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Christian Finances

Financial Freedom Series - Christian Finances

How can we achieve financial freedom? What must we do according to God's plan?

Transfer ownership. A Christian must transfer ownership of every possession to God. That means money, time, family, material possessions, education, and even earning potential for the future. This is essential to experience the Spirit-filled life in the area of finances (Ps. 8:6).

Freedom from debt. A Christian must get out of debt altogether. Again, let me define a scriptural debt. Debt exists when any of the following conditions are true: (1) Payment is past due for money, goods, or services that are owed to other people; (2) The total value of unsecured liabilities exceeds total assets; in other words, if you had to cash out at any time, there would be a negative balance on your account; and (3) Anxiety is produced over financial responsibility, and the family's basic needs are not being met because of past or present buying practices.

Steps to Getting and Staying Current

Written Plan. A written plan is an absolute necessity for the Christian in financial bondage. Use a written plan of all expenditures and their order of importance. The order of importance is crucial because it will help us differentiate between needs, wants, and desires.

Living essentials. A Christian in debt must stop any expenditure that is not absolutely essential for living (Proverbs 21:17). Look for services around the home that can be done without outside cost. Also being to develop some home skills. By utilizing individual skills, you can begin to cut down on some of the nonessential expenditures.

Think before buying. A Christian who in debt (and even those who are not) should think before every purchase (Proverbs 24:3). Every purchase should be evaluated as follows: Is it a necessity? Have I assessed whether it is a need, a want, or a desire?

Discontinue credit buying. A Christian in debt should also begin buying only on a cash basis.

If you are in debt from the misuse of credit, stop-- totally stop-- using it. One of the best things to do with credit cards when in debt is to mail the cards back to their respective companies and ask them to mail you no more. Include in your letter the plan for paying that credit card debt, and then commit yourself to buying solely on a cash basis.

Avoid leverage. When in debt, avoid using leverage. Leverage is the ability to control a large asset with a relatively small amount of invested capital. Borrowing money to invest is not a scriptural principle.

Practice saving. A Christian should practice saving money on a regular basis. That includes those who are in debt. Even if it is only five dollars a month, develop the discipline of saving.

Establish the tithe. Every Christian should establish the tithe as the minimum testimony to God's ownership. How can anyone say he has given total ownership to God when he has never given testimony to that fact?

Accept God's provision. To obtain financial peace, recognize and accept that God's provision is used to direct our lives.

How can a Christian actually apply those principles and find the level of living God has planned for his life? He can begin putting those attitudes into practice in the following areas:

Extra Income. Often when a family cannot pay its bills, the first thought is, "More money will help." Perhaps the husband takes a second job or the wife goes to work.

Asking God first. Before making any purchase, regardless of the amount, give God the opportunity to provide the item first.

A clear conscience. A Christian must have a clear conscience regarding past business practices and personal dealings.

Put others first. A Christian seeking financial freedom must always be willing to put other people first. That does not imply that a Christian has to be a doormat for others; it simply means that he doesn't profit at the disadvantage of someone else.

Limit time involvement. Christians must also limit time devoted to business affairs when family involvement suffers.

Watch your indulgences. Every Christian, to achieve financial freedom, must watch the indulgence of life. Are you willing to trust God and deny yourself some indulgence if needed?

Christian counseling. It is important to seek good Christian counseling whenever in doubt.