Inside Scoop: CDC reports spread of Affluenza
On average, those of us living in the United States live “better” than those living in most any other country in the world. Yet, as with most areas of life, Satan has tricked us into believing many lies about our finances. And though it appears we live “better,” we have allowed Satan to infect our families with Affluenza, a virus which causes us to always seek more, bigger and better. Like the rest of Satan’s attacks, the only permanent cure is in believing God’s Word, the Bible, and applying it to our lives.
Have you ever thought about how the United States monetary system works? Or do you, like most in this country, work to live, live to get more and then work to pay for it? Or can you honestly say that you live simply enough that most of the blessings God places in your hands can be used for His service?
Benjamin Franklin put it this way, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it: ‘Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith.’”
The Bible also says a great deal about money, finances and debt. I am not going to ask if you tithe or not; but many who do, believe that 10% is His and 90% is theirs. The first truth we need to realize is this: All that we are and all that we have belong to Him. And if it all belongs to Him, we need to make sure we are doing what He wants with every dollar. We are not trying to say God does not want you to have nice things. Our hope is to show you how to have a lot of paycheck left after all the bills are paid. Not so you might buy more clothes, a faster car or a bigger house; but that you might prayerfully use it for God’s work around the world!
Many would love to give 25% (maybe even 50%) of what they earn for God’s work around the world, but alas after all is spent and done, 10% often seems generous.
God’s principles are straightforward: 1. Put God first; 2. Get out of debt; 3. Stay out of debt; 4. Live simply; and 5. Spend wisely.
Why put God first? Well God’s Word says, “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”—Malachi 3:7-8.
Now the word tithe means 10%. If you have to ask, “10% of gross or net?” then you are probably going at it with the wrong attitude. If we let the IRS tax our gross income, then God should be worthy of at least the same. Pray about it: this is an easy one to solve with the right heart. An offering is over and above the tithe. And note, “offerings” is plural! So it should be clear, God wants to manage our finances.
Why should we let God manage our finances? Well, read on: “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”—Malachi 3:9-12.
For those in debt, think of God as your first creditor.
Why get out of debt? Hudson Taylor said it best, “To me it seemed that the teaching of God’s Word was unmistakably clear: “Owe no man anything.” To borrow money implied to my mind a contradiction of Scripture—a confession that God had withheld some good thing, and a determination to get for ourselves what He had not given.”
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon used a few more words, but said it very well! Click here to see what Spurgeon said about debt.
The only way to get out of debt is to pay it off. This is sometimes more easily said than done. First you need to know what you owe. This is usually simple, because lenders do not normally let you forget! Next, list them out on a sheet of paper—highest interest to lowest (usually credit cards, auto loans and then mortgages). Next, plan to pay them off. One at a time—the highest interest to the lowest. Remember, out of debt, out of danger.
Why stay out of debt? Well, if God wants us to get out of debt and with His help we do, surely He wants us to stay out of debt! “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”—Galatians 5:1.
Simple Living & Wise Spending
Why live simply? Well, the more stuff you have, the more time you spend managing it and the more money you spend maintaining it. Only buy that which you will need and use. And get rid of those things you no longer have any need of. Think of all those people buying $1000 sheds to store $500 worth of stuff!
Why spend wisely? Because, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”—Luke 16:10-11. So the Lord will reward us with these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”—Matt 25:23.
Our Financial Seminar
We cover a great deal about getting out of debt, staying out of debt, living simply, and spending wisely in our Financial Seminar, showing families how to live on less than $1,000 per month. And read more financial principles from the seminar.
Also in our Food Seminar, we explain how to feed a family of four adults for less than $150 per month.