My Best Financial Advice

Blogtober Post #7. Theme: Money

I don’t want to say it, but I really don’t think we should expect much from our economy. In fact, considering the times in which we live, we should can expect things to get worse. I hate to write those words, but there are real problems ahead of us.

So, I’d like to share my best financial advice with you. No, I am not an economist. I am not in anyway involved in finance. However, I have learned a few tried and true financial habits that have served me well over the years. It’s simple advice.


MY BEST FINANCIAL ADVICE

  1. Tithe to your church.
    “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my Temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!” Malachi 3:10

    I have never heard anyone other than myself say that this is an important reason to have a church home, but I do believe strongly it should be one of the primary reasons we go to church. Yes, we want to attend church for the good relationships and spiritual fellowship we can find there. We want to attend church for the opportunity to worship together and hear the Word of God preached. We want to attend church to find a place to serve, a place to be baptized in water, and a place to receive Holy Communion. However, the Lord’s directive above is very clear, and it comes with a vital promise that I count on. And, God has proven Himself, by the way—over and over!

  2. Give more than just your tithe to the Lord.
    “But remember this—if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

    When I say we should give more, I mean we should give more within the church (special offerings for the needy or sick, missions, homeless outreach, prison ministry, etc.), but also to other worthy and godly organizations outside of the church—for instance, Mercy Chefs or Samaritan’s Purse. They are being Christ’s hand extended to the needy, lost, and forgotten. They meet people in crisis with the love of Jesus, and vital help. Folks, entrusting your money into the hands of people doing God’s work is a great way reap much, because you can never out give God.

  3. Get out of debt. Stay out of debt.
    “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

    I realize that there is some debt that we have to endure, like a car payment or mortgage. However, there is a lot of debt we don’t need to incur, like credit card debt. I encourage anyone with any debt to work to pay it off. There are some very smart strategies to help you pay down debts quicker. Find them, and follow them. Likewise, there smart strategies to help you resist impulse purchases, and learn money mismanagement skills that won’t leave you depending on your credit cards to get through the month. It may require you to tighten your belt for a few years, but it will be worth it.

Money troubles are the cause of many health and relationship problems. The worry and stress can really do a number us! That’s all the more reason to strive to get out of debt, and get your accounts right with God. The Lord will bless your efforts, and in time you will begin to reap the benefits.

Despair is a Round Trip

I was closing an email from Doug, the Saxophone Player, and my eye quickly glanced down at his signature.

This email came from his office at the jail, and I was just moved to tears seeing his title. You may not know my husband’s testimony**, but I can tell you that I did not marry a man fit to be a minister. I married a great guy, but he had some big problems. Those problems affected his family, and drove me to despair so many times I don’t need a map anymore.

Yet, in those places of hopelessness The Holy Spirit kept telling me to trust God. Sometimes, there would be this flash of a vision from an unknown future. I would see him speaking to a group of people, Bible in hand. Where did that come from?

I can’t get over what God has done in my husband’s life, and I hope I NEVER do! I hope I never forget what God has done, and that He is able to do far more than we can hope or imagine—if we will just keep trusting Him. That trust will most likely mean a few trips to despair for anyone daring enough to let God do things His way, but I promise it’s a round trip when we’re in His hands. It’s a round trip!

I did not marry a man worthy of his titles: Reverand, Pastor, Chaplain, Chief Executive Officer, President. He wasn’t worthy of the work the Lord has entrusted to his care, but God made him worthy. God persevered, and Doug surrendered.

If you know the way to Despair as well as I once did, please seek the Lord for help. Please, believe that He is able to help you in your circumstances, because what He does for one of His children*, He will do for any of them.

*If you aren’t sure you are a child of God, don’t wait to find out. CLICK HERE.
** This is Doug’s Testimony. CLICK HERE

If

I’d like to share a few quotes from Missionary Amy Carmichael‘s book entitled If. It is based on 1 Corinthians 13, often called the love chapter in the Bible.

If you aren’t familiar with Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), I encourage you to click on her name and read the very brief biography at that link. There really have been very few women like her.

“If I myself dominate myself,
if my thoughts revolve round myself,
if I am so occupied with myself I rarely

have a heart at leisure from itself,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If the praise of others elates me
and their blame depresses me;
if I cannot rest under misunderstanding
without defending myself;
if I love to be loved more than to love,
to be served more than to serve,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success,
so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does,
is never given room there; if the cup of flattery tastes sweet to me,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If my interest in the work of others is cool;
if I think in terms of my own special work;
if the burdens of others are not my burdens too,
and their joys mine,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Amy Carmichael

“If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it,
because the spirit of discernment is not in me,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Amy Carmichael

I have been thinking lately how much I underestimate God’s expectations of me. When I consider the life this woman, how she served and sacrificed for Christ and others, I am horrified by my laziness, failure, and complacency. Do I know nothing of Calvary’s love? Lately, I wonder.