Managing money has been a subject of reflection over time for human beings, generating the production of books, seminars, and courses, whose purpose is for people to be financially successful. However, few authors associate financial success with the inner stability of the person.
The Bible, our life manual, also addresses the financial issue, it maintains that finances are the reflection of our inner being. In such a way that the way money is handled affects and is linked in various ways with our being, therefore it is important to know what God points out on this subject.
3 Great Biblical Principles on Finance
In the book of Chronicles in Chapter 29 three central principles in the financial field are summarized
12…Riches and glory come from you, and you rule over all; in your hand is strength and power, and in your hand to make great and to give power to all.
13Now therefore, our God, we praise and laud your glorious name.
14 For who am I, and who are my people, that we could volunteer such things? For everything is yours, and from what we received from your hand we give you.
15 For we, strangers and upstarts, are before you, like all our fathers; and our days on earth, like a shadow that does not last.
16 O Jehovah our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build a house for your holy name, is from your hand, and everything is yours….
a) God owns everything b) Everything comes from God c) Everything we have belongs to him
It is understood then that God as the creator of everything is the owner of everything that exists, including money, it is he who provides man with the means, the wisdom, and the strength to generate wealth, then everything we come to acquire is from God.
God clearly establishes these principles because the way we relate to money responds to a spiritual reality. Money cannot steal God’s centrality in life, the word clearly says “ No one can serve two masters; for he or he will hate the one and love the other, or esteem the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon ” (Math 6:24).
Since God is the one who provides us with goods and wealth, he then observes our capacity for administration. Therefore, the better we manage what God entrusts to us, the more will be entrusted to us. Communion with God then is not affected as long as the money does not occupy our hearts
How does God expect us to behave with money?
He expects us to be good stewards, that is, we manage the goods that are provided to us in the best way.
Likewise, we must act faithfully; spending responsibly and without waste; By being faithful we are blessed in three ways: We draw closer and closer to Jesus Christ. (John 14:21), secondly, we develop a character in the image of God and thirdly we begin to have financial stability.
Money brings us great dangers, such as Falling into Slavery, of the rich and of the poor (Prov. 30:7-9; 22:7), or Indulgence (Prov. 21:17); In addition, various situations of sin can arise such as worry, desire to get rich, laziness, deceit, greed and greed.
Below is how God expects us to handle money
1. Cost control…
The application of the following biblical principles will help us maintain a good relationship with money by controlling our expenses.
Being content, Paul “learned” to be content. We are not born knowing how to be content, but we have to learn to be content with what God gives us (Philippians 4:11-13)
Avoid being greedy, and avoid developing deep desires for the goods and possessions of others. (Exodus 20:17)
Learn to live a simple life. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12), Helping those in need through the body of Christ. (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).
In the same way, we must Resist the influence of advertising as well as develop and implement a spending plan or budget (Proverbs 27:23 and 24).
2. Budget how to do it
A family budget is a tool in which the income and expenses that are made in the home are reflected. It allows you to make the right decisions and control your finances, you can prioritize expenses and reduce debts, as well as save and generate a fund to face unexpected expenses, it allows you to learn to manage your resources by anticipating your future.
The following strategies can help you put together your personal budget worksheet:
1. Set your goals. Make a list of all the financial goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. For example, paying off your credit card debt or saving for Christmas presents may be short-term, while saving for retirement is long-term.
2. Know your net income. Remember to avoid exaggerating and subtracting any deductions or withholdings.
3. Make a plan. Divide your net income into categories of expenses that can be fixed and variable; or also needs savings and desires.
4. Track your spending. Try keeping track in a daily notebook, or save receipts and account for them at the end of the month.
Remember to track your budget and evaluate it. If you find that going over budget is common, you should consider cutting back or increasing your income by developing a side business.
3. Avoid debt and save more
The word seeks for us to be fully free to serve God, for this reason, it invites us to avoid borrowing money because we fall into slavery, as well as disobedience, both the new testament and the old testament indicate staying free of debt and avoiding taking them without need.
