It may take time … but having and working a financial plan is the path to financial freedom and God’s blessing whatever your situation. Notice the plan is not the 80-10-10 plan. The order is important. Put God first in your finances. Then change ratios over time as you’re able - 15-15-70, etc. This is pretty simple: a 10-year old can do it. Every person’s financial situation is unique. What is right for you may not be relevant for someone else, but these principles can work for just about everyone.
My motive in sharing this message is to help you personally – because a lot of people live under tremendous financial pressure and all of us need to learn principles of wise financial management. It is not because the church is desperate for more money. We are healthy financially. Yes, we can always use more, so don’t stop giving, but that is not the primary purpose of this teaching. Notice that our focus is not just on giving, because, as important as giving is, it is only one part of the wise financial management.
If you’re doing well financially, well done. Be a blessing and help to others around you. If you’re not doing that well, begin making some changes right away. If you’re under financial pressure or if you have a lot of debt, obtain some financial advice and help to work your way out of your current situation.
There are many things in life more important than money. You can have an enjoyable and fulfilling life without having a lot of money. There is more to life than money and possessions including pleasing God by living right (Prov.11:4; 16:8; 28:6), enjoying quality relationships (1Cor.13:13), as well as experiencing inner peace and contentment (Prov.15:16; 23:4-5. Phil.4:11-13. 1 Tim.6:6-10).
- The Bible talks a lot about money. How do you feel about it being talked about in church?
- Reflect on the dangers and the benefits of wealth.
- Read Jesus’ teaching in Luke 14:28-30 about considering the cost of discipleship and discuss what relevance it has to wise financial management.
- Read Paul’s comments on work in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 and consider its application to today.
- In what situations is it appropriate not to be working and be dependent on someone else for income?
- What are some principles of promotion in the work place? How do Paul’s comments in Colossians 3:23-25 relate to this?
- Reflect on the problem of gambling in Australia. What are some of its causes and consequences?
- What are the benefits of managing resources wisely? What are the consequences of not doing so?
- How can the church community provide a place where each person is encouraged and helped to be blessed financially?
- Why do you think some Christians struggle with the concept of ‘tithing’ (giving 10% of their income to the church)?
- What testimonies do you have that illustrate how giving can release God’s blessing in your life.
- What are some things you would like to do in the future that will require money?
- Why is saving so hard for most people?
- What are some lessons about financial investment you have learned (including both successes and failures) that may be helpful to others?
- What are some questions we can ask ourselves before buying a particular item (‘shopping tips’)?
- What are some ways we can reduce our expenses so we are living within our means?
- Finish by praying for financial blessing for your life as you honour God with your finances.