This post has been written by Jon Powell, part of the Gold Hill church family. It was written to go with a message on getting in financial shape shared by Dave Criddle on Sunday 10th January 2021. You can find that message here.
Jon has been a Christian for 35 years, has had links with Gold Hill for 25 years and been part of the Gold Hill church family for the last 10. He has also worked his whole career in financial services, the last 20 at Barclays Bank.
Hopefully this post will help you as you consider money. It’s in two parts. The first is some principles about money and finance to help us think biblically about money. The second is very practical, with some tips and advice that you may find useful to consider.
PRINCIPLES ABOUT MONEY
1. Everything that we have is God’s. Our money, our assets, our time etc. We only have a limited time on this earth, and so we want to ensure we make the best of God’s blessings to us.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
2. The more we trust on Money the less we trust in GOD for our value and worth.
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
3. Christianity is for all, not just the wealthy and comfortable. I’m constantly reminded how the shepherds were the first to know about the birth of Jesus. The lowest of the low and yet the first to hear.
4. We must be joyful givers. We mustn’t think ‘this cash I’ve earnt is for me’ – a big challenge!
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
5. Look to give 10% as a regular offering. We can also give additionally through the year. It’s helpful to set up a regular direct debit to give.
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
6. Having money can make a very positive impact on people around the world. What we have can do a lot of good if we steward and use it well, not to get credit but to make a difference.
Matthew 6:2-5 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7. Be generous with your money and time. These are God’s resources so we must ask how we can best invest them and pass them to the next generation.
8. Will I receive blessings from God if I give to a church or ministry? No. There is no indication of this, including no requirement in the Bible to give “seed money” to a church, preacher or ministry, and no promise that any wealth or other blessings of any kind will come as a result. Some verses in the Bible are used to justify these kinds of things, but they are a twisting of the truth, not what the Bible teaches.
10 TOP TIPS
1. Look at your most expensive debt first – i.e. a loan or mortgage – there is no point in saving and getting 0.01% and paying 15% on a personal loan, and 3 – 4 % on the Mortgage.
2. Try to keep 3 months’ salary in reserve
3. Try and use your ISA allowance – ends April 6th 2021 its £20K each, you can also gift monies to your children.
4. Review your mortgage annually – to see the best rate around – now’s a good time to look around.
5. Thinking about moving house? – ask yourself why, and think about stamp duty… could you extend instead and use the stamp duty money for the extension?
6. Review your basic utilities – i.e. gas & electrics – you can save hundreds of pounds – I switched and save £350 with the same company last year.
7. Do you need it? – think about Sky, Virgin TV, Netflix, etc. if you’re struggling. Try and review your TV and broadband deals – again you can save a lot.
8. Do you need that Coffee? – could you set up a regular gift to a charity for £10 pm and have 4 less coffees a month?
9. Get help before you fall over financially – banks would rather talk to you early doors than when you’re in trouble.
10. Give smart – does your employee allow for a top up if you pay a charity regularly? Find out, as they might do.
If it would help for you to speak about finance with someone, please get in touch (this link will email one of our pastors) and they will be able to link you up with someone. No judgment, and completely confidential – just help and prayer and guidance.