Successful Money Management

Successful Money Management April 8, 2019

Successful Money Management

Successful Money Management

Proverbs 22:1-16

In a survey, ING Direct learned that many parents are uncomfortable talking to their children about money. In fact, 39 percent of parents are more prepared to talk about alcohol and drugs with their children than about money and finance; 29 percent would rather talk about dating and sex. Perhaps most surprising is that 95 percent believe financial education should be taught in school.

If parents want a Christian worldview for their children where money is concerned, they need to be sure they teach it to them at home. Christian finance should be part of the “all things” we teach young believers.1

The Bible teaches here that as Christians, we should be successful at money management. We should also be teaching others how to be successful as well. So one level this passage can apply to me personally about how to be successful in money management. On another level, this section can show me what I need to teach others to be successful. Let’s look at seven tips for successful money management.

SEVEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL MONEY MANAGEMENT

1. God is sovereign over my money (Proverbs 22:1-2)

A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold. Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord makes them all.(Proverbs 22:1–2, CSB)

Wealth is not the most important value to God. God is the creator of everyone, no matter the financial status that one achieves. The first proverb states a great reputation is better than great wealth. Yet, there should be preferences made between the rich and the poor. They are both equal in God’s sight. This shows us that God is sovereign over my money because He is sovereign over my life. He has power over all parts of my life, including my money.

2. Guard my money well (Proverbs 22:3-5)

If God is sovereign over my life and also my money, then the way I deal with money matters to God. Three separate proverbs are linked together with the same thought: financial prudence.

THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF FINANCIAL PRUDENCE

The first value of financial prudence is FORESIGHT.

A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.(Proverbs 22:3, CSB)

If I am sensible, I will see the difficulties ahead and plan accordingly. In terms of money, this means that I will set aside money for a rainy day. I will save money for the future. I will look to the future and be prepared for contingencies.

The second value of financial prudence is FEAR.

Humility, the fear of the Lord, results in wealth, honor, and life.(Proverbs 22:4, CSB)

One must have a sense of financial humility. By this, the proverb states that the “fear of the Lord” results in wealth. How is the “fear of the Lord’ connected to wealth. If you fear God, then you are going to Him and what He says about money. Most people don’t respect God and what He says about guarding money. So one should have a healthy fear of what God says about money. Even in the Proverbs, we see much of what God says about money management.

Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with turmoil.(Proverbs 15:16, CSB)

Better a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.(Proverbs 16:8, CSB)

Why does a fool have money in his hand with no intention of buying wisdom?(Proverbs 17:16, CSB)

There is gold and a multitude of jewels, but knowledgeable lips are a rare treasure.(Proverbs 20:15, CSB)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.(Proverbs 1:7, CSB)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, including financial wisdom.

The third value of financial prudence is FIDELITY.

There are thorns and snares on the way of the crooked; the one who guards himself stays far from them.(Proverbs 22:5, CSB)

There are financial thorns and snares in this world. We call them payday loans, and credit card debt. Fidelity is another word for faithfulness. There is a reason why money management companies call themselves Fidelity. The point is that they guard your money so that they are faithful with it, so that you can later have it when you need it.

3. Teach your children how to manage money properly (Proverbs 22:6-7)

Start a youth out on his way; even when he grows old he will not depart from it. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.(Proverbs 22:6–7, CSB)

Many people have used this verse to emphasize that a parent should teach Christian values to their children when they are young. In return, although a child may leave the church when they are older, the child will return to the church.

But in context, this verse is about money management. Before this verse, we see that the verses are about financial prudence. The verse after the parent/child verse is about the fact that if you are in debt, you will always be a slave to whoever you are indebted.

In context, the verses teach the parent’s responsibility to teach proper money management. In other words, if you train up a child in the way they should go (in terms of money management), then later as they grow older, they will keep this teaching and it will benefit them. What is the best teaching that a parent can give to their children? Stay out of debt. Live on what you earn. The reason is because there are consequences to financial actions.

4. There are consequences to financial actions (Proverbs 22:8-9)

The one who sows injustice will reap disaster, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed. A generous person will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:8–9, CSB)

A parent teaches a child how use money wisely because there are consequences to every financial action. There are challenging, negative lessons that a person has to learn. For example, there are negative consequences for the poor use of money. At the same time, there are positive benefits to using money wisely.

