Faith and Finance by David Murray

10 Mar

Recently came across this blogpost by David Murray, once a financial consultant for a large Scottish Mutual Fund, now a professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.  In it, he gives very practical tips on how to manage your finances.  What I appreciate most about it, however, is the fact that he begins and ends these practical tips with biblical reflections concerning finances.  Here’s the general outline that he gives:

Key Principles

1. God owns everything (Ps. 24:11; 1 Chron. 29:11)

2. God loans us what we have (1 Chron. 29:12; James 1:17)

3. God says money is important (Jesus spoke more about money than anything else)

4. God will call us to account for how we use our money (Matt. 25:19)

Key Words

1. Study (Prov. 24:3,4)

  • No one is born a George Soros.
  • If someone gave you $2M today, you would buy a book on money management.
  • The average American family will earn $2M in working life
  • Consult with others who have a proven record of financial stewardship (Prov. 15:22)

2. Budget (Prov. 24:3,4; Luke 14:28)

  • If you aim at nothing you’ll always hit it.
  • 3% who had written goals achieve more financially than the other 97% combined
  • Give every dollar of income a name and every dollar of expenditure a name

3. Save (Prov. 21:10; 22:3; Matt. 25: 14-30)

  • Short-term (emergencies)
  • Medium-term (major purchases)
  • Long-term (retirement, college tuition)

4. Give (Prov. 3:9,10; Luke 6:38; 1 Cor. 16:2)

  • Start now, even if it is a very small amount
  • Church then chosen charity

5. Insure (Prov. 22:3)

  • “Foresee the evil and hide (“cover”) yourself
  • Number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills (#2 is credit cards)

6. Wait (Heb. 13:5; 2 Cor. 6:10; 1 Tim. 6:6)

  • Be content with what God has given you and learn to patiently wait until you can buy with cash
  • 19% of bankruptcies are filed by college students (usually caused by credit card debt)
  • People spend 47% more when using credit cards than when using cash
  • 88% of “Ninety days interest-free credit offers” are turned into high interest loans
  • Avoid get-rich-quick schemes (Prov. 13:11)

7. Unite (Eph. 5:22-31)

  • “One flesh” means “one set of finances”
  • “If you are not working together it’s not going to work” (Dave Ramsey).
  • “Separate checking accounts mean one of two things, either ignorance or problems” (Dave Ramsey).

8. Repay (Prov. 6:5; 22:7)

  • Repay loans as fast as you can “like a gazelle escaping a hunter”

9. Work (Eccl. 9:10; 1 Tim. 5:8)

  • Choose a vocation in an area/interest you are passionate about and God has gifted you in, rather than something that will make you rich.

10. Audit (2 Cor.5:10)

  • Review, review, review.
  • Seek accountability (husband, wife, parent, friend) before you are called to account.

Conclusion

1. Above all seek the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8)

2. Lay up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20)

Here’s the link to the entire post again.

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