Sunday, January 17, 2010

What Are Some Basic Biblical Financial Principles?

As a guest of, Dave Ramsey gives a 3-part series online. After a standing ovation, Dave graciously says how amazing it is to see the changes that are being made in peoples' lives. "Money's fun...if you got some." But most people aren't doing so well. If you've made big time mistakes with money, that makes you over 12! It's easy to fall over in this money thing."

"When I went broke and had to start completely over, I thought I was the only one...I have a PhD in D-U-M-B." When Dave got married, he and his wife had little money. But he went into Real Estate and made a small fortune. "It didn't fix our problems, it just made us more of what we truly were." During a banking crisis, Dave's loans were called on him by the bank. Over the next several years, he and his wife lost everything.

The number one cause of divorce in America today is money. "Sharon would have divorced me, but she didn't have the money...we hit bottom...I was on one of these news stations and...they asked me how I bounced back...'Dude, when you fall that far, you don't bounce. It's more of a splat.'" Dave met God "on the way up" before his downfall, but he got to know God on the way down. Some guy told Dave that the Bible had a lot of things to say about money. After studying the concepts by experts on the subject, Dave found that there are really easy principles that are really hard to implement. Most of the problems with money are strictly behavorial. "The biggest problem I had with money was this guy that I shave with... the guy in the mirror."

Dave recommends 5 things to change our financial lives. "Now, it's gonna take a while." There are no instant fixes, though. It, like most great character changes, is a long process.

1. GET OUT OF DEBT. Debt=Risk. "I've found that 100% of homes in foreclosure were mortgaged." In the Bible it says that the debtor is slave to the lender. "Slaves don't have choices." When we have debt, our money goes straight out to the auto loan and mortgage. "Some students have taken so long to pay off their loans that they think it is a pet." Dave has been around thousands of families who are less than blessed with credit cards. Get plastic surgery. Get rid of all practice of debt. Get the plasectomy. "What if you didn't have a car payment? Did you know the average car payment in America is $478 over 84 months? If you take $478 and invest that in a decent growth stock mutual fund from age 30 to age 70, you'll have $5.6 million dollars. Hope you like the car!!!!"

You're trapped by buying stuff you don't need with money you don't have to impress people you don't really like. 
Dave Ramsey

We have to make a decision in our lives. We have to draw a line in the sand. But it turns out that if God wants you to do something, He will send you the money. Quit whining about what you want! The people we are trying to impress think you are dumb if they know what you are doing with your money. McDonald's did a study and found that we spend 47% more with a credit card than with cash!

2. ACT YOUR WAGE. "A foolish man devours all he has." This is a Biblical quote. The Bible says you are a BIBLE FOOL if you spend everything you make. We have to live within our means. This leads to another scripture; "Godliness with contentment is great gain." This is probably one of the greatest lessons in money that you can learn.

3. GET ON A BUDGET. If you managed money for a corporation called "You Inc." the way that you manage your finances, would you fire you? Those that manage well get to do more. Corporations do not promote those doing poor jobs. "When my son is 16 behind the wheel, he is incompetent!...Do you think that I am going to give him a Viper?...No, I am going to give him a '92 Chevette...because I'm a loving father."

Jesus once said, "For which of you building a tower does not first count the cost?  Does he, rather, build a tower and then find he doesn't have enough money to do so?  Would he not then be a fool?"  If God is going to give us $10 million dollars, we've got to act like we can manage it.

4. LEARN TO SAVE MONEY. You can't outearn stupidity. Save! Save! a) Save for a rainy day. Seventy eight percent of us will have an unexpected financial event in our life time. Be ready. Life is coming. "It's kind of cool when life comes up and you are ok." Murphy's law passes the wise by. b) Save for purchases with cash. If you save money, you can c) Invest money.

5. GIVE. "This is the most fun thing you can do with money!" Tything is different, but giving is a fun, fun thing. Someone who works for Dave has a ministry where she and her husband will pray and go find people that God puts before them who need money. One time, they left a $400 dollar tip for a pregnant woman in Waffle House. "Poor people can't do that."

None of these things make sense unless we do all of them. God has a plan for us and He is saying to us that, if we live this way, we can win. He wants us to live at a level we've never lived before. He's got a game plan for our money. It works every single time! Does it work without bumps in the road? No, but being a servant has bumps in the road too. Be encouraged by the poor people who discourage you.

Become an awesome, abundant giver. That is when you know you've made it. Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.

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