Bible, Christian and Bankruptcy

Christian Legal Chronicles



WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT MONEY AND FINANCES

(Christian principles regarding management and wise use of money and finances)

This article provides Biblical insights from God’s Word regarding the principles, management, and use of your money and finances.

BASICS:

We are constantly bombarded with the world’s distorted perspective on money and materialism.  Therefore, it is good to regularly and repeatedly renew our minds and remind ourselves of the Bible-based basics of financial management (Romans 12:2, 8:6; John 8:31-32). 

Budget:

Live within your means (Luke 14:28).

Save:

Have savings for a safety net; don’t consume all your wealth (Proverbs 21:20).

Borrowing = Bondage 

“The borrower is a slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

Borrowing money (for example credit card debt) produces bondage.

There are a number of good Christian based financial management and debtor education courses that can provide you with specific ideas, strategies and ways to budget, save, and avoid future debt. This article provides several ideas, hints, and strategies.  


HINTS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM:

Wise Financial Teachings:

You have heard it said, “Live within you means.”  But I say to you, live BELOW your means.  For then you will have savings.

You have heard it said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”  But I say to you, that  a penny saved is MORE than a penny earned because the savings are tax free!

“Input determines output.”  Therefore, limit your exposure to advertising.  Advertisements create desire for “things,” and things cost money.

Be (Frugal) Attitudes:

Blessed are those who save for a rainy day, for when the rain comes, they will stay dry.

Blessed are those who are content with no more than food and clothes, for they will see themselves as rich and blessed with anything more.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled; and they will not need to fill up with material things which never satisfy in the long run.

See “More Hints” (practical tips and usable ideas) in the Addendum at the bottom of this article.


BIBLICAL-BASED INVESTMENT ADVICE:

The Tortoise and the Hare Rule:

Avoid “get rich quick” schemes (Proverbs 28:20, 28:22). 

Diversify:

Diversify investments into several (e.g. 7 to 8) categories because you do not know what disaster may come upon any particular company or sector.  (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2; see also James 4:13–15).

Grow:
 
Seek to grow your money (Matthew 25:14-29).


WEALTH AND RICHES (a Christian Perspective):

Godliness with CONTENTMENT is great gain.

God gives power to obtain riches and wealth (Genesis 13:2; Deuteronomy 8:18; 1 Chronicles 29:12).  However, we are to not desire to be rich (1 Timothy 6:9).  Instead, be content even if all we have is food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8, 6:6; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11). 

Why? Because desiring riches lead to falling into temptation and a snare [trap], and into many foolish and harmful lusts (1 Timothy 6:9); further, deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word of God so that one becomes unproductive spiritually (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19); finally, riches have no lasting value (Proverbs 23:5, 27:24; Psalms 49:6-7, 49:17).

Further, beware of covetousness, for materialism does not produce fulfillment (Luke 12:15, 8:14; Ecclesiastes 5:10; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5).

“Power, popularity, prestige, pleasure [and riches] —nothing can fill [and satisfy] the God-shaped void in man’s life but God Himself.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1 through12:7; John 6:35)

Trust in God, not riches.

Trust not in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17; Job 31:24-25; 31:28), for trusting in riches will ruin you (James 5:1; Luke 8:14; Matthew 19:23; Mark 10:24; Psalms 52:5, 52:7; Proverbs 11:28; Ecclesiastes 5:12).  Glory in the LORD, not in riches (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

Seek godly wisdom, not riches.

Rather, seek for wisdom which is the most important thing (Proverbs 2:2-2:6, 4:7, 8:17, 15:14, 18:15, 28:5).  Yet, wisdom tends to produce riches as a byproduct (Proverbs 3:13, 3:16, 8:12, 8:18, 14:24, 24:3-4; 2 Chronicles 1:11) as does humility, fearing God and delighting in God’s commandments (Psalms 112:1,112:3; Proverbs 22:4). 

Work hard, but not to get rich.

Hard work increases wealth (Proverbs 10:4, 13:11), but don’t labor so you can become rich (Proverbs 23:4). 

And don’t overwork to become rich (Proverbs 23:4) because “burning the candle at both ends” leads to sorrow (Psalm 127:2). 

However, laziness leads to poverty (Proverbs 12:24, 19:15, 21:25), destruction (Proverbs 18:19, Ecclesiastes 10:18) and lack (Proverbs 15:19);

Finally:

Riches from God are a blessing with no sorrow added (Proverbs 10:22).


GIVING (Tithes, Offerings, Gifts):

There are many views on this topic.  I will purposefully stay very general on this topic. 

Watch out for Pastors and Ministers that make merchandise out of you.

Avoid teachers and spiritual leaders those (example, certain slick tele-evangelists and T.V. ministers) who say that godliness is a means of gain and wealth (1 Timothy 6:5) but, who, in reality, seek to greedily exploit you) 2 Peter 2:3; Isaiah 56:11 (also Titus 1:10-11; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2:14-15; and Jude 1:11).

