Tag Archives: Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom Principle #20: Emotional spending can be a train wreck waiting to happen

Imagine flying over a mountain range in a helicopter enjoying all the beautiful creation of God. In the valley below is a set of train tracks. To your shock and surprise there are two trains on the tracks; heading toward each other at a high rate of speed. You cannot communicate with the trains. You try to reach them but they are traveling too fast and you are too far away. You experience the horrible feeling of helplessness. All you can do is watch this terrible thing happen. The sad part about this scenario is – this could have been avoided with a little bit of communication and attention to detail.

The days surrounding Christmas can be days of intense emotional spending. Stores love emotional spenders. To avoid this we need to be wise and vigilant. Do you remember this important proverb from Proverbs 23:5? We have used it before. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.”

Emotional spending can be fun and emotionally uplifting … for the moment. However, the train wreck will happen in a few weeks when the bills come due. Two personal stories are in order.

When I was a child, we loved it when mom would send us to the store with dad. Although my dad is a very frugal person, he had a weak spot – a sweet tooth. His sweet tooth along with our pleas would net us great treasure. We would come home with Circus Peanuts, Animal Crackers, and chocolate candy; none of which was on the list prepared by mom. It was the result of emotional spending and my sister and I were glad it worked.

A friend of mine used to go into temporary depression when his wife would leave town for an extended period; maybe to visit her mom and dad. To self-medicate he would buy stuff. Once he bought a new set of golf clubs. My golfer friends would say “What’s wrong with that?” Once while she was away, he bought a new car he really could not afford at the time. Wow! This particular story has a happy conclusion. Today he makes more money than the President does and he could probably buy the White House. Most of us are not so fortunate.

I will let you decide if emotional spending is a sin based upon our previous Financial Freedom principles. Stores love it when emotional spenders walk in. Dollar signs roll through their minds and they hear the sound “cha-ching.” In these days, we must be on guard for emotional spending or the financial train wreck will happen early in January. Let’s be wise and have a great Christmas.

Financial Freedom Principle #19: Gratitude is the best attitude

Find a grateful person and you have found a great treasure. Spend too much time with ungrateful people and you will find yourself in recurring episodes of depression. Ungrateful people are all around us. They are emotionally and physically draining. One of the most devastating personality traits is ingratitude because it leads to bitterness. Both grateful and ungrateful people can be hurt and offended. However, the grateful person will avoid being trapped in the gall of bitterness.

In our home hangs a piece of artwork; an ever present reminder of the importance of gratitude. Here are those words: “A grateful heart sees many blessings.” Everyday at the end of the day Pat and I stop and record in a journal items of gratitude for the day. When you find yourself going bitter, do three things.

First, read and take heed to Hebrews 12:14-15.

Second, consider and reconsider these verses:

  • “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
  •  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
  • “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.” (Psalm 50:14)
  • “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm) 100:1-4

Third, stop and record on paper items for which you are grateful. Write down as many items as possible; do not stop with one or two. You will find joy returning to your heart. Remember, gratitude is the best attitude.


Financial Freedom Principle #18: Dishonest gain is like driving in reverse

The reverse gear in a car is great … when you want to or need to back up. Imagine how ludicrous it would be to sit in your car, look out the front car window, and desire to go forward but have the car in reverse. With every passing moment, you would be getting further and even further from your destination. Eventually, you will crash.

Compare that picture to trying to achieve prosperity and financial freedom or financial success using dishonest practices. As crazy as it sounds, people try it everyday. Consider a few biblical reminders:

“Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 25:13-16)

Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the short measure that is an abomination? Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. “Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied; hunger shall be in your midst. You may carry some away, but shall not save them; and what you do rescue I will give over to the sword. (Micah 6:10-14)

These words are clear reminders as to how our Lord views attempts toward dishonest gain. Probably the most graphic picture of our Lord’s view of dishonest gain is when He overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple; not once but twice. Let us close with those words.

