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Christian Finance (Entire Article)

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By Gordon Mallory

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When you look at the family’s finances, are you getting anywhere? Where is your manner of living and spending leading you? Your whole family can be happier, and find much satisfaction, security, and joy when you wisely plan the stewardship of your finances.

 

4 Steps to Christian Money Management

 

Any attempt at money management without good family communication is a waste of time. A large percentage of divorces in America have money management as the root cause of the separation. The family must be able to talk together very objectively about financial decisions. The family must decide together what is important.

 

If this is your first try at money management, set up a 3-month or 6-month plan. After you see how your plan works, you can revise it to cover a longer period. If your earnings are very low, you will need to plan more carefully to take care of your immediate needs and current bills. If your earnings are irregular, base your estimate on your previous income and your current prospects. Never purchase over $50.00 without talking it over first.

 

  1. Determine your goals.

 

First, list what you want for your family. This is NOT a listing of bills that have to be paid. You must set goals — know what you want, what is important to you, before you can work out the details of a budget.

 

Be realistic. Goals will change as the size, age, and income of your family change. Decide what is most important, giving priority to goals that will benefit the whole family.

 

Write down your goals in order of priority. What is the most important? (If your children are young, saving for their education is a long-range goal that will not be achieved for 15 or 20 years).

 

Long-Range Goals:

 

Goals for the Next 5 Years:

 

Goals for This Year:

 

  1. Estimate your income.

 

Before you can plan wisely, you need to know how much money will be available for the year and by the month. List all regular monies your family expects to receive during the year: salaries, dividends, rents, gifts, bonuses, allowances, and other sources. If you plan to borrow money, list this under income.

  1. Plan your giving, saving, and spending.

 

  1. Remember that the budget is to serve you.

 

A budget is not designed to take away your liberties in spending, but to help you use your dollars more efficiently. A budget is a tool to help your family achieve your goal in a given time. It can help bring happiness and satisfaction to your family. It can be used to honor God who has entrusted life and all other resources to your care.

 

A Look at Biblical Principles in Personal Finances

 

Accounting

 

  • Matthew 18:23-25: “The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date.”
  • Romans 14:12: “Yes, each of us will give an account of himself unto God.
  • Matthew 25:14-30

 

Budgeting & Planning

 

  • Proverbs 22:3: “A prudent man forsees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
  • Proverbs 22:3-4: “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”
  • Proverbs 27:12: “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences.”
  • I Corinthians 16:1-2
  • Luke 16:1-8
  • Luke 14:28-30
  • Luke 12:16-21

 

Attitudes & Actions in Our Business Life

 

  • Leviticus 19:12
  • Psalm 112:5
  • Proverbs 10:4
  • Proverbs 13:4
  • Ephesians 4:28
  • Proverbs 13:11: “Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.”
  • Romans 12:11
  • Luke 6:35
  • Malachi 3:5
  • Ecclesiastes 5:12
  • Proverbs 24:10

 

Be Honest?? Or Cheat??

 

  • Romans 12:17
  • Luke 16:8-12: “For unless you are honest in small matters, you won’t be in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
  • Jeremiah 22:13
  • Proverbs 28:8
  • Proverbs 11:1
  • Deuteronomy 25:15
  • Proverbs 22:16: “He who gains by oppressing the poor or by bribing the rich shall end in poverty.”

 

Contentment

 

  • Hebrews 13:5
  • I Timothy 6:6-10
  • Philippians 4:11-12
  • II Corinthians 6:10
  • Luke 3:14

 

Co-Signing Notes

 

  • Proverbs 6:1-5: “Son, if you endorse a note for someone you hardly know, guaranteeing his debt, you are in serious trouble. You may have trapped yourself by your agreement. Quick!! Get out of it if you possibly can. Swallow your pride; don’t let embarrassment stand in your way. Go & beg to have your name erased. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t rest until you do. If you can get out of this trap, you have saved yourself like a deer that escapes from a hunter, or a bird from the net.”
  • Proverbs 11:15: Be sure you know a person well before you vouch for his credit! Better refuse than suffer later.
  • Proverbs 17:18
  • Proverbs 20:16
  • Proverbs 22:26
  • Proverbs 27:13

 

Debt

  • Deuteronomy 15:6
  • II Kings 4:1
  • Proverbs 3:27-28
  • Proverbs 1:17-18
  • Romans 13:8: “Pay all your debts…”
  • Proverbs 22:7: “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.”
  • Psalm 37:21: “Evil men borow and cannot pay it back! But the good man returns what he owes with some extra besides! (Wonder if Solomon had an insight into “interest rates”?)

