Wisdom in Finances

Click to watch funny lottery video

While meditating on financial wisdom, I came across this very funny video of a gentleman who was ready to quit his job after buying a winning lottery ticket.  Click the link above to watch this very funny video. I absolutely love this video.  This video shows this guy who is so fed up with his current and very dire financial  situation that he’s made every possible attempt to rectify it, even going as far as succumbing to buying lottery tickets.  I laughed at the fact that the winning lottery ticket he bought, and so dearly longed for, was shredded instantaneously and by accident, thus eliminating his great chances of finally gaining his definition of financial independence”. However; I immediately shuddered at the fact that he absolutely and without a doubt compromised any and every attempts at keeping his current job.  His intention of securing his financial future was destroyed by the fact that this was his one and only chance at financial independence. He put all of his financial independence “eggs” on this one winning lottery ticket “basket”.   What do you suppose ran through his mind as he lost his financial security and his job simultaneously  What did he leave his boss’ office thinking? Do you believe this person learned his lesson, or do you believe he possibly returned to his old ways of  buying more lottery tickets?

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:2-8

The book of James begins with challenging believers to be joyful while facing trials of many kinds.  The book states that such trials are meant to help us produce perseverance so that it may finish its work of bringing us to maturity and completion, lacking nothing.

But, how does perseverance actually work? Perseverance, as defined in the dictionary says that it is, “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success… So, should this person persevere in his pursuit of buying more and more lottery tickets, or should he persevere in his pursuits of learning how to become financially independent by seeking help from experts in the field?  What are your thoughts? What would you do?

James continues to unpack just how we would accomplish this “maturity and completeness”.  In verse 5, James unveils the source “maturity and completeness” and that source is Wisdom from God.  I love the fact that James understands that as humans, it is our nature to be lacking in wisdom. I am also comforted by the fact that God willingly wants to shower us with wisdom in generous proportions.  Isn’t a relief that God is ready for us to come before him and ask him for wisdom?  I hope  you didn’t miss the part on verse 5 where James explains that God will not “find fault” in us as we approach him to ask for wisdom.  Wow and wow! I’m blown away by such love and acceptance.  God knows we struggle and he’s completely empathetic and understanding of our situation as we grow in faith.  Its as though God is anticipating what we will feel and how feeling condemned by our financial despair would discourage us from seeking his help and from coming before his presence. He has already prepared a way for us to approach him in love and with complete and utter acceptance.  Don’t you just want to stop what you are doing and praise God right now? Go ahead, I won’t tell anyone.  Click here for a funny praise break!

Okay, now that you’re back from your praise break, let’s resume the teaching.  The latter half of the passage presents an even greater challenge. While we are able to come to God freely and we are also able to ask him for abundant wisdom, which He clearly has and which He clearly wants to generously give to you, guess what? It requires you to BELIEVE and not doubt that he’s going to give you such abundant wisdom. Do you find it challenging to accept the fact that God’s plans for you are good? Do you find it difficult to see God as this loving and amazing Father who showers his Creation with good things? Don’t feel alone in your faith-journey. I remember a time when the concept of a generous Creator was hard for me to buy into. I was raised with an image of God the Wrathful.  It wasn’t until I fully read the bible that I understood God’s primordial message.  To love me and for me to love Him and His creation.  My prayer for you is that you take time right now and ask God to help you with your unbelief and that this season of unbelief is so short that you can quickly return to the pathways of wisdom and blessings.  I pray right now that you are overcome with the Spirit of Wisdom and that it supersedes your decisions henceforth.

Now that you’ve prayed that prayer and for the ones that have accepted God’s wonderful blessings,  what are you to do now, with your awesome self full of abundant wisdom?  What are those pesky habits of yours that keep you in financial ruin?  Is it the inability to see the benefits of creating and maintaining a budget? I know many people who just despise the notion of a budget.  Is it that shopping has become therapy to medicate a condition that you’ve needed to bring to the feet of Christ?

My prayer for you today is that others do not refer to you as “double-minded and unstable”. It is my prayer that you begin to take God at His word and believe that he wants to grant you wisdom. He wants to see you fully complete and fully mature.  The blessings from financial maturity look like many things for many people. What does financial maturity look like for you? Comment below. We would love to hear how God is working in you and what your financial maturity looks like to you.

Be abundantly blessed with wisdom today!

