Money occupies much of our lives. There are news channels and tv shows dedicated to watching stock markets and to guide investment. Get rich quick schemes abound. Money seems to dominate the political arena with a focus on spending, taxes and debt. We spend a significant amount of our lives focused on earning money, earning more money, and getting money. Not only do we think money is important, God seems to think it is important too. An article in Leadership Journal (a Christianity Today publication) states, “Jesus talked much about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.” (Howard L. Dayton, Jr., Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 2.)
Money, and more importantly managing money is an important topic for Christians to study. As Christians money should be viewed as a gift or resource and should be used with great stewardship. I am not the best at managing money. I struggle with wants—not needs. This is true for those of us living in America. As Max Lucado once put it, “we don’t cry over spilled milk, we cry over spilled champagne”. We are a rich country. If you make over $32,000 a year you are in the top 1% of earners in the world. If your family of 4 is on welfare, receiving food assistance, free medical, housing assistance, etc… you are in the top 5% in the world when your benefit amounts are converted in income. We are wealthy—even if we don’t know it.
The biggest challenge we face is using our money in ways that honor God. This means avoiding debt (Proverbs 22:7), budgeting (Luke 14:28-30), and keeping a Biblical perspective about our money (Ecclesiastes 5:10, 1 Timothy 6:10, 1 John 2:15-17). In an effort to be better at these things my wife and I are going to be leading a Financial Peace University Class (Dave Ramsey) here at our building beginning in early February. Currently, the tentative plan is meet for 9 weeks in a row on a Tuesday or Thursday evening from 6:30pm to 8:30pm here at the building. The class is not free, there are materials every family unit will need to purchase, but don’t let that be an obstacle to you. For more information, to express your interest, or to sign up see Glenn or Treneé.