The six key principles for financial decision-making are:
- Live within your income. (Proverbs 13:11)
- Avoid using debt, especially high interest and convenience-type debt. (Proverbs 22:7)
- Save for the unexpected; build liquidity or margin into your financial life. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
- Set some long-term goals so that you can prioritize your decisions. (Philippians 3:14)
- Understand that God owns it all. (Psalm 24:1)
- Give generously; it’s the only way to experience financial freedom. (I Timothy 6:18 – 19)
All of these principles emanate from God’s Word. I have given you Scripture references here so that you can connect the principle with the Truth in the Bible. Each principle requires discipline, and each one requires a long-term (or even eternal) perspective.
This morning, I read Mark 4 in my devotional time. In that passage, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. In His explanation of the parable to His disciples, He contrasts seed that is sown on thorny soil with seed that is sown on good soil. Mark 4:18-20 (NIV) says, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Two things struck me from the passage. First of all, our desire for “other things” (material or otherwise) keeps us from bearing fruit by allowing God’s Word to take root in our lives. The battle to put God first always includes a battle of desire. We cannot wait for our desire for “other things” to dry up before we implement the disciplines of the six financial principles. We have to discipline our desires by the power of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, the seed sown on the good soil was “accepted” after it was heard. In my own life, I must make a conscious decision to “accept” God’s Word as valid and true and important before it makes a difference in my life. Acceptance is on a heart level and it is also on a surrender level. Acceptance goes beyond intellectual knowledge and reaches something deeper in me. Before I can stay the course of adherence to financial principles, I have to accept the guidance in God’s Word as Truth – meant for me.
May God’s peace encourage you as you pursue financial wisdom and depend on His Truth.