Summary: Handling money can be a spiritual and moral issue, since its use or misuse affects others.

Living Within Our Means Without Being Mean

(Romans 13:8)

Last week, we talked about why many of us struggle with overspending.

Whereas frugality is good, we are also commanded to be generous.

Lars asked Ole, "Do ya know da difference between a Norvegian and a canoe?"

"No, I don’t," said Ole.

"A canoe will sometimes tip," explained Lars.


What we have belongs to God; we only manage it for a while, and God does not want us to squander the wealth He gives us (Luke 15:13)…He wants us to enjoy it to His glory (I Tim. 6:17b), to share with others and invest in His Kingdom (2Cor. 9:6-7), to leave an inheritance for our children (Prv. 13:22), and to avoid debt (Romans 13:8).

Why handle money rightly?

• A moral issue,

• a spiritual issue,

• a matter of testimony, and a

• quality of life issue.

We sought to resurrect the adage that money cannot buy you love or happiness, but misusing it can buy you misery.

This week, we are dealing with the specifics to help prevent us from misusing the resources God gives us. But this requires us to analyze what we heard last week and to first understand why money and materialism become our drug of choice.

Many of the Proverbs really involve this principle: the wise man fears God and thinks of the long-term consequences of his choices, whereas the foolish man thinks of the short term.

"The real problem is that wisdom is offensive to those who do not want to be bound by it. Wisdom is sometimes restricting, because it focuses upon long-term consequences at the expense of immediate gratification." Pastor Ed Vasicek

Today’s sermon is an attempt to help us implement the command of Romans 13:8,

Romans 13:8, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."

Although Romans 13:8 comes from the Word of God, many of my suggestions do not; they are meant to help us take Romans 13:8 out of mothballs and put it to work. Some principles have Scriptural under-girding; others are based on observation or conventional wisdom. We should feel bound by Scripture, but we have complete freedom to disagree with any suggestions not clearly derived from the Word.

These last two weeks, we have been looking at methods to implement the Word rather than expounding and explaining the Word.

Main Idea: Handling money can be a spiritual and moral issue, since its use or misuse affects others.

Let’s take a look at several considerations for you to ponder when it comes to handling money. The first two address two contrasting methods of money management, the last two considerations help with either method.

I. Law Enforced Through A BUDGET

A. Often the best for people who are STRUGGLING (I Tim. 1:8-11)

1. Relatively new way for families to handle finances

This is usually the route people in debt have to take

Proverbs 22:7, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

2. Most of us need "law" for some areas of life

Vasicek’s simple test, though far from accurate, can help you determine whether you need to operate on the basis of law or grace (the principle of thriftiness) when it comes to money management or law (a budget):

You are getting a large tax refund. As you wait, are you thinking, "What can I spend this on?" Or "What bill can I pay first?"

or do you think, "Where should I stash this away or invest it?" or not think of it at all.

If the first question comes to mind, you might need a budget. If it is the second, you probably can do well under the "mentality of thrift" or a mixture of the two.

You are remodeling a room and you save $20 on paint because it is on sale. Do you think, "Great, I saved $20," or "what can I get with this $20 to make the room look even better?"

If you pocket the money, you probably do not need a budget. If you are asking, "what can I buy with the money I saved" you do need a budget.

4. Best approach for people who think of the "now," not the "later."

5. Often necessary for the "mixed" philosophy marriage

6. Sometimes necessary when finances are very complex

B. How it works: a spending TEMPLATE

1. How can I get as many things with my money as possible without going broke?

2. Controls people’s spending against their wills

3. Usually does not conquer the "buy and make payments" mentality

C. Paper, Receipts, and RECORDS

Handling money can be a spiritual and moral issue, since its use or misuse affects others.

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