A Bit more about money and attitude and priorities

Ok. we have been talking about a attitude, debt, and more attitude, Lets talk about faith now, James says that faith without works is dead. So lets put this faith to work and set up a budget. The first thig we need to do is recognize how income is divided.

  1. The first part belongs to God. This is returned to Him in recognization that He owns all that we have, that we are the stewards or managers of His reosurces.
  2. Now, the government wants its share- that is called taxes.

    Now we come to what is called net spendable income.\

  3. The familise needs have to be met. This is the most important part of the budget as we can see from 1 Tim 5:8

1 Timothy 5:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The we come to paying the debts we can that this is a prioroty from Psalm 37: 21

Psalm 37:21

New King James Version (NKJV)

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

And with faithful and obedient management a fifth portion will be created – a surplus! I like that!

Creating a surplus should be a major goal for every Christian and we see why in 2 Cor 8:14:

2 Corinthians 8:14

New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.

Even if there is no debt the finances should be managed to maximize the surplus.

So we see the division of income as

1.tithe

  1. taxes
  2. Family Needs
  3. debts
  4. and finally we get to a surplus!

But how? First of all you need to know where you are at

What is the present level of spending? To determine this you need a way to track your spending. The best way, I think is to buy one of those little pocket notebooks and write down how much you spent and what it was spent on. This includes everything from utiltity bills to that fountain soda you baough at the gas station. Also I this book record the amt you got paid for the month. After that first month subtract from your income what your expenses were- Income -Outgo= ? Or lets make an algebra problem out of this, just for fun:

I-O=X

Now is x a postive number or a negative number?

Just to keep it simple lets say your income for the month was $1,000 and your outgo or expenses were $900- that leaves you with a $100 surplus for the month- That is great! Now you have$100 to share! Now suppose your income for the month was $1000 and your outgo (expenses) were $1500- that means you have a 500 dollar deficit- you could be a senator or congressman/woman!

 

But only if you do not address the deficit and the reason for it and the attitude(what scriptural principle was violated?) that got you in the red to start with. Once this occurs a few other things happen- family needs can’t met for one. What does the Bible say about this?

 

1 Timothy 5:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Very strong words from a man, the Apostle Paul, and he did not beat around the bush about this. That is good reason enough to get a handle on your money ills as quickly as possible! If you do not handle your money properly- it will handle you- and that means it will control you instead of you controlling it! How do you get control over your finances in a timely manner so you can be sure to meet the needs of your family? No one likes this word and many will say it is restricting but it will actually give you more freedom- it is called a budget. As of this writing the US government has been operating without a buget for over 1,000 days and our elected leaders cannot seem to understand why we are in debt and operating on a defict- An intersting figure I came across- the debt owed by the US – each individual person, man, woman and child portion of that debt is $148,000! I am not being political here but am pointing out the dire consequences of not having a budget and how being that irresponsible efefcts those that depend on you to take care of them and provide for them. Ok so what would a budget look like? Something like this for one month

Income: _________

Taxes: __ ________

Tithe:___________ (we will discuss this in more detail later)

Icome less taxes and tithe = net spendable income.

Net Spendable Income=

Living Expenses ( remember this should not exceed 70% of the net spendable income.)

Mortgage or rent_______

Utility bills

electric bill _______

Gas Bill ___________

Water______________

Sanitation________

Groceries__________

Clothing_________

Entertainment_________

Misc________________ (such as haircuts, school lunches ect anyting that does not fit in any category)

Auto

Car Payment_______

Insurance ________

Gas& Oil________

Repairs _______ ____ you have been lucky so far!

Tot Living Expenses___________

Insurance – Look at your paystub for this the reason I do these deductions seperate is that this give a cleared picture od the spending

Life_____

Medical_______

Dental__________

Debts

Credit Card(s) ________

 

Personal Loans______

 

Savings ______

 

 

Net Spendable Income________

Less

Total Monthly Expense______

A positve number = a surplus

Anegaftive number = a deficit

 

Input your numbers in the blanks and see where you stand!

 

Do you have a surplus like the state of Indiana? Or do you have a deficit like the federal government?

********

If you have a surplus that great, but there are things you can do to maximize that surplus and we will discuss those too. If you have a deficit then we have a lot of work to do. Now that you know where you stand you need to analyze this information. But first we need to get at the source of why- what scriptural principles were violated that caused the defict to begin with and what are the current consequences- that means it is time to come clean with yourself and family and God. The next step is anaction plan to deal with it. When there is debt and deficit it is usually not a problem with the income but with the spending. Many people will even get a second or possibly even a third job and the problem is compounded by the increased income. Let me reitirate once again- it is not normally a lack of funds that causes debt but it is spending habits that have gotten out of control due to a lack of self discipline to save for a desired object or an obessession with “keeping up with the Jone’s” That is an attitude of covetouness which is a fancy word for simple greed. Once again the first result of being in debt and a deficiet budget is going to be not meeting the families needs. If you have unment family needs and give to the church or any other activity -you are outside of God’s will. Lets look at Matthew 15:5-6 and see what Jesus says about the needs of the family:

 

 

5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.

 

Now, lets look at 1 Tim 5:8 again:

 

1 Timothy 5:8

New Living Translation (NLT)

 8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.

With the pressure on to keep up with the bills there may come an overcommittment to work and a reversing of proper priorities which will cause further financial suffering as well as spirtual suffering- again the Bible tells us what our basic commitments are:

Matt 6:33

Matthew 6:33

New Living Translation (NLT)

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 

 

Genesis 2:24

New Living Translation (NLT)

 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Psalm 127:2

New Living Translation (NLT)


2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.

 

 

Think on these verses and see if you can discern from them what God says our priorities should be?

With the debt and out of control spending comes the juggling of the bills just to keep the family afloat and this entaglement will even keep Christians out of God’s service. Let take a look at 2 Tim 2:4

2 Timothy 2:4

New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.

 

And then there is 2 Peter 2:20

 

 

2 Peter 2:20

New Living Translation (NLT)

20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.

 

Another entaglement is self indulgence- that is irresponsible spending on things that give temporary satisfaction and have little or no utility. Lets look at Luke 18:14- then a question.

 

 

Luke 8:14

New Living Translation (NLT)

14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.

Is this verse referring to Christians?

Accordingn to this verse what three things result in an unfriutful life?

 

 

 

 

 

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