Part 4. Priorities

Let’s review! Who should be in charge of our finances? God! And what is His vision for us? Prosperity to bless us and those in need! Now let’s explore our priorities. If you can get your priorities straight, your financial life will move from craziness to clarity, from confusion to peace.

Most people are very confused about their financial priorities. Actually, having no priorities is the norm. So we spend money on the next thing that comes along. If we are going to allow God to be in charge of our finances, we need Godly priorities. Our emotions run roughshod otherwise.

What is a priority? A priority is something more important than something else. For instance, having a bit of food every day is critical. Clothing and shelter might come next. Let’s call those Essential Life Support needs. But after those, where else would God have us spend our money?

Here are the rest of my seven big priorities: God is number one and I’ll explain more about that later. We need to pay what we owe to our government. We need to take care of our essential life support needs (if you yourself can’t function, how will you help anyone else?). We need to take reasonable care of those in our immediate family for whom we are actually responsible – and particularly our aging parents if they are in need (the latter was a big emphasis in Jesus’ teachings). We need to give generously to Christian ministries and directly to efforts with prisoners,  the poor and destitute, the orphaned and others in need. We need to be more than fair with those who work for us, and from what remains we need to invest for the future needs of all of the above. Note that I didn’t say a thing about the latest Ipod, X box or designer label item!

Let’s restate in simple bullet points:

  1. God (church)
  2. Government (taxes)
  3. Essential life support needs
  4. Savings
  5. Critical Family needs
  6. Church ministries and direct work with prisoners, the Poor, the orphaned, etc.
  7. Those who work for us

These are in my order of priority though a great many Christian teachers have a similar order. It’s my best interpretation of what I hear reading scripture, but regardless of the exact order, there needs to be a priority in your financial life for all seven. Stop right now and think. Do you make these seven your top priority or are other issues crowding out the essential?

Few people indeed order their priorities in this manner, but I can promise you, you will be blessed if you do so. Number 1 and Number 6 in particular come with a remarkable promise: “Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, overflowing.” That is why your essential life support needs are not Number 1. God says He will be sure your daily needs are met if you are generous.

Key scriptures follow that I would like you to review several times during the week. Ask yourself if you are majoring in these, minoring or not enrolled!

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Prov 3: 9-10

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Matt 22:21

Love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Matt 22: 36-40

“if anyone doesn’t provide for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” 1st Tim. 5:8

“children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” 2 Cor 12:14

“If one of your kinsmen in any community is in need in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor close your hand to him in his need.

Instead, you shall open your hand to him and freely lend him enough to meet his need. The needy will never be lacking in the land; that is why I command you to open your hand to your poor and needy kinsman in your country.” Deut 15: 7,8,11-14

 

“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out grain.” Deut 25:4

 

“A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” Prov 3:22

“House and riches [are] the inheritance of fathers” Prov 19:14

 In summary, you need to get your priorities straight before you get down to making a budget. The ones we have discussed form an outline for a Godly budget. 

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