Summary: PROVERBS – Wisdom for Right Living #6 How can we develop financial integrity in our lives? Will we be a good steward of all God has entrusted to us?
Do you remember your high school reunion? Many who attend the 5 and 10 year class reunions just want to impress each other with how successful they have become. By the 20th many have given up on impressing their friends and are just happy to survive. As you near the age of 40 you can begin to tell the difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” – between those who have arrived and those who got lost along the way.
At one such reunion two high school buddy’s sat at a table to talk. Many at the reunion could tell the first friend had found the secret to success while the other was still just a “wanabee.” The “wanabee” asked his wealthy friend about the secret to his success. “Well I’ve asked God to help me make my financial decisions along the way. I’d pray, ‘Lord show me what to do,’ then I would open my Bible and point my finger on the page. The first time I did that the word was ‘oil,’ so I invested everything I had in the oil market. Later I went to God again and when I opened my Bible I pointed to ‘gold and silver,’ so I bought into the precious metals markets. Most recently I pointed to the word ‘gates.’ I wasn’t sure what God was trying to show me at first, but I soon realized God was leading me to invest in the computer markets. With God’s help I’m nearly as rich as Bill Gates himself now!”
Later that night the “wanabee” was back in his hotel room. He knew he needed help; he had maxed out all of his credit cards to try to impress all his high school friends, but it wasn’t working. He decided if it worked for his friend maybe it would work for him too, so he opened the nightstand drawer and pulled out a Gideon’s Bible. He sat on the bed and prayed, “Lord, I need your help; please show me what to do.” He opened the Bible and pointed at the words “chapter 11.”
We can find wisdom for right living from God’s word, but it isn’t just hit or miss. The Bible tells us “study to show yourself approved . . . rightly dividing the Word of truth” (See 2 Timothy 2:15). God will give us wisdom to live our lives; through the Bible you can find financial wisdom.
• Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV)
 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ’Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
This is a prayer of integrity; a specific prayer for the character of Christ to be developed in and through our lives. One of the best ways for us to be known as a person with godly character is through what we say and how we hand money. Are we known for honesty and integrity or are we a lying cheater?
How can we develop integrity in our lives? How can we have wisdom for right living?
Over the last several weeks we have looked at keys to have wisdom in how we live our lives each day. Godly character does not happen by accident, but is developed as we apply these principles in how we live our lives.
Key #1: Start with God; Fear the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)
The fear of the Lord is active; our lives will be changed from the inside out.
Key #2: Learn wisdom from those who fear the Lord. (Proverbs 1:8-19)
Don’t go it alone. Surround yourself with those who fear the Lord.
Key #3: Answer wisdom’s call; wisdom is found in our daily choices. (Proverbs 1:20-21)
Jesus gives us wisdom in our daily routine; He reveals the mind of God for our lives. Wisdom is not earned it is practiced daily.
Key #4: Remember the Law of the Harvest; consequences follow your actions. (Proverbs 1:22-33)
Key #5: Let authentic love lead you everyday; make love your guide and your motive. (Proverbs 3:3-4)
Love should be used only in the context of relationships; we should express our love for God and other people—not things.
Don’t limit who you love. Love should be given to anyone with the capacity to return love—that’s everyone.
Key #6: Depend fully upon God alone; in everything rely upon God with absolute confidence and hope. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
Key # 7: Wealth and possessions are not ours to own; everything belongs to God and is ours on loan. (Proverbs 30:8-9)
We don’t own anything. Everything belongs to God.
Stewardship involves more than our giving and being a good manager. Stewardship is accountability to God for our finances.