When it comes to finances everyone ends up somewhere but few people see clearly (20/20 vision) (God honoring vision) and end up somewhere on purpose. In America 80% of families live paycheck to paycheck and 43% spend more than they make every year. 35% of Americans have either filed bankruptcy or are in debt collection. 33% of those ages 30-65 have nothing saved for retirement. Many graduates exit college with a huge amount of debt. With the hope that a good education will lead to a good job with a good paycheck, they have borrowed against the future, not only for tuition and books, but also for living expenses. With no payments or budgets or financial responsibility, they set their course for future financial hardship. They launch out into the world unprepared to handle the financial hole they’ve created. Truly the borrower becomes a slave of the lender. Sadly, people sacrifice their families, their joy and their health for the paycheck. God’s design is not for His children to live with the financial stress and worry of making ends meet. Establishing a Godly financial vision for your life and a plan for attaining it can set you free.
Scriptures – Pr 15:22, 21:5, 20, 22:7, 29:18; Jn 3:16, 10:10; Ro 13:8
Verses – Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Pr 29:18) Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another,… (Ro 13:8) The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Pr 22:7) The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
(Pr 21:20) The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Pr 21:5)
Someone said that failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. So, it’s time to make a plan. No matter what your present financial condition, with God’s help you can formulate a plan and start on a path that leads to financial peace. Sit down with your spouse and with your family if you want the children to be involved. They need to learn about managing finances and what it takes to run a home and provide for the needs of everyone. The first step is to plan for giving. God calls us to give the first fruits of our labors and when we obey Him with our giving, He promises to bless the rest. If you are giving God the leftovers, or nothing at all, you are not allowing Him to prove His promise. Next, plan for eliminating debt. For starters don’t create any new debt! Get plastic surgery…cut up the credit cards. Now, tackle the smallest debt you owe. Scrape together an extra $50 to apply to that bill each month until it’s paid off. Then take the amount you were paying on that debt and apply it to your next smallest debt. In this way you will systematically eliminate your indebtedness. And, plan for the future. Emergencies happen! Don’t be caught having to borrow for a home or car repair. Christmas is Dec. 25 (Every Year). Don’t borrow for Christmas. Don’t borrow for vacation. Don’t find yourself penniless when it’s time to retire. Plan for the future. This means cutting back, spending less. Eating out less, or not at all. Not trading cars just to trade. Maybe you need to downsize or cancel the cleaning lady. You know what costs can be eliminated. No pain; no gain! Start now. Where can you be in one year, five years, 20 years. Get a vision!
Questions – What’s the dumbest financial decision you ever made? What is the wisest financial decision you ever made? How well did you teach your kids (if you have any)… or how well did they learn from your financial example? What would you do differently in your financial matters if you could start over? How does your financial situation affect your relationships, your joy, your peace, your health? In what area do you need to make a better plan (giving, debt retirement, planning for the future)? What will you do? How much is God involved in your finances? Explain. How valuable is delayed gratification?
Response – Go through your expenditures. Add up how much you spend on food (eating out), entertainment, all aspects of your existence. Where should you and can you cut back. Look at the process as outlined in “Thoughts” above. Work through each step prayerfully and thoughtfully.
Prayer – Gracious God, forgive me for the times when I have not been a good steward of the resources you have given me. All I have is yours. Help me to gain your vision for my finances. I want to honor you by using my money as you desire. I look forward to your provision and blessing as I respond to you faithfully. Give me wisdom and discipline as I strive to do your will. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.