You fall into debt for various reasons, including lack of knowledge and planning, dissatisfaction, and financial emergencies.
We are urged to maintain a regular Savings system, in order to prepare ourselves for unexpected emergencies, a large purchases, for future needs.
Likewise, it exhorts avoiding risky investments, diversifying investments, and avoiding gambling.
How to Manage Your Money
Money management is an important aspect one can not skip. find out more on how you best manage money below.
1. Turn ownership of your possessions over to God
As Christians we have to learn to relinquish ownership of all our possessions to God; Here we include money, time, family, material possessions, education, career, and even future earning potential.
Not only must we acknowledge that God is unique and the Lord of our life with our prayers, but we must also learn to manage our possessions as “managers” and not as “owners.” This attitude is essential if we want to experience a Spirit-filled life in the area of finances. Notice how God has placed us as “stewards” of this world, for example, in Psalm 8, verse 6.
If you believe that you are the owner of only one thing in your life, then your personal attitude towards it will be very different from the attitude you would have if you were simply a steward of it. God will not force us to do his will. He expects us to willingly give our lives to him.
If we give God everything that belongs to us, we can be sure that He will show us His power. God will fulfill his promise to provide everything we need materially and spiritually. Therefore, it is necessary and important to understand and accept the conditions that God places to maintain our control. Consider, for example, the biblical passage Deuteronomy 5:32-33.
It is easy to say: “I surrender everything I have in the hands of God”, but it is not so easy to do it. At first, we will have a hard time always seeking his will when it comes to material things because we are used to managing and controlling our own affairs. But when we learn to obey God in managing our finances, we begin to experience what it essentially means to have financial freedom.
It is a great relief to turn our worries over to the Lord. If something happens to the car, for example, instead of getting angry and yelling.
2. Get out of debt
You and I must be free of all debts.
What is a debt? Here are some definitions:
- An obligation that one has to pay or reimburse another thing, or to fulfill a duty. Usually money. Moral obligation contracted with another.
- It is the liability that appears on a balance sheet.
In other words, if you were to convert all your assets into money, there would be a negative balance in your account.
- There is anxiety in the area of financial responsibility, and the basic needs of the family can no longer be met due to the spending habits, past or present, of the individual or family.
How to get rid of debts? Next, we teach you some secrets that will allow us to free ourselves from them:
i. Create a “Plan to Control Your Spending” (a basic family budget)
Making a written “Plan to Control Your Spending” is absolutely necessary for any individual or family living in financial slavery. List all expenses in order of importance. Placing them in that order is transcendental because lately, we have lost the point of reference between what is a need, a taste, and a desire.
ii. Identify which are the essentials for life and which are not
A person who is in debt must stop making expenses that are not absolutely essential to life. See what home maintenance tasks can be done without paying others; begin to acquire the skill and ingenuity to develop those tasks. Using this plan, you can begin to cut some of the expenses that aren’t really essential. Study, in this case, chapter 21 of the book of Proverbs, verse 17, in the Old Testament.
iii. Think before you spend
Each of us must think before making each purchase. Each expense must be evaluated as follows:
- Is this expense a need, a taste, or a desire?
- Does this expense reflect my Christian ethic? (For example, a subscription to a pornographic magazine would not reflect it). Can I continue to buy magazines, encyclopedias, books, or records even when I owe money to others?
- Is it the best I can get for this price, or am I spending just because it’s easy for me and they give me the facility to pay with my credit card?
iv. Stop buying on credit.
A person who is in debt should start buying only in cash, they should avoid any purchase on credit, one of the reasons is because of the high interest they are paying.
Often a person with debt and who owns something of value that could be turned into cash wonders: “Would it be better to sell this to pay my debts?” This is a normal mistake and we must be very careful when putting it into practice because if we limit ourselves only to the fact of selling the good, we are treating the symptoms instead of treating the problem.
v. Avoid “leverage” and the financial “lottery”
When you are in debt, you should avoid the so-called financial “leverage”, which consists of the form of investment that allows you to buy a large and expensive asset or good, with a small capital investment.
vi. learn to save
Finally, to shore up your family’s financial life in the process of paying off your debts, one should learn to save money on a regular basis, even for people who are in debt. Learn to develop the discipline of saving. One of the best habits a family can develop is to save a small amount of money on a regular basis.
