Summary: Building a foundation by monetary means is useless and futile without Godly wisdom. Honoring the Lord with our finances is the key to a stable future.
Building a Stable Future
(Part 2, Building a Stronger Family)
Text: Proverbs 3:7-18 (page 450 in pew Bible)
TOP 10 SIGNS YOU ARE BROKE
10. American Express calls and says: "Leave home without it!"
9. You’re formulating a plan to rob the food bank.
8. Long distance companies don’t call you to switch.
7. You rob Peter...and then rob Paul.
6. You finally clean your house, hoping to find change.
5. You think of a lottery ticket as an investment.
4. Your bologna has no first name.
3. You start washing the Styrofoam plates.
2. McDonalds supplies you with all your kitchen condiments.
1. At communion you go back for seconds.
Building a foundation by monetary means is useless and futile without Godly wisdom. Honoring the Lord with our finances is the key to a stable future. Most American families have a tendency to build their families financial futures on misplaced happiness. They go looking for that one thing that will be the purchase of a lifetime. We will look at some more cornerstones that we need to lay in building a stronger family, but there is one that I want to share with you that speaks to the heart of the problem. It is a faulty cornerstone of ruin.
Money is so much more that coins and currency. It all too often is the means by which people rate their personal success. And it frequently is a source of tremendous conflict between husbands and wives.
The Bible teaches that the way people use money indicates a lot about the condition of the heart. As we look at some of this faulty cornerstone of ruin, I want you to examine the condition of your heart in each of these matters.
Faulty Cornerstone 1: Foolish Spending and Debt
“Do not be wise in your own eyes…”(v7)
Someone once said that the only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a few dollars down and easy weekly payments.
In the American religion of materialism, there are two words more sacred than any other: "Charge it!"
- Yet, consider the following two scenarios in evaluating the intelligence of using “the plastic”:
1. Ellin is 30 years old. She has a $3,500 balance on her Citibank credit card at 18% interest. She makes the minimum payment each month. How old will she be when she has her credit card paid off?
2. Tom and Susan needed a new washing machine, so they went to Sears and found one for $299. They got a Sears charge card and made the minimum payment each month. By the time the washing machine was paid off, how much did Tom and Susan actually pay for that washing machine?
(Answers: 1. 70 years old; 2. $1,199)
- Obviously, credit card purchases are not the wisest of decisions.
- In the midst of everyone shouting "Charge it! Charge it!" without giving it a second thought, the Bible gives us another c-word to replace "credit" on our path to financial happiness: that word is "contentment."
- The difference between seeking financial happiness through credit versus seeking it through contentment can be neatly summed up in this way:
The world tells us financial happiness comes by having what you want; the Bible tells us the key is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.
We have to learn to be content with our circumstances. The moment we step outside of that rule we forfeit the kind of life God expects us to be living. One of the worst ways this kind of behavior infiltrates our families and destroys them is through foolish spending and overwhelming debt. I’ve been in that trap before. I have made some really stupid purchases.
I can remember when Tanya and I were dating, we took an afternoon and went to Daytona Beach. I thought it was the greatest time because Tanya had asked if I wanted to go and that she would cover all the expenses.
I kid you not, $600 later (on her credit card), we came home. It was so bad that I stopped telling time by the clock, I figured it by how many times that card was swiped. I was so happy though, that my girlfriend was willing to spend her money on me, but I didn’t realize at what cost. I had to marry her because I felt so bad about the money she spent. I guess she had it all figured out, because after all was said and done I still got stuck with the bill.
Some of you are thinking, "You know, Marc, you’re right. My credit cards are maxed, but I can’t really say that I’m any happier. (In fact, I’m stressed out from not knowing how I’m going to pay all these bills)."