God’s Financial Plan
Have you ever talked to a financial planner? If you haven’t, I don’t want to spoil the experience for you, but for me — having talked to several, I always felt let down.
Not let down because they told me anything wrong or anything outlandish — like invest all my money in ammunition because that will be the currency during the apocalypse (right?). Actually the opposite was the case, everything they told me was boring and for the most part stuff I already knew.
I guess I envisioned a financial planner as some sort of money wizard that would take your hard earned $10 and turn it into $1,000 in a matter of just a few years. That never happened.
The truth is that there aren’t any shortcuts to getting wealthy, and if you’ve been told about one, the Bible actually warns against it.
- Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
I never signed up with a financial planner because they just confirmed for me that what I was doing with and how I was thinking about money, was what needed to be done. What needs to be done isn’t glamorous or exciting (for the most part). If you’ll read and put to action the steps in God’s plan, then you’ll pull ahead and go far beyond what you ever thought was possible.
Why should you care what I have to say about money?
When I was 26 years old, my wife and I quit our jobs and started a church, which we are still pastors of today. Over the last 6 years of starting and pastoring this church, I’ve learned a lot about finances, both from a scriptural/spiritual standpoint and from personal experience.
I’ve come to understand that God has a financial plan to make you very wealthy.
That plan is part practical, like the boring advice you’ll get from your grandma (if she’s smart). It’s also part spiritual, involving character and heart issues. Lastly it involves a combination of the two in the area of giving (giving is spiritual and practical).
I want to help you discover and participate in God’s plan for your finances.
Why do I want to help?
People are bad with money.
The evidence is stacked up all around us. Consumer debt is at an all time high. Credit cards, school loans, car loans, mortgages, etc. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and can’t handle an extra $400 expense without going into debt for it. It’s true for people with big paychecks, and small ones.
I take surveys with a grain of salt. (Mostly because I never get surveyed — so that makes me wonder who are the people answering these surveys and are they actually telling the truth?) But you can just “google” something like “How much do Americans have in savings” and surveys tell us that 69% of them have less than $1,000. Whether or not surveys are totally accurate or not, more and more data is showing the sad state of people’s finances.
With all this information showing how people are suffering in their finances, and with the knowledge and experience that I have, I feel that it’s part of my duty to help people get out of their struggle.
What kind of a doctor would do nothing to help suffering patients if he had the ability to help them? I’m not a doctor, but in that same sense, I’d be pretty selfish if I didn’t do my part to help.
This isn’t something new that I’m just starting to do. For years I’ve been teaching this information in our church. Hopefully writing it down will help reach more people (like you), and be a blessing.
Obviously I don’t get a commission for writing this (unlike a lot of financial advice), I just get the satisfaction of knowing that I’m doing my part to help people see the truth about money.
Let me give you a short overview of what’s to come, I’ll be writing about each of these steps in great detail.
- Generosity. The first step in God’s financial plan involves a heart issue: generosity. This isn’t even about giving a certain amount, it’s dealing with the spiritual nature of being a giver. Jesus said where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Clearly your heart should be involved with your giving.
- Tithing. It’s an old testament practice of giving 10% of your income that was done away with by Jesus when he abolished the law. Or is it? I’ve been told that by many religious people, but does that hold up under the scrutiny of scripture? We’ll discuss this and the potential blessing associated with tithing.
- Offering & alms giving. If you attend church, you’ve probably heard ministers talk about giving tithes and offerings, but do you know what the difference is? Did you know that you can’t give an offering until you’ve given a tithe? And what about alms (giving to the poor, or to somebody’s need) — is that the same as giving to God?
- Budgeting & discretion. Just because you are generous and give to God doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be responsible with your money. If you want God’s blessing on your money, then you have to be a good steward over what He has given you before you’ll become wealthy His way. It’s old fashioned and boring, but it works.
- Saving & investing. In order to accumulate wealth you can’t spend all that you have and you have to make your money work for you. One of my favorite scriptures on the subject talks about the sluggard looking at how ants store up in summer for winter (I think the word sluggard is hilarious).
- Work. If you don’t work, you won’t eat. Right? They shouldn’t, at least not according to Paul’s letter written to the church of the Thessalonians. It’s not just a matter of working, it’s what work you’re doing, how you’re working, why you’re working. If you want to become wealthy God’s way, then you have to carefully consider all aspects of your career.
- Breaking the poverty mindset. This should be obvious, but you’ll never become wealthy unless you want to become wealthy. Many Christians don’t think that they’re supposed to be rich, that God is opposed to wealth, that you should be poor. We’ll take an in depth study of the scripture to see what God’s perspective really is on the subject.
- Character. Humility, integrity, faithfulness, self control, patience… the fruit of the spirit. If you don’t have these operating in your life, despite what wealth you gain, you either won’t keep it, or you won’t be satisfied by it.
Steps 1–3 are all about giving. God’s financial plan deals directly with this area. It’s not some new fangled idea created by televangelists to rob innocent and gullible people of their money. They are principles taught throughout the entire bible. You can’t have God’s financial blessing without these steps.
People can do steps 2 & 3 without having the heart of a giver (like the Pharisees). That’s why step 1 deals strictly with having a heart of generosity. However, many people consider themselves to be generous without actually tithing or giving offerings.
Steps 4–6 are very practical in nature, you can do them without being a Christian or having God involved and they will produce wealth for you. Somehow many Christians think the only thing they need to do to become wealthy is be a giver, they’re you are sadly mistaken. There is a lot of planning and work involved. Whether a Christian or not, these are all principles given in God’s word, and are important aspects of God’s financial plan.
Steps 1, 7, and 8 are all dealing with spiritual issues. You can become wealthy, but if you don’t have these steps right in your life, then you won’t stay wealthy. We have to have our mind and our heart right about money if we want to walk in the abundance of God’s prosperity.
There are many ways to become prosperous, If you want to become prosperous God’s way, then we have to follow His plan.