Money isn’t the most important thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. In fact, money is of such significance that Jesus mentions it over and over again in his teaching. He knows we need money to live on, and he wants us to manage it wisely and well. More on that on this MoneyWise .
- On Mondays, we go back to “first principles” and talk about foundational truths that undergird everything we discuss on this program.
- Last Monday, we mentioned that there are only five things you can do with money — you can earn it, you can use it to live on, you can give some away, you pay it to people you owe, and you can invest it so that it will grow for the future. Those five things are easy to remember: earn, live, give, owe, and grow.
- Today, we’ll talk about living — using money to live on.
- LIVING ON YOUR INCOME
- Beyond the basics, food, shelter, clothing and transportation, there are many other things money helps make possible: a good education, quality medical care, financial protection via insurance, and investments to meet our future needs.
- There are many practical aspects to managing your cost of living, but let’s start with a “big picture” concept — a “first principle.” And that is this: God knows your needs, and he has committed himself to making a way for you.
- In Matthew 6, Jesus told us:
- “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…
- “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…
- “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
- The writer to the Hebrews reinforces this is in Hebrews 13, when he writes:
- “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for [God] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…’”
- Scripture is not telling us that we can financially irresponsible
and God will cover for us. But it is saying that we can trust Him to meet our genuine needs.
- Here’s one more relevant verse: It’s 1st Chronicles 16:9. In context, a prophet named Hanani is scolding one of Israel’s kings for not trusting God, and he makes this striking statement:
- “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
- So again, God knows your “cost of living” needs, and if you are fully committed to him, he will make a way.
- Again, there are lots of practical aspects to managing your cost of living, and the Lord expects us to manage to the best of our ability and wisdom. That would include making a spending plan and tracking spending so that you have clear knowledge of where your money is going. Our MoneyWise App can help you with that.
- GOD KNOWS YOUR NEEDS. BUT DO YOU?
- Do you really have a good handle on what you need to live and support your family? That is, not all the stuff you may want, but what you really need? A spending plan can help you figure that out.
- And here is perhaps the most practical thing to keep in mind: “Don’t spend more than you earn.” Actually, it’s crucial to live on less than you earn so that you can set aside some money for the future.
- The thing to remember with managing money is that — just like with an exercise program — the effect is cumulative. If you develop a plan and stick to it, the cumulative effects will eventually appear. You’ll notice you feel more confident about your finances because you’re more prepared for unexpected expenses. You’ll notice you’re less stressed out over money. You’ll see your debt going down and your savings going up.
- Bottom line: Develop a plan and and stick to living
on it — all the while trusting that the Lord knows your needs and stands ready to “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- Can you go to a bank other than our mortgage holder for a home equity loan?
- How do you determine whether you’re able to retire before full retirement age?
- Is it wise to help a family member to get a mortgage when they don’t have great credit?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app.