Bad Advice
Well, 2017 is over and here we are at the start of 2018!  That was fast!  Life seems to move faster these days and partly because of the abundance of information we are exposed to on a daily basis.  We live in a time where we can, in the blink of an eye, immediately find some seemly relevant article, posting, or even blog on anything we want.  But there are pros and cons to the speed of this dispensation we live in that has been called the Information Age.  On the positive side, data research and sharing that used to take days to complete can be done in seconds!  Long gone are the days of libraries and the Dewey decimal system being the primary use of research.  And if you don’t know what the Dewey decimal system is, you just made my point!  Times have changed, and information is moving at the speed of light.  With data being shared so fast, complex problems can be solved much faster because many more minds can collaborate more quickly.  On the negative side, if we are not careful, we can become susceptible to information overload.  Information overload happens when a person or group of people is exposed to too much data.
With information given so freely and easy to access, there is never a dearth of opinions on how one should handle your money; everyone has an opinion!  And with information coming at us so fast and with such anonymity, it can be extremely difficult to rightly decipher good advice from bad advice.  Trying to get the best financial advice can be nerve wrecking.  It can be so overwhelming that some of us tend to believe what we hear most often or we tend to give extra credence to people we admire or trust regardless of their financial credentials.  But what if the person (or people) we are taking our financial direction from is lost themselves?  We literally become the blind following the blind.  And we know how where they end up; falling in a ditch.
When it comes to financial advice, first start with the Word of God!  Ask yourself, “What does God say about this?”  If the advice is unethical, immoral, or if it can really hurt you financially if things go wrong, then stay away!  You have to protect yourself and your financial progress.  Sacrificing your integrity is never a worthwhile shortcut.  Secondly, consider the source of this advice.  How financially successful is the source of this information? Are they were you want to be?  Are they following the advice themselves, and if so, is it working for them?  How are they going to prosper if you take their advice?  Watch out for wolves that speak the language a sheep wants to hear!  Oh, and in case you are wondering, the authors of this article have paid off over $100,000 in consumer debt and we are totally debt free!  Thirdly, ask yourself, “Is it too good to be true?”  Everyone likes to get what they want in a hurry, but the bible warns against quick riches (Proverbs 13:11).  Jim Rohn once said, “Success is neither magical or mysterious.  Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”  And finally, get at least one other opinion from someone you trust to give you good financial advice (so your shopping friend or your favorite cousin or aunt might not be the best choice for advice).  A second opinion might provide a fresh perspective, some insight, or more information that will help you make the best decision.  Remember, safety is found in the multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14).
I know everyone that gives financial advice does not have malicious intent, but good intentions from good people does NOT mean you are getting good advice!  Some people just don’t know any better, and they don’t know they don’t know better, so charge it to their head and not their heart.  But it is up to you to be discerning and regulate their influence in your financial life. Poor financial decisions can seriously slow down your progress and can take years to recover from.  So choose wisely who you allow to speak into your financial future.  God Bless.

Alfred King

Question: “What does the Bible say about managing your finances?”

Answer: The Bible has a lot to say about managing finances. Concerning borrowing, the Bible generally advises against it.

See Proverbs 6:1-5; 20:16; 22:7, 26-27 (“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender…. Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you”). Over and over again, the Bible warns against the accumulation of wealth and encourages us to seek spiritual riches instead. Proverbs 28:20: “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” See also Proverbs 10:15; 11:4; 18:11; 23:5.

Proverbs 6:6-11 offers wisdom concerning laziness and the financial ruin that inevitably results. We are told to consider the industrious ant who works to store up food for itself. The passage also warns against sleeping when we should be working at something profitable. A “sluggard” is a lazy, slothful person who would rather rest than work. His end is assured-poverty and want. At the other end of the spectrum is the one who is obsessed with gaining money. Such a one, according to Ecclesiastes 5:10, never has enough wealth to satisfy him and must be constantly grasping more and more. First Timothy 6:6-11 also warns against the trap of desiring wealth.

Rather than desiring to heap riches upon ourselves, the biblical model is one of giving, not getting. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). We are also encouraged to be good stewards of what God has given us. In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus told the parable of the dishonest steward as a way of warning us against poor stewardship. The moral of the story is “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (v. 11). We are also responsible to provide for our own household, as 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds us: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

In summary, what does the Bible say about managing money? The answer can be summarized with a single word-wisdom. We are to be wise with our money. We are to save money, but not hoard it. We are to spend money, but with discretion and control. We are to give back to the Lord, joyfully and sacrificially. We are to use our money to help others, but with discernment and the guidance of God’s Spirit. It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to love money. It is not wrong to be poor, but it is wrong to waste money on trivial things. The Bible’s consistent message on managing money is to be wise. If you need financial help, you can inquire more through Christian Financial Concepts – http://www.crown.org.

Recommended Resource: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

Information taken from: https://www.gotquestions.org/managing-finances.html