In truth, God owns everything (Psalms 24:1, 50:7-12; Haggai 2:8); therefore, God is a debtor to no man (Romans 11:35).


Giving Principles:


Giving is a work of God’s grace in us (2 Corinthians 8:1-2, 6-7).


Give motivated by love (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:3), secretly and humbly (Matthew 6:1-4), cheerfully (not grudgingly) (2 Corinthians 9:7), in response to need (not in response to greed) (Acts 4:34-35, Acts 11:27-29), according to what we have (2 Corinthians 8:12), and as our heart moves us to do so (Exodus 25:2), and as the Spirit leads (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18), which reaps fruit on our spiritual account (Philippians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 9:6), and trusting that God, as He promised, will supply all your need (Philippians 4:14-19; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8). 

 

But make sure that your family “needs” are met (Mark 7:9-13). 

Note: If circumstances or a spouse prevent or hinder you from giving money as you believe you ought or desire, you can experience the joy and satisfaction in giving in other ways … intercessory prayer, Sunday School teacher, charitable service, etc.

..

SUMMARY

Take in more than you spend (the exact opposite of losing weight).

“Earn all you can.  Save all you can.  Give all you can.” (John Wesley)

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.ADDENDUM

MORE HINTS:

Resist:

Resist buying the latest high-tech gadgets, and they will flee from you.

Think twice before buying.  For example, do I really need exercise equipment that I will never use after a weeks?

Live a minimalist lifestyle.  Do with less.

The Best Cost Less:

Many of the best things in life are free or very low cost.

Recreation does not need to be trips to the mall or high-priced vacations. Opt instead for hiking, nature walks, ball games, bicycling (in safe, low or no vehicle traffic places), and picnics.

Exercise: Cancel a gym membership. Prisoners and military personnel show that calisthenics work for strength training without the need for expensive equipment. Additionally, many outdoor activities are great for cardiovascular workouts.

Media Entertainment:  Cancel any cable or dish television subscription service.  Most of it' is junk.  A lot of it can be found online. 

Movies: Stop going to the movies. It's mostly mind trash sweetened as entertainment.

Socializing: You don't have to spend a lot of money to socialize and have a good time with others. 

Fix what’s broken.  Patch what’s torn.  Repair what’s repairable. … but not if the cost to repair equals or exceeds the cost to replace.

Keep your car as long as you can.  Older cars run well if serviced regularly. Today's cars can last well past 150,000 miles if taken care of.

Brown bag your work lunch. It's cheaper and probably healthier.

Over the course of time, it will save you thousands of dollars.

Weekly Necessities: Stock up on Sale Items.   When your weekly non perishable good and products go on sale, stock up!

Buy-Use-Sell Cycle: Consider this strategy: Buy used products.  Then sell them immediately when you are done with them.   The result is often a lower the net cost for the item (Buying price minus selling price = Net Price).

Example: Buy a used toy at a garage sale for $10.   Use it. Then sell it at your own garage sale for $7.  The net price is $3. 

Other examples: Clothes, cars, music, books, sports equipment, cars, jewelry etc.  Plus, this also minimizes clutter in the home.

Don’t try to keep up with the Jones. People that earn less but have more are often IN MASSIVE DEBT. And, frequently, their relationships show the stress of it.  They often are up a creek without a paddle. 

Couponing: Buy items on sale that you also have a coupon for (but that you need). Main coupon sources are the Sunday edition newspapers and online coupons.

Negotiate Telecommunications: Call and negotiate a better deal on your mobile phone and/or high-speed internet. Just the threat of cancellation and switching to a competitor will sometimes prompt a better offer from you existing carrier.

Plant a food garden. Enjoy more nutritious and better tasting food. Also, it can be rewarding, fun, and liberating. Start small if you're just starting out so you don't get discouraged.

Restaurants: Cut down eating out at restaurants if you dine out frequently.

Compare insurance costs: Shop around for better auto or homeowners insurance. When's the last time you compared rates? Perhaps your policy includes extra coverage you don't currently need.

Save gas costs:

Find the cheapest gas station in your area. 

Check your tire pressure every week according to the owner’s manual.

Alter your driving – Be a mellow driver.  Accelerate like you have an open beverage sitting on your dashboard.

Unclutter: Don’t pay storage fees for items that you rarely use. Instead, sell or give the items away via a garage sale, selling on E-bay / Craigslist or a tax-deductible donation to a charitable organization.


Author: Lawyer Matthew B. Tozer.

2012
 
Disclaimer

Under the new bankruptcy laws, Mr. Tozer is a debt relief agency because he helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Christian Legal Chronicles

Bible, Christian and Bankruptcy