This guide is for the discussion of responsible money management.
Although the value of money in society today is overrated, there is something to be said for its necessity in gaining the things that we need to live. Money does not have to be evil or something harmful if it is taken in proper perspective and handled responsibly. There are certain principles we can learn and apply. This guide will help the young Christian discern wisdom in the use of his or her money.
Have you had any friends who got themselves into trouble because of poor financial decisions? If you were given $1000, how would you spend it? Read I Timothy 6:9-10. What does it say about money? After reading this, do you think it would be wrong for a person to have a large income or inheritance? Why or why not?
The book of Proverbs contains many wise principles for money management … and they were inspired by God Himself for instructing a young person like you (Proverbs 1:1,4).
PROVERBS 3:9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.
1. How can we honor the Lord with our possessions and "increase" (that is, our net income)? List some ways. Consider as well Proverbs 19:17.
2. What priority should honoring God have in our money management? Why?
3. Do you know anyone who has done this? If so, what benefit has so honoring the Eternal brought to the individual?
4. Why do you think it is wise to honor God with your increase? Consider Deuteronomy 8:18.
PROVERBS 22:9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.
5. Explain the paradox of how generosity becomes a blessing.
PROVERBS 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
6. Why is it wise to get counsel on managing money?
7. What are some good sources for WISE counsel on money matters?
PROVERBS 21:17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
8.Are pleasure, wine, and oil sinful to purchase? What does this proverb teach us about managing our money?
PROVERBS 22:3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
9. How can this proverb apply to money management?
10. What benefits are there to saving money?
11. What disadvantages are there to borrowing money? Consider Proverbs 22:7.
Three Keys To Getting The Most Out Of Your Money
LUKE 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it -- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, "This man began to build and was not able to finish."
A. SET UP PURCHASING GOALS.
1. Is it important to set goals with your money? Why or why not?
2. Do you expect your goals to change as you grow older? Why? How far into the future should we set goals?
B. DETERMINE AND PLAN THE SPENDING OF YOUR MONEY TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.
1. How do you determine and plan the spending of your money? What factors do you weigh?
2. What are some good approaches to planning your purchases?
COMMENT: One good way is to make a list of items you would like to buy and then evaluate the importance you place on each. For instance, buying some new school clothing may be a more responsible purchase than the latest music CD. Cost, usefulness, and longevity may be important criteria to your priority decisions.
3. What is a budget? How can it help us achieve our spending goals?
COMMENT: You can make small budgets for each item by taking a percentage of your earnings and setting them aside for future spending. Savings may be one of the best ways to provide the money for large purchases. The Bible asserts the wisdom of the saver as represented by the hardworking and diligent ant that stocks up in the summer when it is plentiful and stores it for winter use (Proverbs 6:6-11).
4. What are some other ways we can learn to be responsible with our money?
C. ASK GOD THROUGH PRAYER FOR HELP.
JAMES 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
1. In what ways can God help? Why would He help?
2. How would you recognize God's help?
COMMENT: Ask God to lead you in your decisions and to open doors for better opportunities to earn more. If we ask with the faith that God will indeed lead us and if our request is not going to be something that will ultimately do us harm, He will help open avenues to achieve our financial goals.
1. After the discussion, has your answer to how you would spend a gift of $1000 changed?
2. What would you do differently? Would you give more thought to how you would spend it?
3. Do you think the saying, "A fool and his money are soon parted" is true? Why do you think so?
4. What are some ways we can make sure to put God first in our decisions?
5. What are some of your goals you want to achieve with your money?
6. What is your plan to reach those goals?
Society places a great deal of importance on physical wealth. If we are not careful, it is easy to get caught up in material pursuits such as that new car or that new pair of NIKE tennis shoes. Even though having nice things is enjoyable, it is not where the greatest importance should be placed. Money itself is not a bad thing. It is the attitude towards it that makes the difference.
Through discipline and diligence we can use our money responsibly and get the most out of it. We also have to remember to put God first. Our priority should be his kingdom: ". . .lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).
Our reward is much greater than that of earthly riches. It is eternal life! Although we must work hard for the things we have (Proverbs 10:4), God is the ultimate giver of all things, including financial blessings: "The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up" (I Samuel 2:7).
Money is a tool and a necessity for life in this world. However, it is not the most important. God and our spiritual lives are most important. If we remember to put Him first, then we will be blessed in our physical and spiritual lives (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).