Character and Our Money
In I TIMOTHY 6:10 THE BIBLE says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Let me share some principles I have learned on how to handle money.
- One should understand the importance of earning his money. We should give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Never should we be involved in gambling or stealing or taking advantage of someone. God set up a plan whereby we should earn our money.
- We should attempt to save money for a rainy day. We live today as if there is no tomorrow. We need to realize that we are foolish if we spend all. Many people arrive at old age no longer able to work and have nothing at all set aside for themselves. There is nothing wrong with saving a little money; in fact, it is very wise to do so.
- Give God a tithe. Malachi 3:8 says, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” The tithe belongs to God. If you do not give God one-tenth of your gross income, you are a thief. It is God Who gives us 100 percent of our increase. He commands that we give a mere one-tenth back to Him. I believe that God would have us to work with our money on a percentage approach. I believe our government could solve their tax problem if all people in all financial brackets would pay a flat percentage of their income as a tax.
- Earn the money to purchase an item instead of getting the item and then trying to earn the money. We should work before we enjoy the benefits of work. Our credit-prone society will pay much money on interest charges because we want something today that we have not earned. If the cash is in hand, no interest will be paid, the product will be owned, and you will have earned the right to have it.
- If you must borrow, have collateral. Collateral is something of equal value to the amount that you are borrowing. If you happen to default in paying, your lender could take your collateral, and your reputation would still be intact. Someone might say, “I have no collateral equal to the amount I want to borrow.” If that is the case, then that person has not earned the right to own the item he is considering purchasing via credit. It may be that you just need to work harder and save to earn that item.
- If you do borrow, repay all and on time. We are very inconsiderate in the area of our promptness in paying our bills today. If you cannot pay on time because of an emergency, call your debtor to let him know your payment will be late. If possible, go to see him in person. Then make arrangements to pay what you can rather than withholding all. Never abuse grace periods.
- Do not be stingy with your money. When God blesses you with money, be willing to share the blessing with others. It all comes from God, and He could choose to withhold it from you just as you have withheld it from others who are needy.
- Do not shop in places where you cannot afford to purchase the merchandise. We too often tempt ourselves. A husband should not drive his wife through an elegant housing division which could tempt her to want something more than they can afford.
- Do not take advantage of your parents in the area of finances. Many people seem to think that because the lenders are their parents that it is not important to repay them. You are a thief if you do not repay a loan, whether it is to your parents or to a bank. Many times parents are forced to forgive loans because their children just assume the parents do not need their money back. Often a parent will be cautious in correcting an indebted child. The parent may feel somewhat responsible for helping to create this character flaw, seeing they trained this indebted child. No child should slap his parents in the face by demonstrating poor character in the area of repaying a debt to them.
- Most of what you consider money problems are actually character problems. You need to get your spending under control. Never spend more than what you make. Your income should never exceed your outgo. This is simple to fix. Adopt the philosophy that if you don’t have it, you won’t spend it.
- It is urgent that you stay organized in your finances. If you have a checking account, keep it balanced. If you have a savings account, watch it carefully and know where you stand concerning it. If you have debts, know when and how much is due. When you earn a paycheck, see to it that it is appropriately distributed.Please answer the following questions: Would you rather have a $10,000.00 salary increase or the character to live on what you currently earn? Or possibly, would you like to develop the character to live on $10,000.00 less than what you currently earn? We seem to think the answer to our problem is to make more money. I wonder if the answer to our problem would be to develop more character.