Last week in this column we looked at the concept of a bailout.
A bailout is assistance that helps an entity avert a financial collapse. It is a financial rescue that positions an entity to regain financial health. And the idea that God gives bailouts was presented.
So here is an insight from the Lord shared in 1 Timothy 6:6-9. It says, "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction." We are presented with a warning; be wary of the desire to get rich because it can lead to many traps that can bring about ruin.
There are more than 50 million search results on Google for "How to get rich." Getting rich is certainly a topic that excites people. One of the search results is an online poll at ehow.com where the top four answers were revealed.
The most popular response given was "Start your own business." Becoming your own boss seems like the best way to get on track and build some wealth. Unfortunately more than 50 percent of new business startups fail within the first five years. While starting a business could be a great possibility to bring vitality to your finances, if starting it to become rich is the motive, you might be blinded to the risks involved in a new enterprise.
The second result in the poll was "Win the lottery." No work or stress involved, just a couple of dollars and a little bit of luck! But you have a much better chance of being hit by lightning than winning a substantial lottery. Therefore, staking money may bring about more financial harm than benefit.
Another popular response was "Invest in real estate." Now this sounds sophisticated, doesn't it? However, this requires knowledge of the real estate market and the ability to finance the investment and a lot of patience.
The last response in the poll was "Inherit a fortune from a distant relative." This is called financially right by waiting for someone to die. There must be a more noble approach!
And there is. I want to share with you three biblical ways or laws to grow your finances that have stood the test of time. I am choosing to use a strong word like "laws" because of their great importance.
Proverbs 28:19 says, "He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty." The first law of wealth building is "Work your land." This is not merely an imperative for those who own land and are farmers, but for all of us to utilize our abilities and resources to earn a living. The biblical worldview is one that presents "work" in a very positive light. We are designed to do something productive in life. In contrast, chasing fantasies will result in poverty. Sometimes this may mean you have to supplement your income in other ways, such as delivering pizzas.
The second law that will bring financial well-being is "Spend less than you make." Proverbs 21:20 says, "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." The wise store up and the foolish spend everything. Keeping this law is difficult for almost everyone but must be followed in order to achieve financial stability. Many of us have difficulty distinguishing between "needs" and "wants." It's not wrong to have cable TV, take vacations or dine out, but they are not requirements for life. Healthy finances come through planning and budgeting and that takes a lot of work. Sometimes we may have to delay getting the things we want in order to live within our means.
The third law is "Build wealth little by little." Proverbs 13:11 says, "Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow." By spending less than we make, there will be money left over for savings, unexpected emergencies and major purchases. Setting aside money regularly is the easiest way to grow your wealth; even a small amount will add up in time.
Are you taking steps in your life that are bringing about financial health? It's fun to search Google for an easy fix, but if you really want your right on finances, embrace the biblical teachings for building wealth and wait to see what the God of the universe does with your money!
Norm Byers is the lead pastor of Genesis Church, which meets 9:30 a.m. Sundays at the Petoskey Cinema and 11 a.m. Sundays at Boyne City elementary. For more information, visit www.genesiswired.com.