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As a continuation of CCF Welcome Wednesdays catalyst on stewardship, ‘WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?’, I am glad to share my key takeaways from last night’s session about Financial Management, with Pastor Joby Soriano.
Do you think you are part of the rich people, which covers only 10% of the whole world’s population? Is it a yes or a no? Chances are, you’ll think that this 10% includes only the Ayala’s, the Gokongwei’s, the Sy’s and other business tycoons here in the Philippines. Let me ask you these four simple questions:
- Do you own more than one pair of footwear?
- Do you own a bicycle, motorcycle, car, van or any type of vehicle used for transportation?
- Do you usually have a choice of what food you’re going to eat?
- Do you own more than one underwear?
Survey says that if you answer yes with a minimum of 3 out of the 4 questions above, you belong to the 10% richest people of the world. Surprising isn’t? Survey shows that for every 10 people, only one possesses two or more foot wears. Survey shows that for every 10 people, only one has the freedom to choose what to eat. Thus, you can say to yourself, “I AM RICH!”
But why is it awkward to say to yourself that you are rich? Why is it hard to convince yourself that you’re not poor? The best answer is because of discontentment, which is mainly brought by improper stewardship of our money.
“I wish everyone could get rich and buy all the stuff they want so that they will realize that money is not the key to happiness.” – Bill Gates
Do you know that the Bible talks about money more than it talks about heaven and hell combined? God has a lot to say about money because money is the primary competitor of Christ for the Lordship in our lives. Whatever you put your attention, that’s what you love the most.
Money, however, is not evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10)
There is a big gap between man’s economy and God’s economy. Man’s economy says buy what you want, use your credit card, borrow if you can, get rich very quick, work a lot, don’t worry about savings, etc. On the other hand, God’s economy says tithe, do not owe others, avoid the get-rich-very-quick ways, do not overwork, be honest with everything, save for emergencies, etc.
In dealing with financial management, we must assess ourselves if we are currently under financial bondage, which includes unpaid bills, overdue loans, debts, investment worries, greediness, unmet family needs, etc. We must also understand that God and us have our own different roles.
1. God is the owner of everything we possess (Psalm 24:1). If He owns our money, do we ask Him on how to spend His money? Do we ask His permission every time we want to spend? How would asking His permission change our spending habits?
2. God is the controller of everything (Isaiah 45:7). God knows what He is doing. Do not tend to act as God Jr. Knowing that our Heavenly Father is in absolute control over everything that we will ever face, we can be content because we know that God intends to use every situation and circumstance for a purpose for as long as we are living a godly life (Romans 8:28).
3. God is the provider of all our needs (Philippians 4:19). God provided manna for 40 years and water in the wilderness during the Old Testament days. God provided food for people using 5 breads and 2 fishes during the New Testament days. Put your trust and confidence in Him as He is faithful in fulfilling His promise to provide according to our needs.
1. We must be faithful with the amount God has given us, whether big or small (Matthew 25:15). God gives us according to our ability. It’s not a question as to what would you do if you had a 1 million pesos but what you are doing now with a 1 thousand pesos.
2. We must be faithful with what God has given us or He will take it away (Matthew 25:28-30). Those who manages their wealth will be given more and those who are unfaithful to their blessings will be left with nothing. Know your capabilities, talents and skills and seek to improve yourself every single day of your life.
3. We must be faithful with the use of other’s possessions (Luke 6:12). When we borrow an item from another person, make sure to return it in its best condition. That person will definitely allow you to borrow again from him.
There is no right or wrong standard of living. Your standard of living is based on the relationship of your income and spending. If both ends doesn’t meet, humble yourself to lower down your standard of living. Are you a working student or a minimum-wage earner yet you own the latest gadget released by the market? Do you feel that Starbucks is just so right to keep you awake and that 3-in-1 coffee does not contain enough caffeine that you’ll ever need? Do you travel a lot yet you can’t pay your credit card bills? It’s time to reflect now.
Stewardship leads to contentment. Lifestyle change is the key to contentment. It’s not about any formula, it’s about the attitude of the heart.
“Money can buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not an appetite; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusement but not happiness; companionship but not friends; a good life but not eternal life; a crucifix but not a Savior.”
The time to start living wisely begins today.
Come with us as we unpack a 4-week series on managing life’s essentials. WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG? Join us in the succeeding sessions every Wednesday, 7:00 in the evening at CCF Center, C5 corner Ortigas Center. Everyone’s welcome, and it’s free! Email email@example.com for inquiries.
July 1 – Health Management
July 8 – Relationship Management
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