5. Keep your communication lines open about finances (Proverbs 22:10-12)

Drive out a mocker, and conflict goes too; then quarreling and dishonor will cease. The one who loves a pure heart and gracious lips—the king is his friend. The Lords eyes keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the treacherous.” (Proverbs 22:10–12, CSB)

The most causes of arguments in marriage is about money. People argue about not having enough money, or about the goals of their money. The Bible teaches that if you drive out the mocker than conflict, quarreling and dishonor will go away. So you can’t kick the mocker out, but you can work things out.

Dealing with money takes humility. You can’t be right all the time about money. This is why a husband and wife need to talk about their money. You have to talk about what money comes in and where the money goes. You can’t decide to ignore the subject. Be honest with one another.

You need to work together to manage money successfully. This is the reason why you create a family budget. A budget is a way to communicate the state of your finances. If you want to manage your money successfully, then you need to talk about it. How much do we need to live on what we want to do now? How much do we need to save? What debts do we need to pay off? How much are we going to give to God this week? These are questions a family needs to answer together.

6. Misuse of your money will endanger yourself (Proverbs 22:13-15)

The slacker says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!” The mouth of the forbidden woman is a deep pit; a man cursed by the Lord will fall into it. Foolishness is bound to the heart of a youth; a rod of discipline will separate it from him.” (Proverbs 22:13–15, CSB)

The reason why you need to communicate with one another is because money can easily be misused. Here, the writer of Proverbs warns about the ways that people can misuse money.

Here, the writer of Proverbs warns about the ways that people can misuse money.

THREE WAYS I CAN ENDANGER MYSELF WITH MONEY

Poor work ethic

The first way I can endanger myself with money is by not taking the effort to make money. Here, we are introduced to the “slacker” or “sluggard.” The word literally means lazy. The sluggard makes every excuse to not go to work. He doesn’t make the effort to be on time.

How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep?” (Proverbs 6:9, CSB)

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so the slacker is to the one who sends him on an errand.” (Proverbs 10:26, CSB)

The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied.” (Proverbs 13:4, CSB)

The slacker does not plow during planting season; at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4, CSB)

A slacker’s craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work.” (Proverbs 21:25, CSB)

I went by the field of a slacker and by the vineyard of one lacking sense. Thistles had come up everywhere, weeds covered the ground, and the stone wall was ruined.” (Proverbs 24:30–31, CSB)

In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser than seven who can answer sensibly.” (Proverbs 26:16, CSB)

The verses about the slacker are a warning to us. If you want to be successful with money management, you need to work.

Poor relationships

Some relationships are forbidden. God says that when I am married, then as a man other women are forbidden.

The one who commits adultery lacks sense; whoever does so destroys himself.” (Proverbs 6:32, CSB)

I don’t spend money on other women. I spend them on my family, my wife. Yet, there are other relationships that can destroy me. I need to be wise with my relationships, and how I spend my money around them.

Poor decisions

Foolishness is bound to the heart of a youth; a rod of discipline will separate it from him.” (Proverbs 22:15, CSB)

We make poor decisions when we are young, especially financial decisions. The Bible is full of examples of people who made poor decisions when they were young.

Why does a fool have money in his hand with no intention of buying wisdom?” (Proverbs 17:16, CSB)

Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person, but a fool consumes them.” (Proverbs 21:20, CSB)

In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser than seven who can answer sensibly.” (Proverbs 26:16, CSB)

7. Poverty is overcome by financial discipline (Proverbs 22:15-16)

Foolishness is bound to the heart of a youth; a rod of discipline will separate it from him. Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich—both lead only to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:15–16, CSB)

Poverty is defined by Proverbs as the lack of financial discipline. It is not just a condition that one encounters. Poverty is achieved due to a lack of financial discipline. Poverty is a result of financial laziness. You have to literally work to overcome poverty. This is the reason that the writer of Proverbs says a rod of discipline will separate it out of him. If you want to work to better your condition financially, then you need to be disciplined with your money. Don’t make the poor decisions that keep you in poverty. Work hard. Save what you can. Invest in good decisions. Follow God’s expectations with your money.

1 Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell, “Be Sure to Teach Children about Money,” in 300 Illustrations for Preachers, ed. Elliot Ritzema (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015). Originally from: USA Today, August 21, 2009, p. B3.

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