Finances are a looming and major part of our lives, whether we have no money at all, and must constantly scratch for worms to keep alive, or we are part of the huge middle class, and are mostly juggling our cash with our concerns, or we are wealthy and weary with boredom because we have no challenges to face. I speak facetiously because those are cliche categories in regards to finances. Our financial worth does not have to dictate our motives and attitudes.
Really! We may choose our approach to financial principles, and change our caste!
And yes, our spiritual condition affects our finances. Or, it should.
Here are some helpful principles and thoughts on financial principles, as found in the Bible by Jacques. These range from giving to budgeting, planning, and to avoiding debt; I especially resonate with Jacques' desire to help out the less fortunate, but I see all these principles as IMPORTANT!
1. Give to God the first fruits of your labors not the leftovers. (Proverbs 3:9).
2. Be Content With What You Have. Lack of contentment is a sin. It is also the greatest cause of unnecessary debt. (I Timothy 6:6).
3. Budget Your Income. Work hard to know the condition of your resources. Be ready to give an account before God. (Proverbs 27:23; 1Corinthians 4:1).
4. Stop Going Into Debt. Get rid of the credit cards if you cannot control them. (Proverbs 22:7; Romans 13:8).
5. Begin to put aside for the things that break down. Start with a small amount but make it regular. (Proverbs 30:24).
6. There are only two ways to fix a debt.
a.) Increase your income
b.) Decrease your outgo.
7. Evaluate Your Expenses - are they really necessary? Try going without. Learn to judge real value and costs. (1 Corinthians 2:15) Ask God to give you wisdom in financial matters. (see James 1:5).
8. Set Your Financial Priorities. According to Matthew 6:33, we are to seek first the kingdom of God. Make a list of your major financial goals in the order of importance. Now pray about them. Are they the will of the Lord for your life?
9. Make the Tough Decisions on Purpose. Judge the situation with God's help, and make the right decisions. (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Ignoring a problem does NOT make it go away.
10. In Good Times Plan for Lean Times. (Proverbs 30:25)
11. Simplify Your Life. John warns us against loving the things of the world. (1 John 2:15-17). Simpler is less complicated and often much more peaceful. You can learn to appreciate having and doing less.
12. Learn New Skills. Colossians 3:23 tells us, whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. You cannot do your best if you do not develop your talents and expand your knowledge. You can also learn to hone skills that can save you money.
13. Consider a Job or Career Change. Some people stay in dead-end situations even after it becomes plain to them that there is no future for them where they are.
14. Don't Be Blind to the Alternatives. We tend to see things as we have always seen them. God wants us to look beyond our reasoning and see other possibilities. Proverbs 3:5-6. (A good rule of thumb: There are usually three times as many alternatives as you think there are. Keep looking. Keep praying.)
15. Give to Others in Need. In times of financial troubles, we tend to get selfish. Proverbs 11:24, Proverbs 19:17
One final note: it may not be God's will for every one to be financially stable. He may allow sickness or financial disaster to occur for His own purposes. He may force us to look to Him in faith through financial problems. The precepts given above are general in nature and God often intervenes. We obey them because they are God's will, not in order to be rich in this world. God must always be the centre of all that we do. Do not set your eyes on the riches of this world. You cannot serve God and mammon (material possessions).
I really believe that those who have should really make a concerted effort to help those who have lost their way and are battling to satisfy their own desires. They need to be led to the Life Goal intended for all of us, because these poor people won't find it themselves. It's because we've become so selfish with our resources and so self-centred that we have become the main obstacle to God's army being raised up/freed. (Deuteronomy 15:7).
Do you know of any Christian that could find it within him or herself to kickstart such an initiative? Is there anybody out there who cares?
I'm willing to devote my entire life to freeing my brothers and sisters in Christ from this terrible bondage which causes them pain every day. Is there anybody out there that can supply me with the tools?
I initially thought that some rich Christian dude would want to start something like this. There might still be such a dude/dudette out there, who knows?
Amen, Jacques! I am such a dudette. This is why I work so hard at my online businesses.
In fact, if you read the more about me page you will notice - if it doesn't slip past you - that in 1983 I moved back into my parents' house to care for them in their old age. I knew they couldn't pay me, so this would be an adventure of learning to trust God for all my practical needs. When I talk with personal friends about that time now I will sometimes remark, "Notice that after 23 and a half years I still have my body and soul together." I did not starve to death or die of any other causes. Best of all God taught me that HE can be TRUSTED! Totally!
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One
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