Before I was converted to Christ by His almighty grace, I worked for a large Scottish Mutual Fund, latterly in a consulting role. That was over twenty years ago, and yet last Sunday night, I found myself giving out financial advice again. This time my motive was not to make myself and others rich, but rather to help mid-late teens build a biblical foundation for handling money to the glory of God. And this time I could speak with the authority of God’s Word rather than the best computer forecasts and estimates. Here’s the outline I left with the young men and women:
1. God owns everything (Ps. 24:11; 1 Chron. 29:11)
2. God loans us what we have (1 Chron. 29:12; James 1:17)
3. God says money is important (Jesus spoke more about money than anything else)
4. God will call us to account for how we use our money (Matt. 25:19)
1. Study (Prov. 24:3,4)
- No one is born a George Soros.
- If someone gave you $2M today, you would buy a book on money management.
- The average American family will earn $2M in working life
- Consult with others who have a proven record of financial stewardship (Prov. 15:22)
2. Budget (Prov. 24:3,4; Luke 14:28)
- If you aim at nothing you’ll always hit it.
- 3% who had written goals achieve more financially than the other 97% combined
- Give every dollar of income a name and every dollar of expenditure a name
3. Save (Prov. 21:10; 22:3; Matt. 25: 14-30)
- Short-term (emergencies)
- Medium-term (major purchases)
- Long-term (retirement, college tuition)
4. Give (Prov. 3:9,10; Luke 6:38; 1 Cor. 16:2)
- Start now, even if it is a very small amount
- Church then chosen charity
5. Insure (Prov. 22:3)
- “Foresee the evil and hide (“cover”) yourself
- Number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills (#2 is credit cards)
6. Wait (Heb. 13:5; 2 Cor. 6:10; 1 Tim. 6:6)
- Be content with what God has given you and learn to patiently wait until you can buy with cash
- 19% of bankruptcies are filed by college students (usually caused by credit card debt)
- People spend 47% more when using credit cards than when using cash
- 88% of “Ninety days interest-free credit offers” are turned into high interest loans
- Avoid get-rich-quick schemes (Prov. 13:11)
7. Unite (Eph. 5:22-31)
- “One flesh” means “one set of finances”
- “If you are not working together it’s not going to work” (Dave Ramsey).
- “Separate checking accounts mean one of two things, either ignorance or problems” (Dave Ramsey).
8. Repay (Prov. 6:5; 22:7)
- Repay loans as fast as you can “like a gazelle escaping a hunter”
9. Work (Eccl. 9:10; 1 Tim. 5:8)
- Choose a vocation in an area/interest you are passionate about and God has gifted you in, rather than something that will make you rich.
10. Audit (2 Cor.5:10)
- Review, review, review.
- Seek accountability (husband, wife, parent, friend) before you are called to account.
1. Above all seek the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8)
2. Lay up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20)