 

Discipline

 

  • Hebrews 12:11
  • II Corinthians 8:11
  • Luke 9:51
  • Matthew 7:13-14

 

Check the Facts

 

  • Proverbs 14:8, 15: “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts. Only a simpleton believes what he is told. A prudent man checks where he is going.”
  • Proverbs 18:13: “What a shame–yes, how stupid!–to decide before knowing the facts!”
  • Proverbs 19:2
  • Proverbs 23:23
  • Proverbs 27:23-24
  • Luke 14:31-32
  • James 1:5

 

Inheritance

 

  • Luke 15:11-31
  • Ezekiel 46:16-18
  • Ecclesiastes 2:18-19
  • Proverbs 20:21
  • Proverbs 17:2
  • Proverbs 13:22
  • Proverbs 24:27: “Develop your business first before building your house.”
  • Matthew 6:19-21: “Store up treasures in Heaven where nothing can destroy.”
  • Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words remain forever.”
  • Matthew 25:14-30
  • II Timothy 2:4
  • II Peter 3:10

 

Money

 

  • Luke 16:1-13

 

Needs

 

  • Matthew 6:25-33

 

Prosperity

 

  • Genesis 39:3
  • Deuteronomy 29:9
  • Joshua 1:6-8
  • II Chronicles 25:5
  • Psalm 1:3
  • Psalm 35:27
  • Proverbs 10:22
  • Proverbs 28:13
  • Jeremiah 17:7-10
  • Luke 6:38
  • John 10:10
  • II Corinthians 8:9
  • Philippians 4:19
  • III John 2

 

Prudence (Discretion, Foresight)

 

  • Psalm 112:5
  • Proverbs 8:12
  • Proverbs 14:8,15,18
  • Proverbs 18:15
  • Hosea 14:9
  • Proverbs 12:16,23
  • Proverbs 15:5
  • Proverbs 22:3
  • Amos 5:13
  • Proverbs 13:16: “A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it.”
  • Proverbs 16:21: “The wise man is known by his common sense.”
  • Proverbs 27:12: “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences.”

 

Saving Money

 

  • Proverbs 21:5,20
  • Proverbs 30:24-25

 

Slothfulness

 

  • Proverbs 18:9: “A lazy man is brother to the saboteur.”
  • Proverbs 24:30-31
  • Hebrews 6:12
  • Ecclesiastes 10:18
  • II Thessalonians 3:11

 

Speculation

 

  • Ecclesiastes 5:15-17: “The man who speculates is soon back to where he began–with nothing. This, as I said, is a very serious problem, for all his hard work has been for nothing; he has been working for the wind. It is all swept away. All the rest of his life he is under a cloud: gloomy, discouraged, frustrated, and angry.”

 

Tithing & Giving

 

  • Deuteronomy 14:33
  • Malachi 3:10
  • Matthew 23:23
  • I Corinthians 16:1-2
  • Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your wine vats with the finest wines.”
  • II Corinthians 9:6.8
  • Hebrews 7:1-2

 

Waste

 

  • Luke 15:13
  • John 6:12

 

Wealth

 

  • Deuteronomy 8
  • Psalm 50:10-12
  • Ecclesiastes 2:26
  • Luke 12:16-21

 

Genesis 37-41 JOSEPH: an example of God’s Character of a Steward.

 

  1. Man of Forgiveness
  2. Man of Compassion
  3. Man of Love
  4. Desire to Live as a Righteous Man
  5. Desire to Serve

 

God has always provided and always will!

 

  • Genesis 41       – Provision was through a plan
  • Exodus 15       – Moses
  • I Kings 17       – Elijah
  • II Kings 4        – Elisha
  • John 21:2-6 – Peter
  • Matthew 4:11 – Jesus
  • Luke 12:7 – His People

 

Christian Family Budget

 

There are 3 fundamental principles of Christian financial planning:

 

  1. Giving (Luke 6:38)
  2. Being Debt Free (Romans 13:8)
  3. Saving (Genesis 41:35)

 

God’s principles become reality through planning:

 

  • Proverbs 22:3: “A wise man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them.”

 

What is a debt?

 

When you borrow to purchase a depreciating item. An automobile is very definitely a depreciating item, and should be purchased on a cash basis.

 

Credit cards can be used wisely as:

 

  1. A tool of convenience
  2. A system of accounting
  3. A possible source of short-term interest-free funds

 

How do you get rid of your present debts?

 

Only by tightening the budget.

 

Are there any benefits to budgeting?

 

Budgeting is, in fact, planning. Most people never plan to fail, but rather fail to plan.

 

4 Basic Reasons Why Families Experience Financial Difficulty

 

  1. Failure to Give
  2. Failure to Provide for Emergencies
  3. Failure to Resist Credit Buying
  4. Failure to Set Aside Funds for Depreciable Items

 

What are the benefits of a budget?

 

  1. Train the family in the things of finance — Stewardship
  2. Establish a new dimension of communication in the home.
  3. Measure what God is saying in various decision-making situations.