In Christ,

Cecilia

 

 

 

God’s Financial Promises for You

Welcome to the “God’s Financial Promises for You” series.  We will discuss biblical principles with common-sense advice to help you gain financial security, financial independence, and peace of mind.  Today, we will unpack the principal of Living a Life According to God’s Wisdom.

Principal #1:  Living According to God’s Wisdom

God’s Word on Wisdom

  • Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13
  • But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and all will be given to him. James 1:5
  • Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. Proverbs 10:14
  • He who walks with the wise grows wise. Proverbs 13:20
  • Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens. Daniel 12:3

Teaching

Isn’t it comforting to know that God’s will for us is to become wiser and more knowledgeable in matters of finance?  I give thanks to God that all I must do is ask Him for wisdom when I feel I’m lacking.  The Bible tells me that when I ask Him for wisdom, that God gives it to me generously [i].  It is also interesting to note that the opposite of “wisdom” is “foolishness”. The previous verse you read clearly states that foolishness invites ruin [ii].  Have you ever found yourself in financial ruin?  What decision(s) lead you there?

We praise God that you have taken the first step in uncovering God’s Financial Promises for You.  Whatever financial mistakes you’ve made in the past, be assured that you no longer should make those same mistakes again!

Application

According to Forbes.com, (link below); here are 10 Common Foolish Financial Decisions You Don’t Want to Make: [iii]

  1. Spending money on things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones es because you will also have to keep up with the Jones es’ credit card debt.
  2. Dealing with old debts first. The delinquency may be old enough that it’s past your statute of limitations and the creditor can no longer sue you for it. If the delinquency is over 7 years old, it should have dropped off your credit report.
  3. Paying for credit monitoring. You can get free credit monitoring on sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame and get alerted if anything funky happens to your credit.  You can check your credit report for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com  and dispute anything funky from the past.
  4. Using “average” assumptions in your retirement planning.  The problem with using average rates of return on your investments and an average life expectancy is that there’s a good chance you might earn less than average or live longer than average.
  5. Being recklessly conservative with long term investments. They may think you’re not taking risks, but you are taking one of the biggest risks of all: seeing the real value of your money not keep pace with inflation and not having enough money to retire on.
  6. Having too much money in one stock. It is a good idea to have no more than 10-15% at most of your portfolio in any one stock.  This is especially true if that one stock is your employer since you don’t want to be out of a job and a good bulk of you nest egg at the same time.
  7. Chasing Investing Returns. Studies have shown that top performing funds are no more likely than average to outperform in the future.
  8. Bailing out of stocks while they are low.  Make sure your portfolio matches your risk tolerance.
  9. Investing in high-cost mutual funds. Studies have shown cost to be the biggest predictor of superior returns when comparing similar mutual funds.
  10. Cashing out a retirement account frivolously. Unless you’re in a dire emergency, it’s probably not a good idea to raid your retirement account before you retire. Not only do you have to pay taxes on traditional retirement account withdrawals at your current marginal rate, but you may also have to pay a 10% penalty if you’re under age 59 1/2 and you lose all the future growth you would have earned.

Closing

Achieving financial security is a matter of applying God’s wisdom to everyday life.  We recognize that this type of wisdom can sometimes seem unrealistic. Why? Because we are imperfect beings living in a temptation-filled world.  What sets financially secure people apart from the rest of the crowd?  They apply God’s wisdom to everyday life, especially when it comes to financial matters. We hope you have enjoyed this teaching. Stay tuned for more financial promises for you, straight from God!

Contact Us!

Radiant Ministries is founded by Cecilia Silva.  Radiant Ministries exists to connect you to the Word of God in such a way that God’s light shines through you. We fulfill our mission statement by making God’s word easy to understand and easy to apply to everyday life. Cecilia is a licensed life insurance agent with Primerica Financial Services. Find out more about Primerica by visiting www.primerica.com

Cecilia can be reached via email: Cecilia@radiantministriesonline.com. You may also contact her via email for speaking engagements. Cecilia has extensive experience in the ministry and is a student at B.H. Carroll Theological Institute pursing a degree in Christian Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[i] James 1:5 NASB

[ii] Proverbs 10:14

[iii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2015/04/01/10-common-foolish-financial-decisions-you-dont-want-to-make/ – 6a1c9ced7bb8