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Monday, April 7, 2014

25. Personal Finance from a Christian Perspective

When looking at personal finance I recently dug a little into the Bible to see what I could find. Here's some observations:

A. Proper Perspective – Who owns it all?
 

Psalm 50:10-11


10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
  
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
  
and all that moves in the field is mine.
 


Psalm 24:1

The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it. 

Remember, everything belongs to God. Everything that moves is God’s. The whole earth and those who dwell in the earth belong to God.


B. Good Steward? 


In reading the ”The Parable of the Talents” in Matt. 25:14-30
 some thoughts come to mind. As a Christ-follower we have a responsibility to steward what God has entrusted us. Are we wasting our talents and money on things that don’t matter? A good steward is not inactive but pro-active in managing what his or master has entrusted to them. 




C. Be Cheerful Givers?

2 Cor. 9:7



Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.





We are to give cheerfully as we are able. Not with reluctance or under compulsion. This is one of the reasons I have a hard time with people who try to compel others to give. 



D. Practice Self-Control
Gal 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.





2 Pet. 1:6

and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,





Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and a mark of a Believer. Delayed gratification and spending less than you make comes into play here. 





E. Don’t be Arrogant but Do Consider Future Generations
 


 James 4:13-16
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.


Proverbs 13:22
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
  
but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.





Scripture tells us we don’t know how long we’ll have in this life per James 4:13-16. But we need to consider our future generations including our children and children’s children.

F. Have A Generous Heart
The mark of a Believer and follower of Christ is a generous heart. Of interest Jesus told the story of ”The Parable of the Rich Fool” in Luke 12:13-31. Of note the rich man never considered giving some of the crop away to the poor, giving some of the crop away to the local religious organization for disbursement, or selling it at a lower cost to those in difficult situations. If God blesses you with wealth consider how you can help those around you in the Church and those outside the Church as well. 





G. Forgive as We Have Been Forgiven
Jesus in speaking to Peter about forgiveness gave a great illustration in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. A good reminder how much we have been forgiven and how we have the opportunity to extend God’s grace to others. Particularly to those who owe us. Money issues are a primary cause of a lot of relationship conflicts. Consider instead of a loan giving a gift to a friend or family member.


H. Diversify Your Investments and Plan Ahead!

 


Ecclesiastes 11:2


Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.



Proverbs 13:16


A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!



It is important to diversify investments. My father always told me not to put all my eggs in one basket. Dividing investments into multiple types of accounts or companies is a good idea. Also, planning ahead is what a wise man does. From my understanding this means planning for retirement, having an emergency fund, and having a monthly budget.



What do you think of the above list? Do you agree or disagree? As a Christian how do you view personal finance? Leave a comment!

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