In recent times, the world has been witnessing several financial pressures that one who is misinformed may think that such has never happened before. We are seeing Nations clamoring for Bailouts, Acclaimed established organizations are declaring bankruptcy and individuals resulting to substance abuse while some are taking it to the extreme by taking their own lives. However, the truth is that there is nothing new under the surface of the sun, as a matter of fact, Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NLT) tells us that “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
In order to set the ball rolling, I will like us to examine the term Financial Management from the lens of the bible.
I have defined Financial Management to be regarded as the proper allocation of finances in line with kingdom priorities so as the secure ones future, thereby qualifying for greater entrustment
I used the word entrustment because the financial resources in our possession is not merely an ENDOWMENT but an ENTRUSTMENT and consequently, you and I are the chief determinants of what is entrusted to us. Scripture tells us in Matthew 25:14 that “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man travelling to a far country, who called “his” own servants and delivered his goods to them. From here, we see clearly that the goods did not belong to the servants but the Man.
Paul knowing this charged the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 4:7 by saying “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?”
So I want us all to realize that ALL that we have is only but an ENTRUSTMENT by God through which He assesses us on how FAITHFUL we are to Him and His cause. If this is the case, our focus should not be on finance itself but rather “What We Must Do to Show Ourselves Faithful for Further ENTRUSTMENT?”
First, I want us all to know that God is not in the business of NOT paying His workers.
Just the way a man or woman’s wages is determined by his or her contribution to the growth and success of an organisation, so is God committed to rewarding those who contribute to the growth and progression of His Kingdom. In other words, the magnitude of my reward and your reward is determined by the level of our contribution to Kingdom Advancement and this is based on how well we manage that which has been committed to our care.
No Wonder Matthew 6:33 (NLT) advises – 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
If this be the case, How Then Must I Manage Finances In Order To Qualify For Greater Entrustment?
1. Financial Management demands responsibility and accountability: We must bear in mind that God is an investor and just like every investor demands positive returns on investment, He is not any different. Even in the corporate world, we are taught that Corporate Governance relates to how well the resources of shareholders are managed by directors in the interest of the shareholders.
So How would you manage your finances knowing that one day, you and I would give an account of all we have been given?
Many of us believers of us believers have used faith as an excuse for financial irresponsibility.
A good example is a person who goes to buy shoes on credit believing that God will provide all in the name of faith.
Nevertheless, here is the NEWSFLASH, No matter how FAITH- FULL you may be; it will never serve as an excuse for financial irresponsibility, for our Faith demands that we be accountable.
The Man who gave His servants goods to trade will one day come back asking for a statement of account. (Matt 25:14-30)
2. Finances Are To Be Applied Based On Kingdom Priorities: Kingdom priorities are regarded as those things that come first on God’s agenda. Someone was said “Your bank statement is a revealer of your priorities”. Our expenditure is a reflection of our priorities and until our priorities are kingdom influenced, mismanagement will be the order of our day. I was able to get hold of a sample below from the book by Rick Warren- How to Manage Our Finances God’s Way
From this we see the difference between “Worldly” priorities and “Kingdom” Priorities. we are able to see the other in which our priorities are to be ordered. I will choose to dwell on a few points here.
a. Giving: From the bible in Acts 20:35 we are made to understand that “It is more BLESSED to GIVE than it is to receive”. If this is the case, then why aren’t seeing believers blessed as we should be? My answer would be that the issue is with our HEART.
Matthew 6:21 tell us that where your treasure is, there your heart is also. Until our heart is in the kingdom, treasures cannot come from the Kingdom.
Until our heart is in the kingdom, treasures cannot come from the Kingdom.*
I once heard Bishop Oyedepo say “If it is genuinely in your HEART, God will put it in your HAND”. Until our giving is Kingdom Motivated, It Will be void of returns. Many times God has entrusted us with material blessings testing us to see how well we will use it.
b. Debt: Many nations today are not able to meet their civic obligations to its people today because of debt. I know this is a topic that is often avoided amongst us but we must know God’s mind concerning this. Debt has been that limiting factor that has hindered many of us from living in the freedom that God has obtained for us. I dare say that even believers have lost their lives on the platform of DEBT.
Remember The Prophet in 2 Kings 4
Hebrew 12:1 states “let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
Proverbs 22:7- “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender”. It is not the PERFECT will of God that we be enslaved under any circumstance, for Jesus has redeemed us already and our DEBT paid in FULL
What am I trying to say then? We must avoid every circumstance that will lead us to debt.
My Father will always tell me that I should never borrow to finance consumption.
In the last 10 years, my father has been challenged health wise and assuming he had borrowed from banks when they were chasing him up and down with wonderful offers and low interest rate, I am certain He would have died by now just from the pressures of repayment.
Psalm 37:21- The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives
3. Finances are to be applied in the area of our calling: 2 Corinthians 9:10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
Having grown older and become more aware, I can’t help but validate such truth that borrowing to finance our belly is only but foolishness
If you must borrow, never let it be for consumption and when you do, have a proper plan for repayment. You will notice from the passage above, It said that God gives SEED to the FARMER
Every calling has a seed, and every VISION has a Pro-VISION. Until we apply our seed appropriately, we would not see Harvest. God hates wastage. No wonder Jesus asked the disciples to gather the fragments after feeding the Five Thousand. The essence of money is for it to be also applied in the area of our calling with the view of expanding the Kingdom of God. In other words, investing in Kingdom Advancement. Unfortunately, many of us have eaten our seeds due to our ignorance of what God has called us to do. Until you apply your seed (finances) in the area of your calling, you are not qualified for bread.
I leave us with the question? Are you a sower or are an eater?
God bless you