Summary: We will discuss about finances, the problem that we really don’t have any control.
Getting your "Finances" Under Control
Today im going to discuss about finances, the problem that we really don’t have any control over
Now what we are going to be looking at is not an MBA sort of thing. The important is getting our financial lives under control. So we are going to look at four things. Three of them are going to be just basic wise sayings that we find in the Book of Proverbs. And the fourth item is going to be a command that we find in the New Testament.
Well the first part, the first point comes in Proverbs 16 verse 3 and it says this.
I. "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Here is a basic bit of wisdom that says that planning is good and that as responsible Christian people our planning has done something, is something we do under the authority of God. So we commit what we do to God and this includes our financial life.
Here’s the problem. We’ve got no financial plan, many of us and what is the solution? The solution is to prayerfully budget. In a healthy lifestyle there is always money left over at the end of the month and if we get to the end of our pay period again and again and there is no money left, and we find ourselves short again, we need to know why. We have to have that capacity to somehow analyze what’s going on in our lives and the way to do that is to start gathering the data about how we spend and start comparing that to some picture of what we should be spending to live within our income. We especially need these targets in our weak areas. We hardly need the target in areas where we are strong and have a lot of self-control already.
Now God can give us insight into this, as we pray about it and ask for God to show us. We can get some insight and some sense of what would be good priorities in our lives and then we need to stick to it. Now, this is a no-brainer. You didn’t need to come to church this morning to hear this because you knew this already. But how many of us are living that way? Making a budget and then learning how to live by it.
Let me go to a bit of common sense advice. It comes in the Book or Proverbs again but this time the 21st chapter. So turn a few pages over, the 21st chapter, the 17th verse.
II. "He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich."
The passage here talks about being too interested in pursuing a lifestyle of pleasure, good food, good wine, good circumstances, comfort and exciting experiences. Anybody who dedicates their lives in that direction are going to inevitably run into financial problems. There is an over indulgence that we can have in life and so the problem here then is overindulgence and the solution then is to simplify our lives. We live in a society that is based on overindulgence and over-consumption. That’s what our whole economy is based on.
Over-consumption isn’t a matter of how much a thing costs, it’s a matter of whether we really need it or not. So we need to simplify our lives a bit and we need to slow down on replacing things that really don’t need to be replaced yet. We need to buy what we need and not just what we want and we need to discern the difference between quality and just showing off.
You know, there is a lot of ego spending in the world and none of it will ever be a Christian character witness. We need to be discerning on how we spend our money. Sometimes it’s a real simple thing, as simple as eating more meals at home.
There are different choices that face us, but we need to face those choices because it’s not just a matter or earning more and more money, because no matter how much money you can run into this problem. I don’t know whether you all noticed it in the paper just a few weeks ago, but two athletes both had multi-million dollar contracts, both facing bankruptcy because no matter how much they earned, they had discovered a way to spend more than they were earning. So that brings up the other bit of common sense advice we find in Proverbs. Proverbs 22, verse 7.
III. "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."