Summary: This message is on dealing with two motivating factors of how we spend our money 1) it looks good now and 2) it will impress others later. We should be more concerned with pleasing God than each other.
Being Smart With My Money—What To Avoid
We are in part 2 of our series, Being Smart With My Money. Last week Pastor Toby preached “What Do I Need”. Next Week Pastor Kellie will do “What Cost Me The Most”, Pastor Toby will return with “What Should I do” and today I’m going to talk about “What Should I Avoid.”
You need to avoid the belief that by buying something you don’t need on sale is really saving you money If you do not need it, putting it on sale will not make you need it.
You need to avoid believing that you are going to get free trial samples when you use your credit card for the offer. If you do not read the fine print you will be billed for stuff you do not want and it will keep coming.
You need to avoid having a visa/master card logo on your debit card, because if you lose it, someone can use it without a pin number. It’s your responsibility to contact the bank over fraudulent withdrawals in the specified time period.
You need to avoid believing you have been selected for a free cruise with airfare and all you have to pay is the application fee of only $39 plus port charges. You need to avoid the belief that you are going to earn $40,000 a year working part time on the internet from the comfort of your home.
You need to avoid believing any e-mail informing you of someone wanting to safely put money in your bank account and sharing the money with you for your cooperation.
According to Proverbs 6, you need to avoid co-signing for anyone unless you are willing to make the payments yourself and not be upset over it.
Those are some of the obvious things to avoid. Have you ever purchased something and thought you were getting a wonderful deal, but you found out later that you were wrong and wished you had not made the deal.
I can remember when my wife and I first got married. We barely had enough money to get back to school which was part of our honey moon drive. Another couple had found us an apartment to rent. We had very little furniture other than the bed we had gotten from goodwill. We naturally had to have a beautiful apartment, so we went to the local furniture rental place. The person showed us how the payments fit into our budget and how if we rented for only two years, all of the stuff could be ours at the end of the rental period. That sounded great.
We had to put down a 2 months deposit, that we would lose if we broke the rental agreement. We were so excited about our apartment and how it was going to look. Our living room and dining room area was certainly going to impress anyone who came to our apartment.
Well the first thing I noticed was that the furniture that arrived was not the new furniture we had seen in the store. I looked much closer at the agreement we had signed, and realized that the store promised to send furniture in good shape, not necessarily new furniture. Then I realized if we paid for two years, we would be buying used furniture that was twice as expensive as a new furniture would be.
In our eagerness to have something wonderful right now, we were putting ourselves in a financial hole. We agreed to swallow our pride, lose our deposit, and have an empty looking living room and dining room until we could save the money to put something in it. We hoped we would have no visitors. We went after the furniture because it looked good, and it would give us the approval and admiration of others. We were attempting to impress them with our worldly wealth when all we had was sinking debt.
We need to know first how do we avoid things that look good today, but may not look so good tomorrow. The second thing we need to know how do we avoid the desire for the praise and the approval of others. In our Old Testament reading, Lot and Abraham were family members who had so many sheep and cattle, there was not enough farmland for them to stay together. They had to part ways. Abraham told Lot, “Look, if you go to the left, I will go to the right. If you go to the right I will got to the left.”
Lot looked to see which direction offered the best land. Lot chose that land, but the risk that came with it was that it was toward Sodom which was a very wicked land. Could Lot maintain his property and his relationship to God if he made the decision to camp out near Sodom ? Sometimes we will be tempted to make a decision that may increase our wealth, but it may erode or wither away at our relationship to God. Lot was looking so strongly at would he would gain, that he did not consider the possibility of what he might lose. He did not ask the question, “what should I avoid.” We’ll get back to him later.