The Mustard Seed
Economics by The Book
...by "The Book?" What book? Perhaps it is the last book a person might think to consult for financial advice. However, the economic principles offered in the Bible are sure and solid. This may not be the sort of counsel you might get from a professional who has been tutored in a world-view driven by greed, who sees debt as a good thing, and is ambivalent about integrity. But those who have actually applied these principles find that they not only work, but they also pay a dividend that has a value greater than mere money.
Last month we corrected a common misconception that we live in two worlds -- material and spiritual, assuming that God is only concerned about the spiritual aspect of our lives. Wrong. We are His 100%, body and soul. All our finances and resources are also His. In the final analysis, we own nothing. We are simply managers of His business.
We also learned from the wisdom of the Proverbs is that two keys to financial success are (1) diligent work and (2) saving.
The third important financial principle is honesty.
Proverbs 11.1 says, The Lord hates dishonest scales, but he is pleased with honest weights. What is the picture here? In olden times, a merchant would weigh his produce on a balance scale at the moment of sale. Produce went on one side of the scale, and the measuring weights went on the other side. A buyer expected to pay a certain amount of money per weight of the product. But dishonest merchants would shave material off of his weights, so that they were lighter than they should be. Result: The buyer receives less product than he is being told. The merchant cheated. And, the Bible says, God notices that and He hates it.
This picture is offered as an example for ALL business transactions. In many times and in many ways the Bible tells employers to pay their workers' wages in full and on time. (Dt 24.14-15; Jer 22.13; James 5.4) This also applies to the rest of us as counsel to pay our bills in full and on time. (Proverbs 3.27). It also means honesty in the sources of software we install in our computers.
Honesty in finances means accurately reporting income and expenses to the IRS, honestly reporting expense vouchers to employers, and using designated funds only for the purpose for which they were intended.
Will people lie to us about money? Will they cheat us? Yes. But that is not our license to become like them. We would be extremely foolish to expect that God will bless us financially and meet our needs when we are dishonest in our financial dealings. Indeed, the only reason we would have for cheating is that we do not believe that God is able to bless us and meet our needs if we do business His way. We don't obey Him because we don't trust Him. He is God, and He is able... when we reflect His character in our finances.
~~ Pastor RonClick here for Part 3.
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Pastor Ron Friedrich