 

A budget provides two things:

 

  1. A system for accounting.
  2. A method of planning for the future.

 

Your budget must:

 

  1. Be flexible
  2. Fit your family’s personality
  3. Embrace the principles of God’s Word
  1. Giving
  2. Owing no man anything
  3. Saving

 

To be a good steward, we must remember that we are not owners, but managers or stewards of His goods. What we have has been loaned to us and we must be very wise in using it.

 

Psalm 1:3 — God really wants his people to prosper!!

 

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

 

What should your budget objectives be??

 

  1. Start a system of disciplined spending.
  2. Reduce the amount of money wasted through needless expenditures.

 

Establish some goals:

 

Short-Range Goals — reached within 3-5 years

Long -Range Goals — 5 years and over

* Arrange the goals in order of priority *

 

Budgeting will aid you in achieving your goals by permitting you to consider all your spending within a single framework.

 

Rules of Budgeting:

 

  1. Make a list of all your monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual expenses. Then divide your quarterly, semi-annual, and yearly expenses into monthly amounts.
  2. Group similar expenses together and place them in their respective categories.
  3. Don’t have too many categories; otherwise, it will make your accounting difficult.

 

Schedule of Depreciating Items

 

Type of article                                     Specific articles                                      Yearly Depreciation

 

Automobile                                         Purchased New……………………………..30%      first year

……………………………..10%      thereafter

 

Appliances                                          Stereo, Tape Recorder………………………10%

Small   Appliances………………………….10%

Stove …………………………………………7%

Washer………………………………………12%

Dryer …………………………………………8%

Refrigerator…………………………………..7%

 

Carpets & Rugs                                   Under $5.00 / yd……………………………20%

$5.00 – $10.00 / yd………………………….10%

Over $10.00 / yd……………………………..7%

 

Draperies & Curtains                          Drapes, Shades……………………………..10%

Curtains…………………………………….20%

Venetian Blinds………………………………7%

 

Furniture                                             Upholstered/Chrome/plastic……………….10%

Wood………………………………………..7%

Other……………………………………….20%

 

Lamps                                                 Table/Floor………………………………….7%

Shades ……………………………………..20%

 

Yard Equipment                                 ……………………………………………..20%

 

Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying

 

  1. Do I really need this item?
  2. Is the price reasonable?
  3. Is this the best time to buy the item?
  4. If this is a bargain, is it a current model?
  5. If “on sale”, is the price a true sale price?
  6. Am I sure that no less expensive items can be substituted?
  7. Am I sure there are no major disadvantages?
  8. If excessive in price, will it truly satisfy an inner need?
  9. Have I checked and researched the item?
  10. Do I know the retailer’s reputation?
  11. Does this retailer offer any special services with the item?
  12. Would the purchase please God?

 

** When you desire to purchase something, write it on a list and leave it there for a few days — and don’t purchase the item until it’s been on the list for awhile. You will be amazed at how so many of the desirous items are not even wanted or have dropped in priority 30 days later.

 

Tithing is easy and fun when your priorities are in order! “God loveth a cheerful giver!” Give hilariously unto God! God wants to illustrate his power to us. Malachi 3:10: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you will not have room enough to take it in!” We usually say, “Let’s go borrow.” Sometimes we jump too quickly. Let God show his power to us.

 

II Corinthians 8:14-15: God uses finance to unite Christians. Sometimes God prompts the one with extra to give. “Some are too proud to receive and some too stingy to give.” When the Jews had a famine, Paul went to the Gentile churches and collected for them and this united the church.

 

What About Giving?

 

“Give and it shall be given to you.”

 

  1. Give tithes and offerings to God. When we give to the ministry or the church, we should always give with the thought in mind, we are giving to God. I want to give to Jesus cheerfully and willingly. Malachi 3:11
  2. Give to other Christians. Romans 12
  3. Give to the poor. Everything you give to the poor God will give back, and usually more. Proverbs 19:17: “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

 

What About Receiving?

 

  1. Labor — Romans 12

 

  1. Other Christians with extra will sometimes give if we’re in need. II Corinthians 8:14-15

 

  1. Receive from an answer to prayer. “Because for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”

 

What About Spending?

 

  1. Build up sales resistance. What companies usually advertise the most and strongest, we usually don’t need.
  2. Get the best buy.
  3. Make prompt payments.

 

Attitudes to Have Toward Creditors

 

  1. You are using their money, so be considerate.
  2. Communicate, even if you cannot pay. Romans 12:11: “Not slothful in business.”

 

Key to Godly Success

 

  1. Remember where you came from.
  2. Live within your blessing.
  3. Share what you have.

 

 

This article “Christian Finance” was excerpted from: New Life Seminars notebook by Gordon Mallory. Pg. 75-86. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

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