By Paul Witkop –
We are at a time in our life where it feels like the money that comes in seems to go out just as quickly. We are parents to three teenagers and between college, cars and clothing, our budgets have been stretched. We know that there are many others who are in our situation too.
My wife and I have to make important decisions every day concerning our finances. We wrestle with financial questions about our needs versus our wants, safe levels of debt versus unsafe, delaying purchases to another time and investing in things versus investing in people. Our decisions are not easy, but they are shaped by some investing principles that come from a place you might not expect, the Bible. You might call them “timeless and proven wisdom.”
Invest in people and not things – Jesus told us that investing our relationships with God and with others were the most important commandments.
Borrow only what is easily paid back – In Proverbs 22:7, the writer reminds us that too much debt becomes a ball and chain around our necks.
Give generously to help others – We have been blessed with so much, so live and give with a generous attitude.
Save wisely for future needs – Wise saving means that we live on less than we earn. Wise saving also realizes that excessive saving is hoarding and is living selfishly.
Spend joyfully – My wife and I have found that if we live by the 10-10-80 principle…we give away at least 10 percent of our earnings; we save at least 10 percent of our earnings and then we live on the rest. Living this way helps us with stress and helps us keep a healthy balance.
Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 6:21) that whatever we make our highest treasure, whatever we place as our highest goal, our hearts will be focused toward achieving it. Many are deceived by the popular myth that possessing more money and accumulating more things and updating to the latest technology are the highest goals. Happiness is only found in a close personal relationship with the God who created us and the God who loves us and wants the very best for each of us. He wants to guide us to make wise decisions, even wise financial decisions. He is interested in every aspect of life.