“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-16)

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (Matthew 21:12-13)

Financial Freedom Principle #17: The blessings and benefits of working

There are many opinions about work. Some people think it is right to work all the time and have no pleasure. Other people have the idea that other people should do all the work so they can use all their time for pleasure. The truth is somewhere between these two extremes is where we ought to be. The Bible teaches many lessons about work.

  1. The Lord God worked six days and then rested. “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2:2
  2. Sleep is more pleasant after working. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.” Ecclesiastes 5:12
  3. There are general benefits of hard work. “In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
  4. There are specific benefits of hard work.
    1. “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.” Proverbs 12:11
    2. “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Proverbs 28:19
  5. When we work, we should see God as our boss. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23
  6. We should be diligent about our work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
  7. As we work, remember God makes sense of what we do. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:1-2)

Some additional verses about work: Genesis 2:15; Exodus 20:9; Nehemiah 5:14-16; Proverbs 16:26; 19:15, 24; 21:25; Ecclesiastes 5:18-19; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9, 11-12; 2 Timothy 2:6.

The bottom line is, there are powerful benefits and blessings in working especially when it is work as unto the Lord.

Financial Freedom Principle #16: Contentment is the key

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” People use this verse in various situations they encounter.

  • “I am having a bad day but I can endure it because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • “I have a crummy job and a mean boss but I can keep working here because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • “I have just received some bad news but I can make it because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

How many people stop to consider the context of this popular verse? The context is Philippians 4:10-13; notice the words. “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

We see here Paul learned contentment. Contentment is being satisfied with what we have. Contentment is something that he learned in the process of spiritual growth as he walked with the Lord. Paul said he was content whether he had a little or a lot; whether he was brought low or held in high esteem, hungry or full of food. Consider this Proverb: “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16-17

Notice some of the other contentment verses in the Bible.

“Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—“Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psalm 37:7, 16

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

“Likewise, the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.” Psalm 73:25

“Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.” Psalm 49:16-19

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34

“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

By reading these and other verses on contentment, we can see how contentment is the key fits into the whole picture of financial freedom. Financial freedom is not having a bunch of stuff or making a lot of money. It is being content with what God has entrusted to us at this moment in life. He may choose to entrust us with less or more. However, in whatever He chooses, we are content.

Financial Freedom Principle #15: Steady plodding is the right strategy

Most, if not all of us, are familiar with the fable The Tortoise and the Hare. The hare (a fast animal that resembles a rabbit) thought he could beat the tortoise with little effort. He would run for a while and make much progress, but then he would rest a while. He thought he had plenty of time. In his thinking, there was no reason to stay focused on the task at hand. He decided to take a nap.

The tortoise, however, just kept plodding along. He remained steady and persistent at the task of winning the race and that is exactly what he did. When the hare awoke from his nap, the tortoise was walking across the finish line. The tortoise, a much slower reptile, beat the hare by steady plodding.

Steady plodding is a strategy that has been tried and proven over again but it is amazing how few people put this strategy into practice. Steady plodding works when …

  • Trying to pay off credit card debt,
  • Saving for a big future purchase, or
  • Paying ahead on a mortgage.

These are just a few examples where steady plodding works. Anyone would like a windfall gain or be able to make a big dent in a debt situation. But, most of us are not so fortunate as to be able to make such monumental strides. Once again, we need to remember, steady plodding is the right strategy. When we practice steady (persistent) plodding, we will be victorious; just like the hare. As we close this principle, consider these two renderings of Proverbs 21:5.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (NKJV)

“Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.” (TLB)


Financial Freedom Principle #14: Saving is not hoarding

Many people do not save any money either because they feel they cannot or they have chosen to not save. A good practice is – whenever you receive an income, the first check written should be to the Lord. The second check should be to yourself (placed in safe place as savings). In Discovering God’s Way of Handling Money, the definition of saving is “to forego an expenditure today so you will have something to spend in the future.”

Some people equate saving with hoarding. Others say saving is a demonstration of the lack of faith. Still others say saving is a wise thing to do. What is the truth? Does the Bible have anything to say about saving and/or hoarding? Yes it does.

