How can we be good managers of our financial resources? It begins with a budget. Every good budget has certain biblical principles to keep in mind.
- Give to God first. Scripture is very clear that we are to give God a tithe, or 10% of our income. In Scripture it’s referred to as the “storehouse” (Malachi 3:8-10) or where you worship and are spiritually fed – your local church. We’re to do this first before anything else. This acknowledges that all we have comes from Him and that we trust Him to meet our needs. It’s a way of saying – God, all of this is yours (Proverbs 3: 9-10).
- Save & Invest. Any financial planner will tell you that at least 10% of your income should go into savings and investments. Scripture provides the analogy of ants to emphasize the importance of this principle. Ants work hard during the summer months to prepare for the winter. When it comes to saving and investments, we are to be wise planners (Proverbs 6:6-11).
- Pay Taxes. No one has ever been excited about paying taxes, but Scripture is very clear that we are to pay the taxes we owe. After all, those funds not only pay the salaries of our civil servants, but they also fund and maintain our roads, water, schools, courts, and even our police and military protection. (Romans 13: 6-7).
- Plan for Fixed Expenses. These are regular costs such as your mortgage, car payment, monthly groceries and any debt payments. These payments must be paid or there are penalties – they are fixed.
- Manage Discretionary Expenses. This category covers all the fun things like entertainment, vacation, shopping and hobbies. These things are nice, but not necessities.
The bottom line is that all of us are called to be good managers of the specific resources that God has entrusted to us – each according to our own ability. While there should be no comparison in the kingdom of God, we should make the most of the ability and opportunity that God has given. So how are you doing as a manager of God’s financial resources? One day, we all must give an account for how we managed “His” resources. What will God say to you?