Luke 16:8 offends me. It says
8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.
What it is saying is that Christians aren’t real good in managing money and related issues compared to non Christians. Doesn’t explain why. It’s just a statement. Interestingly the bible is filled with great money management advice. So to help you, me and anyone else reading this blog to be better managers of money, here is summary of the advice that the bible gives to us, on money and money management.
1. Get Wisdom
The bible tells us many times through Proverbs, that we should get wisdom.
Proverbs 8:15-18 is written as if Wisdom is speaking in the first person
By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.[a]
17 I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
So we should take this advice and educate ourselves on money, how it works, the principles of increase and on how to manage what we have better.
My suggestions to achieve this are;-
Finish reading this blog and then do your own biblical study on it
Read money books, like Richest Man in Babylon – George Classon
Subscribe to Money Magazine
Read David Koch’s Blog
2. Pay for Advice
We are seemingly more willing to pay for tangible products that intangible. We pay for petrol and food, and for the tradesman to fix something on our house, but when it comes to advice we are often reluctant to hand over the money just so someone can tell us something.
My advice is (and this is free) – pay for advice.
For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Don’t try and work it out yourself, get help. Pay a financial advisor. Pay an accountant to do your taxes etc. Pay for a full service Stockbroker. If you try and do this on the cheap, well, you get what you pay for.
One of the main thoughts behind this apart from your are more likely to get quality advice – is that you value what you pay for. Reality is that this blog is free and so most people will read it and go – that’s nice – but imagine if I was charging you $1000 to read this biblical advice blog – you would read it and re read it until you have squeezed all the juice out of the orange, so to speak.
3. There is good debt and there is bad debt
Harness the power of good debt and avoid bad debt
Good debt is where you go into debt to buy an income producing asset. Such as an investment property. Bad debt is where you go into debt to buy a depreciating asset like a car, or anything that does not produce an income – like borrowing for a holiday.
There is a story in the bible of a lady who God told to go into debt. But it was good debt and it was going to produce an income for her and her family.
2 Kings 4:1-6
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. 6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased.
Her ability to go into debt, determined her future income source. So interms of you and me and money management, we need to minimize bad debt and utilize good debt when opportunities arise.
Being in business can increase the potential future income
There is a story in the bible of a Businessmen named Simon Peter, who owned a business. It was a fishing business. As part of this business Simon Peter owned a boat. One day, they had a huge catch. God blessed them. Now because Simon Peter owned the boat, he then owned the catch. If Simon Peter was just an employee, then he would have just got his wages at the end of the day. Here is the story.
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Now I am not saying we should all run out and start a business as its just not that simple – but I am sharing with you a biblical principle of money management. The potential is greater in Business than as an Employee.
The proliferation of get rich quick schemes illustrate the propensity of mankind to want to take the short and easy road to prosperity. Money guru Paul Clitheroe is quoted as saying “Get Rich Slow”. Love it. Reality is that getting ahead in life financially takes some hard work. Let’s look at what the word of God says about it.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing.
13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
So work hard and don’t look for the easy path. Remember when it comes to wealth and investing – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Speak life over your finances
So many people I talk to speak negativity and death over their finances. We will never get ahead. We will never be able to afford that. Etc etc. The bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) so we need to stop speaking death and start to speak life over our money.
2 A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth,
But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.
Always honour God with your finances and with the first fruits of your increase
The bible warns the Children of Israel about forgetting God when they were blessed. I think this is a sobering thought. We need to keep it as a priority that we do honour God with our finances. The bible does talk about the principle of sowing and reaping, we often want to reap but not so much sow.
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
There is much to be said about building generosity around your life and the impact that that has on others and also on your own world.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
I think it’s a great aim that we are not only generous with our money but we are generous in all areas of life
I remember Paul Clitheroe years ago saying that one of the greatest destroyers of wealth is divorce so if you want to create wealth – stay married. The bible does say this too.
Proverbs 5:7-12 Speaking about adultery and its consequences
7 Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Remove your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
9 Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 Lest aliens be filled with your wealth,
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
12 And say:
“How I have hated instruction,
And my heart despised correction!
10. Set Goals
I am a fan of setting goals for my finances and my giving. The bible suggests this is a good idea.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
All financial advisors, accountants etc all suggest that every person has a budget to help them maximise their money management ability. The bible encourages us to do the same – just with slightly different language.
23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
The bible speaks of ants being exceedingly wise – and the reason for this accolade – they don’t eat all their food, but they save some for when food is scarce. We should do the same. Save some of our money each week for when money is scarce.
24 There are four things which are little on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer
13. Believe God for finances
I don’t think it is wrong theology or wrong practise to believe God for our finances. Asking Him to bless us and bless the seed we have sown.
2 Corinthians 9:10
10 Now may[a] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
My last thought is this. We need to remember that prosperity is for a purpose.
The man with no shoes cannot give his shoes to the man with no shoes
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