Money Perspective

Dollar bank note money backgroundI do enjoy money. I’ve not met a lot of people who don’t enjoy having money. Money is a medium. There are some people who use it to help their family buy food and others who use it to buy drugs. Money is never the problem, it’s the people who manage it. Money does what we tell it to do. I see money as good because I use it to accomplish good for me and my family. The Word of God is clear about the LOVE of money. Check this out…

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 CSB)

 Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. Therefore, we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me? (Hebrews 11:5-6 CSB)

There are those who think if you make a lot of money, you’ll be successful. I believe it to be the opposite. I believe if I’m successful in serving others and helping them move, then I can earn a good living. Money follows successful work.  I also know that the Lord doesn’t measure success by money. He measures success by service, surrender and obedience. The more I learn about the Lord’s heart, he cared deeply about others.

I need the Lord’s wisdom in managing everything in my life – including my money. I want to use money to honor and glorify Him. I want to use the things money has provided to honor Him as well. If I’m not careful, money starts to manage me if I don’t manage it. Several years ago, I was “broke as a joke” and didn’t have “enough money in each month”. I discovered the teaching of Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) and I wanted to be free from the bondage of debt. My wife and I started dumping debt and “acting our wage” and we dumped all our consumer debt. We are very near complete freedom from debt. This journey out of debt has given me a whole new perspective on money. I’m in charge of it, but when I’m in debt to others, the amount I owe them has charge over me. I even became an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) in Real Estate for Dave Ramsey.

I want to keep earning money to serve my family and invest in the Kingdom of God. I do want to become successful in managing money and serving with it. I want to keep a kingdom perspective on every facet of my life – including money.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Recession Proof

 

House and money on scalesI’m still having conversations with people regarding the recession that started in 2007 and ended in 2010 for a lot of people. There are people today, 7 years later still suffering from the “fall out” of that downturn in the market. There were some good people who lost their retirement savings or their fortune. I learned a lot during that time and I made some decisions about being in that place of fear and struggle. I started reading, researching and learning how to avoid the decisions that caused such harm to so many people. I studied the teaching of Dave Ramsey about dumping debt and how Romans 13:8 is good counsel. Check this out….

Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8 CSB)

I don’t know a lot of people who were not affected profoundly by the recession. I have seen many start to repeat some of the same behaviors that cost them severely during that time. I have also seen wisdom in others determined to not ever be that vulnerable financially again.

Paul gives Timothy some excellent instruction regarding wealth management. I’m trying to look at my money different than I ever have before. Check this out…

17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 CSB)

According to research done by Forbes magazine, the poor in America live better than 95 percent of the world’s population. (June 1, 2013) I believe that with our wealth, comes responsibility.  I think it’s critical to bring our money management under the authority of The Lord. Check this out…

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10 CSB)

Money is not evil. Money is a medium – it does the work of people in possession of it. I can use it to evil or I can use it to do good. I would be wise to grow in my management of money. It’s way too easy to spend and harder to earn and keep.  Becoming aware of my money management skills (or lack thereof) is critical to handling it wisely and with a godly spirit. I do enjoy having extra money. I feel blessed to have learned some valuable lessons during the recession that I plan on implementing into my life for the rest of my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Freedom

 

House and money on scalesThe year of Jubilee in the Jewish culture was in fact a year of freedom. The people who had become poor and had to sell their “family land” were allowed to redeem it. There was indeed no exchange of property. It was much like a “land lease” today. The price of the “lease” was in direct proportion as to how long it was from the year of jubilee or how many years were left until the year of jubilee.

This is a cool concept but unfortunately we don’t practice it today. If I sell some family land – it’s gone and there is no year of jubilee. Check this out…

8 ‘“Count seven Sabbath years – seven times seven years – so that the seven Sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then sound the trumpet everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11 The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12 For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.

13 ‘“In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.

17 Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:8-13, 17 NIV)

As I read this passage I was reminded of the feeling of freedom from debt. I look back over the years at some of the stupid things I’ve done with money and how it caused me great debt. It is painful to recall. I’ve had a “year of jubilee” of sorts when I declared that I don’t want to be a slave anymore to a bank to whom I own money. I don’t want to be a slave to a plastic card. I don’t want to be a slave to a friend to whom I’m borrowing money. I came into contact with Dave Ramsey a few years back and started listening to this common sense approach to handling my money. The first thing was to quit borrowing money. I had to learn to live within my means. I will even counsel a young family buying a house to make sure they are married to each other and not their house payment. We live in a culture that mostly lives outside our income instead of within our income. There is always “too much month at the end of our paycheck”.

Freedom from debt is an incredible feeling – it’s empowering and exhilarating. I want my heart to be devoted to the Lord NOT to creditors. “I want to live like no one else so that I can live and give like no one else”. (Dave Ramsey) I needed a year of jubilee in my financials as early on I borrowed and lived above my means. I’m now trying to live differently – to give differently – to save differently. It seems to me that so many people in our culture are “trying to keep up with the Jones” – people they don’t even know or like. I want to live to serve my God and my family. I don’t want to try to impress others with what I have or own. I want to work with integrity and honesty and earn money to serve the Lord and my family instead of myself. I want to live like I’m having a Year of Jubilee every year!

Pressing On!

Dwayne