Question and answer: “My finances are getting out of control, what can I do?”

We all need to be responsible with that which God has entrusted us, Matthew 25:14-30. If we have money then indirectly it came from God (Psalm 24:1, 50:10) and therefore should belong to Him, as He should be our Lord and Master. We should always try and live within our means. Borrowing money or living on credit is a bad idea. We are warned in the Bible not to fall into a lifestyle of debt as it leads to poverty and bondage.

Romans 13:8 ‘Owe no one anything, except to love one another…’

There are some occasions when believers may need to borrow money, e.g. university fees, hospital bills, a mortgage. We are not under bondage in impossible situations. Sadly many people by no fault of their own live below the poverty line.

Wisdom: Learn to control your money before it starts to control you.

We need to understand the difference between our needs and our wants. Our needs are our essentials, food, clothing, a place to live, etc (Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:19). Our wants are clearly things we do not need, a new faster car, more jewellery and expensive designer clothes, etc. 1 John 2:15-17. Being in debt is a financial curse; to see it broken you must tithe, Malachi 3:6-11. By giving back to God you are toning your wallet, walking in obedience and exercising your heart, Matthew 6:21. Learn good habits.

Fact: Debt is living beyond your means, and sometimes can be sign of greed. It is the opposite of giving. Debt is emptying your future to fill up your present. Giving is empting your present to fill up your future Matthew 6:19-24, Luke 14:28-30.

If you live in debt then it could be difficult for the Lord to fully use you, e.g. you might not be able to go on a mission trip or you could be unable to be a financial blessing to someone.

Credit cards give a false sense of wealth and purchases appear cheaper, but it will come back to haunt you! Proverbs 22:7, Galatians 6:7. You should only buy items that you have the cash for or use a debit card that cannot exceed your bank limit, Luke 9:23. If you are in debt, then your first priority is to pay it off, Matthew 22:21. Then start by saving (even a little) regularly and consistently.

Think: Am I responsible or irresponsible with money?

More Info: Deuteronomy 28:12b, Proverbs 3:9-10, 10:22, 11:15, 24-25, 19:17, Matthew 6:1-4, Luke 6:38, 18:24, 21:1-4, 1 Corinthians 16:1-3, 2 Corinthians 9:6-11,1 Tim. 6:6-10.

Visit the interactive version of this course online. www.byfaith.co.uk © 2003 ByFaith Media.