Everyone living above the extreme poverty level has the ability to save money. Many don’t do it because they believe that the amount they could save is so insignificant that it is not worth it; wrong decision and does not contribute at all to family development.
3. Get used to giving
The third principle to apply on your journey to financial freedom is the principle of giving. Every believer in Christ must establish the tithe as a minimum testimony that God owns everything he owns. So how can anyone say that he has given everything to God when he has never testified to it?
It is at the moment of sharing that we gain the perspective of His power in finances. God wants us to always give the first installment to Him, but He also wants us to pay our creditors.
But you cannot sacrifice the portion that belongs to God. That is not your advantage or alternative as a Christian. But this I say: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully ”(2 Corinthians 9: 6). What is the key, then? If a sacrifice is necessary, and it almost always is, sacrifice neither God’s portion nor that of his creditors. Sacrifice a portion of your own expenses.
4. Accept God’s provision
To enjoy peace with respect to finances, acknowledge and accept God’s provision to direct your life. Many times people forget that God’s will can be accomplished through a lack of funds. We tend to think that He only blesses us when there is an abundance of money, but that is a purely materialistic understanding of the concept of “blessing”.
By studying the Scriptures we realize that God does not allow everyone to live in great abundance. Which does not necessarily mean that we are forced to live in poverty. In many cases, for example, it may be that God wants us to learn to depend more and more on Him each day.
Does this mean that you should not aspire to advance and improve in your life? No way! What it means is that economic advancement and advancement in social position have nothing to do with the violation of one or more biblical principles of financial stewardship, and it is very likely that the advancement you long for is not within God’s plans for your life.
5. Develop a clear conscience
We must have a clear conscience both in our business practices and in our personal dealings. Financial release, in this case, may include attitude change and “restitution.”
6. Put others first
If you are seeking financial freedom, you must be willing to put others first. This principle does not imply that you have to let yourself be trampled. Which means, quite simply, that you shouldn’t make a profit at the expense of other people. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. We confirm, then, that the key is in the attitude.
7. Manage your time wisely
Learn to limit the time you spend on business, especially when you don’t spend enough time with family. “Don’t worry about getting rich; be prudent, and desist. Shall you set your eyes on riches, being none? For they will make wings like eagle’s wings, and they will fly to heaven.”
It is important to remember that the priorities that God sets for us are very clear. We must analyze that every Christian who seeks the will of God has to understand them.
The first priority in the life of the Christian is to develop his personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second priority in the commitment of a Christian is his family. This includes teaching them about the Word of God.
This practice requires a commitment to the family unit, and also indicates a specific commitment of time. Christ deserves the best part of our day. If you study better in the morning, get up early and dedicate time to the Lord. Sacrifice yourself if you must. If you find that family devotions are more profitable at night, give that time to God.
Turn off the TV, make sure the kids finish their homework early and start studying the Bible. It is important that everyone in the family understand the things of God and pray together. They should also pray for the needs of others. Help your children to be aware that Christians, as intercessors, can and should pray for others and expect answers from God.
The third priority in the life of a Christian is work, then the activity in his church, his social group, and the hobby he wants to have.
8. Avoid luxuries and excesses
The person who wants to achieve economic liberation must avoid luxuries and excesses in life.
If we want to find an example that fits into God’s will, let’s read Luke 9:23, where Christ said: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me”, and John 6:27: “Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you; for to him God the Father appointed.”
Is your lifestyle within these limits? Are you willing to trust God and deny yourself some luxuries? As you do, He will give you even more. Unfortunately, most of us are selfish, seldom giving up a taste or desire, let alone a need.