In Proverbs 21:20 we find, “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it.” The Living Bible translates this, “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”

Probably the best example of saving in the Bible is when Joseph saved grain in view of the fact that God told him a famine was coming. In Genesis 41: 34-36, we have a brief account of Joseph’s words to Pharaoh. “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” The wisdom God instilled in Joseph spared millions of people from starving to death. When the famine came, he was ready to supply the people with grain.

Hoarding, however, is keeping a large quantity of something hidden in a secret place. Joseph refusing to make the grain available to the people, during the years of famine, would have been hoarding. Hoarding is often a sickness that needs some biblical counsel.

Probably the best example of hoarding in the Bible is Luke 12:16-21 “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

There are several lessons in this parable. One is to avoid the idea of self-sufficiency. Another lesson is that about hoarding. If he had shared his abundance with others, he would not have needed those new larger barns.

The fact is, under the Lord’s leadership we can spend money any way we want to, but once we have spent it, it is gone. We would be wise to save some money for future needs. We should also seek the Lord and learn from Him when our saving becomes hoarding.

Financial Freedom Principle #12: We are accountable to God

This principle is read as a positive or a negative; depending on where you are with the Lord. The fact remains, everyone is accountable to Him.

When we were children, we were accountable to our parents. When employed, we are accountable to our superiors. A soldier in the military is accountable to his commanding officer. These and other situations of accountability can change but our accountability to God never changes. In Hebrews 4:13, we find these words. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” See also Romans 14:12.

If you are a Christian, you (and I) will give an account before our Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Notice these important words in 2 Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

If you are not a Christian, you will appear before God at the Great White Throne Judgment. Notice very carefully these words in Rev 20:11-12. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. If you have the courage, go the Rev 20:13-15 for the rest of the story. You will want to avoid this judgment.

Our lifespan on earth is like the timeframe of a master away on a long journey. As stewards, we will give an account to our Master when He returns. In Luke 12:42-43, Jesus said these very important words: “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” See also Matthew 25:14-29.

Notice these words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” As the common proverb says, “A word to the wise should be sufficient.” We would be wise to remember that all of us are accountable to Him. Let us all desire to hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Go to Principle #4 if you need to review that one.

Financial Freedom Principle #11: Tithing is an essential element

One of the favorite verses of those who participate in Bible Drills, is Malachi 3:10. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

Tithing is the practical and consistent acknowledgement that He owns it all and all that we have He has entrusted to us. Tithing is not something we work up to over time as if it were a goal to achieve. It is actually the starting point to grace giving.

When I say tithing is an essential element, I do not mean it is a law we are required to keep or a legalistic requirement we must fulfill to remain in relationship with God. It is essential for all the lessons it teaches and the blessings that follow. Read that verse one more time in this way.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,

That there may be food in My house, 

And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts,

“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven

And pour out for you such blessing

That there will not be room enough to receive it.

He is ready and willing to give you blessings. In what form these blessings will be is His to decide. Our part is to acknowledge it all belongs to Him, it all comes from Him, and we acknowledge that in tithing.

Financial Freedom Principle #10: God has the power to generate wealth

We see that plainly stated in Deuteronomy 8:18. “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth …”

In James 4:13-16, we have the situation of a person who has decided to go into a certain town, spend some time there, and make some money. As soon as he decides this, an admonition rings forth. Follow the truth in the following words. “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

Many of us work hard, work smart, and some are in charge of many people. But remember, it is God who gave you

  • Eyes to see
  • Ears to hear
  • Hands to work
  • Fingers to point the way and press a button
  • Feet to go from one place to the other
  • Legs to stand for several minutes or several hours
  • Arms to hold something or someone (especially grandchildren)
  • A brain to design, create, invent, plan, decide, and process information

No doubt in that list each of us would have one or more handicaps or limitations but the truth remains, He has the power to get wealth. Give Him praise today.