Friday, May 30, 2008

Crown Financial Study

I'm participating in a Crown Financial Study, and I have been learning so much about what God says about our finances, our work ethic, our giving. It's pretty awesome going through scripture and realizing that God has laid it all out so clearly for us. Here are some of the things we have been learning along with my comments:

1. Everything belongs to God. We first need to acknowledge that and release our perceived control over material possessions.

2. God has told us that we are to be content when our basic needs our met. "If we have food and clothing, we will be content" (1 Timothy 6:8) We need to stop whining about what we don't have and be grateful for all of the blessings we do have. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.

3. We are to be faithful with what we are given. We are called to be good stewards of God's money. We need to continuously be prayerful about our purchases.

4. The bible discourages debt. "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7) The book lists out some things to consider when trying to get out of debt:

  • Pray
  • Sell what you are not using
  • Decide which debts to pay off first
  • Consider ways to earn additional income
  • Control the use of plastic
  • Be content with what you have
  • Consider a radical change in lifestyle
5. We are to seek counsel. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel" (Proverbs 12 :15) Be careful of the counsel you seek. Make sure they don't have a stake in the outcome.

6. We are to be honest in our dealings. Money motivates dishonesty. "God is especially concerned with the honesty of Leaders". Leaders must set an example of honesty. This is why accountability is so important. "A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life" (Proverbs 28:16)

7. Be prayerful about giving. Give because God calls you to give. Don't give out of manipulation or sympathy. Be purposeful and intentional in your giving and give often. Be a cheerful giver. Give to the poor. I believe needy/poor is one in need of food, shelter, clothing...not someone that's got cell phones, internet, cable tv, house, cars, and chooses not to work - that's called "wanty" not needy. No amount of money will solve that problem.

8. God says that we are to work and work hard. He is our true "boss". "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.....It is the Lord Christ whom you serve" (Colossians 3?23-24). WOW! I was convicted by this one, as I'm sure most of us are. For us SAHM, how about we start praising Him as we are mopping the floors, changing diapers, doing dishes, washing clothes! I remember at our previous church the pastor's salary had to be decreased. He went out and took a job delivering pizzas. Okay, here's the awesome part. When he would talk about his job, he would get so excited. He had the attitude of "Wow, what an awesome job God has given me because people are calling me to come to their house - look at the opportunity I have been given". He was excited about all of the chances he was going to have to witness to people. I've never seen anyone have so much enthusiasm about delivering pizzas. I have no doubt that most of us (including myself) might have been having ourselves one of those "poor me" moments....I can hear us now "Well, I'm not making enough, so I'm having to get this second job...delivering pizzas" in our most feel-sorry-for-me voice. He was living Colossians 3:23-24. My prayer is that I will have that zest for the jobs God gives to me. Also, God says that we are not to mooch off of others. "With labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you might follow our example" (2 Thessalonians 3:8-9)

9. God says we are to be a steady plodder. "Steady plodding brings prosperity, hasty speculation brings poverty" (Proverbs 21:5) Okay, here is where we discussed compound interest...which is an awesome thing!

That's what we've gone through so far. Also, we compiled of list money saving ideas, which I will post later.

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