Having a financial goal is in the top 3 of all goals behind personal development and weight loss. Everyone wants to make more money, spend less, and invest more. As we come into a new year, the God, who owns everything, wants to give you a second chance in every area of your life. God desires and wants to help you to bear fruit. Bearing fruit is nothing more than getting results and it happens when we follow His principles. God's principles are not burdensome but usher us in the manifestation of His grace (second chance opportunity). What will make you successful in finances is the adherence of four key principles: stewardship, budgeting, giving, and investing.
Become a steward of your resources
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalm24: 1) . Everything on this earth is His. We are stewards managing God's resources to accomplish an objective. A good steward must remain faithful to God's resources by living prudently not spending on a whim at the shoe store or buying the latest electronic gadgets or playing golf every Saturday. A steward must also be a risk taker. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you do not know if profit will come from one activity or another – or maybe both. (Ecclesiastes 11: 6). A steward ensures that he or she gets a good return on their investment . We have no idea what God is going to do this year. Regardless of the economic climate we have to become a steward of our finances and do what we know that will bear fruit.
Budget your life story
One survey suggests that 32% of households operate on a budget. Most financial hardships come when there's a lack of budget. A budget is a written plan and if operated correctly, it will guide, direct and resolve all financial concerns. Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations (Proverbs 27: 23-24). The budget will guide you in times of abundance and lack. A good steward will understand how to govern and operate his finances in any economic times.
The budget should have three components: income, expenses, and net income (balance). Income is the most important aspect because it controls the amount of spending. Next, write down all of your expenses and separate into three categories (Need, Want, and Desire) . Finally subtract expenses from income to get net income. Net income is similar to a balance sheet for a company but it really tells the state of your finances. A good steward foregoes their short term “want” and “desire” for a better long term position.
Accelerate your giving
God was ready to give Cain a second chance if he did what was right. Cain turned away from God. Many times second chances come in the form of giving. There are 3 types: obedience giving, abundant giving, and sacrificial giving. Obedience giving is the type of giving sanctioned by God to support His church. Abundant giving is motivated by love to address a specific need in family, friends, or coworkers, etc. This is not a handout but changing the lives of people who are in need. Lastly, sacrificing giving is abstaining from your wishes or desires to meet and or exceed the needs of others. One example is supporting foreign work or supporting those who can not support themselves. Pure religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans and widows in their distress. (James 1:27) . God promises that when we give we will have everything we need and plenty to share.
Do not spend it all now – Invest
We can never spend all of God's resources. Our duty as human is to leave this world better than we found it. Investing is not only for your long term future but for others. Here are some practical ideas for you to start investing: Savings, Money Market Account, Bonds, Stocks, Mutual Funds (401K / 403B / IRA), Insurance (Term / Whole Life), Real Estate and Owning your own business. Many second chances come in a form of leaving a legacy to others to affect their future. Get a financial coach to help you move forward.
Your second chance opportunity starts now. The opportunity is not a goal or a resolution. It becomes a life decision. What is easier – following your plan or following God's principles that will bear fruit? Life is filled with ups and downs but steady plodding brings prosperity. By reading the story of the Tortoise and Hare, you will find that the tortoise was not fazed by the rabbit. He kept his own pace and speed. He knew he would lose the opportunity if he looked at himself (his shortcomings) or the hare (others strengths). His focus was on this finish line. Focus on God, follow His principals, and experience His second chances (grace).
Make it a great day,