The Christian Professional Council
When in doubt, it is important to seek Christian counseling. “Thoughts are frustrated where there is no advice, but in the multitude of advisers they are affirmed” (Proverbs 15:22). God exhorts us to seek counsel, and not just rely on our own resources.
When preparing a plan to control their expenses, many people get frustrated because they do not have the necessary knowledge and end up giving up, a serious mistake, because God has endowed others with the ability to help us in the area of finances. So let’s look for the right professionals.
i. Determine the Available Net Income (IND)
It is important to be able to determine the Net Available Income to be able to continue with the calculations of our “Plan to control expenses”.
This is a very simple calculation, what we must do is a simple subtraction from the “net income”. From the amount that they pay us after the legal discounts, we must subtract the “sum of contributions”, the result is called “Disposable Net Income” (IND); that is, the amount of money we have available to spend per month.
ii. Compare the net income available (IND), with the expenses
Compare the net income available per month (IND), with the sum of the amounts of your expenses. If your disposable net income (IND) is more than your expenses, you only need to implement a spending control method in your household to maximize your income. However, if the expenses are greater than the net disposable income, you need to fix this problem.
iii. living place
As a general rule, this is one of the biggest problems that creates an imbalance in the household economy. Many people buy or rent a home that is beyond their means, motivated mainly by external pressures, usually family, friends or other negative influences. In principle, it is not necessary for everyone to own a home. The decision to buy or rent should be based on a direct relationship between the needs they have and the available economic capacity, and not on internal or external pressures.
Many families buy too much food. Others don’t buy enough. To balance and/or reduce a family’s food expenses, two basic elements must be taken into account: the quantity and quality of food.
The media often call us “consumers,” but that’s not always the best description. It is a fact that human beings are not very wise when it comes to making economic decisions that have to do with machines in general, and especially automobiles.
Many families are seriously misinformed in this area. Few understand how the insurance system works, its effectiveness, or what type one needs. Hardly anyone would allow someone to sell him a Mercedes Benz car when he only has enough money to buy a small car; however, many purchase expensive insurance when their needs dictate otherwise.
Insurance should be a supplemental provision for the family, not protection or profit. An insurance plan is not designed to save money (as some marketers suggest) or to be used in retirement. Ask anyone who thought that way and you will see that the end result was a disappointment.
vii. monthly debt payment
As we have mentioned, credit cards, bank loans, and installment payments have caused families to get heavily indebted. What can you do once this situation already exists?
viii. Entertainment and Recreation
We live in an entertainment-oriented society. That’s not bad, if you put it in the right perspective. But those who are in debt cannot use the money with which they can pay off their debts for recreation. Our tendency is to escape from problems, even if only for a short time… Even if the result of this “escape” is that the problems get worse! While in debt, people should resist this urge and control spending on recreation and entertainment.
Many families with debt sacrifice this area of the budget because of excesses in other areas. However, when there is prudence in the plans and in the purchases, the family can dress well without great expenses.
It is important to implement some type of savings in your plan to control your expenses. Otherwise, the use of credit becomes a permanent necessity and requesting it (that is, falling into debt) becomes a lifestyle. Your savings will allow you to make purchases with cash, and find the best deals, without having to limit yourself to certain stores because only they work with your credit card. In addition, your savings account will allow you to have a “cushion” of protection for when emergencies arrive.
xi. Medical/dental expenses
With the current increase in the costs of health care programs in some Latin American countries and in the United States, you must provide funds for these expenses within your family plan to control your expenses. Adopt certain habits to set aside funds on a regular basis and take care of the health of your family.
Remember that you need all categories to survive. No family can live long without providing its members with clothing; without recreating and entertaining; or without money for transportation or without saving for the unexpected.
Remember in advance that one of the most important factors in household expenses is you. If you can do maintenance and repair tasks, for example, you can avoid unnecessary expenses. Many justify themselves by saying that they don’t because their time is worth too much.
Crap! If every hour of the day is committed to working to earn money, then by prior definition you are a slave. Part of the care and maintenance of things in the house is related to family life, in particular, to the education of children.