Summary: How to make wise decisions.
Decisions (Part 2)
Text: 2 Corinthians 1:17 NASB
“Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?”
This message is the second in a series of messages called “Decisions.” In part 1, we learned about good decisions, bad decisions, and no decisions. Decisions are important because they determine your destiny, and in this message, I want to deal with financial decisions.
These principles that I will cover are very basic. I know everybody says, “I know all this stuff.” Well, the problem is, everybody doesn’t know it. The bad thing about poor financial decisions is that you live with the consequences for years. So, obviously, financial decisions are important.
My premise in part 1 of this series was that one good decision can start you out of the wilderness of hundreds of bad decisions. That means there is always hope. In the financial area, I cannot tell you how many people have received just a little bit of counsel and information that helped them set their course to eventually get completely out of debt.
Let’s begin with a verse in 2 Corinthians 1:17, New King James Version: “Therefore, when I was planning to do this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?” In the New American Standard, it says, “Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?” A problem in decision making comes when you can’t decide whether to say yes or no, and a lot of time in finances, it comes down to a yes or no decision. In today’s economic world, you’ve got to make the right decisions. I don’t say that to make you afraid, but you do have to learn principles to help you make wise financial decisions. Let’s look at six of these principles.
1. Should I spend it, save it, or seed it?
This first principle has to do with your budget. What do you do with the money that you earn? When you get paid, you have three options concerning your money. You can choose to spend it, save it, or seed it.
Years ago, I heard the principle of 10-10-80. That principle means to tithe 10 percent, save 10 percent, and live on 80 percent. That’s a simple formula that really works, as I have had many people testify to me.
Good financial decisions require budgeting. A budget is actually nothing more than a tool for making decisions. If you don’t have a budget, you are not making decisions. You are saying, “I’m just going to spend and hope that I have enough money at the end of the month.” So making a budget is the first step in making good financial decisions. It is a decision to live within your means.
I laughed at what one guy said. He said, “I have decided to live within my means, even if I have to borrow the money to do it!” Now that is a ridiculous statement because living within your means, means that you do not have to borrow. If you are borrowing money every month to make it, then you are living outside your means. You are going to have to cut some things out.
Before buying something, ask yourself, “Is this purchase a part of my budget? Will it bring greater peace to my life? Will it help me advance the kingdom?” Most of the time, the answer will be no, and you should not buy the item.
A second option with your money is to save it. Ask yourself, “Should I save it?” A lot of times people don’t understand the importance of an overall financial plan. An overall financial plan will keep you focused and able to decide when you need to spend money and when you need to save it.
A sister in our church had been struggling financially. She said her problem was that she couldn’t stop shopping and just had to have more clothes. One day she pulled up to a red light on her way home from work and the thought came into her mind, “I’m going to go by T. J. Maxx and buy a dress.” She was at the red light, she had the blinker on, she was turning right to go to T. J. Maxx, and then a thought from the financial series we were doing in church came to her. She thought, “Is that dress a part of my long-term financial plan?” She reminded herself that her closet was already crammed full of dresses that she couldn’t even get to, so one more dress was not a part of her long-term plan. So for every purchase you want to make, ask yourself, “If this money was being saved and working for me with interest, would that be a better option rather than spending it?”