Summary: You can find tons of books on managing money... but not many on how to keep it from driving you nuts! Financial stability has to do with your habits with money, but financial sanity is all about your attitudes toward it. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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I am indebted to Brian Kluth ( for his excellent resources on finances and giving. Stats and illustrations in this sermon are primarily his. I encourage you to check out his site.

What special day is coming up this week? (APRIL 15th!)

I heard the other day that the IRS is actually coming out with a new tax form that’s much more simple. It has only 2 lines:

LINE 1: How much did you make?

LINE 2: Send it in.

And don’t even get me started on GAS PRICES!!!!!

I’m teaching this series on Figuring Out Your Finances. This is a 2-sermon series.

The first one: Principles for Financial Sanity

The second one: Principles for Financial Stability

I passed out a survey a few weeks ago, and asked people: “The biggest thing I struggle with in my life is. . .” Guess what the number 1 answer was? FINANCES!!! I want to be a preacher that preaches to your needs, so here I am doing a series on “Figuring Out Your Finances.”

A lot of people think that the Bible doesn’t have anything to do with life today: That’s baloney! Issues like money and possessions are ALL THROUGH the Bible. In fact, In the Bible, there are 40 verses on baptism , 275 verses on prayer , 350 verses on faith , 650 verses on love -- and 2,350 verses that relate specifically to finances and material possessions

The Bible has TONS to say about how to manage the money and blessings that God has for you. It’s the oldest and most reliable financial guide in the world. So today, I want to talk to you about the Bible’s:

Principles for Financial Sanity

...keeping money matters from driving you nuts.

Would you agree that as Americans, we have more than ever before?

- 20% of Americans have items stored in the U.S.’s 40,000 storage facilities. USA Today 2003

- $58 billion for soda products, $24 billion in jewelry store sales, $8 billion for movies theaters, $13 billion for chocolate products, $38 billion in vending machine sales, $11 billion for comp/video games, $7 billion greeting cards, $23 billion for toys, $91 billion in lawn/garden industry, $23 billion for pets. Source: Empty Tomb Research

Would you also agree that we have more stress than ever before?

- Average credit card debt per U.S. household is $8400. Source:

- Americans spent more on legalized gambling ($2500 for every American) than on groceries. $650,000,000,000 ($650 billion) was spent on legalized gambling in 1997 compared to $450,000,000,000 spent in grocery stores. Source: Focus on the Family article on the 1997 US abstract reports

- 1.5 million bankruptcies in 2002 (more than the ENTIRE decade of the 1960’s).US Courts

- Financial problems are the largest contributing cause of marital stress and divorce.

God predicted this over 3,000 years ago:

“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:12)

In other words, more money = more stress. That’s backwards from the way that we usually think. We think “If I had more money, I could relax.” But check out these quotes:

“I was happier when I was doing a mechanic’s job.”

— Henry Ford (1863-1947), American industrialist

“Take it from me. . . fame and fortune are not what they’re cracked up to be.” - madonna

“I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” — John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1839-1937), American industrialist and philanthropist

SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER? How can I find financial sanity in all of the stress?

The key to financial sanity is not getting more. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life” says, “The greatest myth about money is that it will make me more secure.”

They key to financial stability is your habits.

The key to financial sanity is your attitude toward money.

You may have thought when I said I was preaching on money that I was going to talk about giving – you know, TITHE? But the first thing God wants from you is not that you give money to the church. The first thing He wants is for you to take His attitude toward money and finances. So this Sunday is not money-saving tips. . . it’s an attitude check for all of us.

The Bible has lots to say about your attitudes toward money.

1. Don’t make money the most important thing.

And He said to them, "...beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (Luke 12:15)

Basically, this is what Jesus is saying: “The most valuable things in life are not things.”

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