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The Scriptures on Finances - 'Diligent hands bring riches'

 


This week we again look at material from the book “Never Enough?” authored by Ron Blue with Karen Guess.

Often people will pursue financial answers in order to attempt to solve heart issues. Let’s look at some wise principles to employ in our financial lives.

We should spend less than we earn because every success in our financial lives depends on this habit. Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” Work has rewards. It brings dignity, allows us to use our talents, helps create progress, contributes to a functioning community and yields income. Our work and our wealth or savings are connected.

Proverbs 10:4 “Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.” We also know from Proverbs that wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. I have worked with parents whose children wanted to work just enough to get by to the frustration of the parents. Without margin (the difference between your income and your expenses) we cannot avoid debt, give, or save for the unexpected.

As Christians we should attempt to avoid debt because debt always mortgages the future. Work and time are gifts from God. Time allows us opportunities to accomplish goals, pursue relationships, rest, heal, and work towards accomplishing big goals. If we rely on debt to ease current financial load, we are mortgaging tomorrow’s time and robbing our future of flexibility and availability.

Proverbs reminds us that the borrower is a slave to the lender and that the wicked man borrows and does not repay, but the righteous one is gracious and giving. I have read and listened to Godly financial authors and speakers. Typically they want a potential homebuyer to save twenty percent of the cost of the house before they purchase the home. I understand their reasoning. Paying extra monthly fees because you can’t put twenty percent down on the home is expensive. In a market where home values are falling you may be stuck owing more on the house than its potential selling price. Thank God for His grace.

I recently recommended that my oldest son purchase a home in a high cost area of our state. The price of rent was the same as a house payment in that area. A growing family needed more room. God provided a home that needs some work but it will meet their needs. After prayer, doing the necessary prequalification paperwork, home inspections, and a move the family is now experiencing some of the joy and frustration of home ownership. Owning a home is definitely not for everyone. In this case, however, I believe the couple made the right choice.

After a major purchase requiring going into debt I recommend that you work hard to pay off the purchase earlier than the lending institution requires. Applying extra money on the principal can dramatically shorten the time it takes to pay off a loan in full. You will have to make sacrifices in order to accomplish big goals but it will bring you more freedom in the future.

I do not sleep well if I owe money. I believe that debt can add stress to relationships and affect health. Sometimes though you may have to take on debt in order to accomplish bigger goals. I had to borrow money to attend college. I worked to pay off that debt as quickly as possible after graduation.

When you pay off debt it provides more resources in order to be a gracious giver. Giving is a lot more fun than repaying debt. May God bless you big.

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This is the 13 column in a series by Kevin Barsotti, pastor at Ark Church in Havre, about financial matters and their treatment in the Christian faith.

 

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