. The more I learn, the more I think, "It's so obvious! Why didn't I get this sooner, and why aren't more people doing it?"

Here are 10 financial principles straight out of the Bible that I'm, A) stunned I never heard about before, and, B) want to pass on to someone else so they don't waste their life digging themselves into debt. Because, let's face it folks, America isn't getting any better. The government is not going to protect your assets, your 401k, or even your hard-earned retirement. Don't count on it. Put your trust in the only thing that has proven trustworthy: God. The following financial principles are tried and true. They're real, and if put into practice will change your financial future.

  1. God is the source of everything. Learn this. Learn it now and it will make the rest of your life a lot easier. All throughout Scripture we're taught that everything we have comes from God and we give it out of His hands. God owns it all, from the earth (Psalm 24:1) to all the silver and gold (Haggai 2:8) to me and you (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

  2. Giving isn't a good thing to do, it is an ESSENTIAL thing to do. Like I blogged about yesterday, Deuteronomy 14:23 tells us that tithing wasn't created for God's benefit, but ours, to teach us that God comes first. The Bible encourages us to give a tithe to the Lord (Proverbs 3:9, 10) from the "first fruits" of our earnings—yes, that's before taxes. The book of Hebrews suggests a tithe should be 10%.

  3. You've got to allow some room in your life for the unexpected to happen. By all means, make your plans and live out your plans, but do so with an understanding that God may ask you to do something different. The Apostle Paul was running around murdering Christians when God radically changed the direction of his life. The same goes for the disciples, as well as Jonah, Job, and countless other Biblical figures.

  4. Set something aside for a rainy day. The Bible says that only a fool spends everything he has, but in the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil (Proverbs 21:20). We should all be setting aside a little bit of what we have because no one is exempt from hard times. A house fire. A lost job. Sickness. The Bible essentially says that not planning for hard times is idiotic.

  5. Avoid unnecessary debt. As I've written about before, the Bible doesn't necessarily condemn or condone debt, but it does strongly caution against it. In fact Proverbs 22:7 essentially calls anyone who is in debt a "slave to the lender." Debt isn't usually worth it. Stay clear of it.

  6. Be content with what you have. Despite what cultural philosophy might tell you, happiness is not found in the "American dream" or by having more money, better cars, or bigger homes. Scripture teaches that covetousness and lust are wayward desires of the flesh that just pull us away from Christ. Just read The Ten Commandments.

  7. Keep records. People who run their businesses without keeping records are morons. Their businesses fail. No intelligent person would run a business like that, yet it's how we run our lives every day. Proverbs 21:23 says to be diligent in knowing the state of your wealth, and 1 Timothy 5:8 says—and this is the heavy one—"If anyone does not provide for his own, especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." So know what you've got and what you're doing with it.

  8. Don't go into debt with someone else. Cosigning on a loan? I'd hesitate on that one. Proverbs 27:13 suggests that poorest credit risk you could take is to agree to pay someone else's debt. Think about it, the only reason a lender requires a co-signer is if they don't trust the borrower to pay the money back. If you agree to cosign, this means that the lender is smarter than you!

  9. Don't be afraid of hard work. The Bible doesn't pull any punches on this one. God values labor, and richly rewards those who aren't afraid to work hard (Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 28:19). This whole concept of work is all throughout Scripture. God worked to create the world (Genesis 1:1), and when Jesus called the disciples away from their fishing, it wasn't so they could just follow Him around and listen to Him preach, it was to make them "fishers of men." A different kind of work.

  10. Seek Godly counsel. The Bible says that people who seek the counsel of the Godly are blessed (Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 15:22). If you need financial advice, don't talk to friends and family members who are just as in debt as you are. Talk to your pastor, your elders, and, above all, seek God's guidance through prayer and His Word. And be prepared to hear hard things because they're most likely going to tell you that some of your financial decisions are downright stupid. But if they won't tell you, who will? And if they don't tell you, where does the roller coaster of spending and debt end?
Keep pinchin' :-)

This blog was inspired by an article by Christian financial advisor George Fooshee. Click here to read his 10 biblical financial tips.

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