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What I am Learning from the Wealthy (Part 2)

November 3, 2017

7. Give

The 7th Principle to Financial Freedom is Give.

Contrary to what most practice (which is why these are not “Most People’s Principles to Financial Freedom), the first thing that the wealthy do with their income is give.

The Word of God says:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Wealthy people are wise enough to follow God’s principles on how to become wealthy. Wealthy people give to God and man, not out of legalism or compulsion but, out of choice. It is with gratitude, a love relationship and compassion that the wealthy give (2 Corinthians 9:6-13):

To God they give first fruits, tithes, offerings and sow seed. To man, they give alms.

a. First fruits giving is giving the full amount of income and or increase the very first time (as opposed to every time) you receive it.

Scripture tells us to:

“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)

“Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.”
(Exodus 23:19a)

b. Tithe paying, is paying to God a 10th of your gross income every time you receive income. You pay your tithes to God’s house or God’s servant over your. This honours God and gives security to the remaining 90% you keep.

c. Offering is giving to God whenever you go before Him in worship.

In Malachi 3:8-12 God admonishes us, saying:

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

d. Sowing is done to God (the church or minister) as an expression of commitment to them generally or towards a specific cause. It is planting “seeds” from which they and you, will receive a “harvest”.

The Word says:

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
(2 Corinthians 9:10-11)

Apostle Paul lays out the duty of a Christian, although, as he says, he as a minister, does not demand it of people (emphasising that we give towards the work of the Kingdom of God out of love and free will):

“For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 9:9-12)

e. Alms is giving to man – specifically, it is giving to the needy in show of compassion and the heart to help others live a life of dignity.

Proverbs 19:17 says: “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.”

God wants to prosper us financially so that we can be blessed to be a blessing to others. People say “money makes the world go round”. We know that it doesn’t, Jesus does. But the bible does say: […] money is the answer to everything.” Proverbs 10:19. Meaning, many things in life require money, so we need to know how to use God’s Principles to stewards wealth so that we can be a blessing to the needs of others.

God also informs us that “[…]the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22.

God wants to get money, resources, wealth into our hands and He has principles upon which to obtain that wealth. Giving is a cornerstone for wealth transfer in the Kingdom of God. Many wealthy people know and apply this. (Genesis 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 9)

If you too, want to enjoy the financial freedom that the wealthy enjoy, do what the wealthy do with their money, before doing anything else, Give to God, man and honour authorities.

The word of God says “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:7)

8. Pay Off Debts

The 8th Principle to Financial Freedom is Pay Off Debts.

After giving, the wealthy pay off all debts. As a matter of fact, so averse are the wealthy to debt that the wealthy are 100% committed to paying off all debts first, so as to have the financial freedom to make decisions with income that is unshackled by other’s demands.

The bible has a lot to say about the scourge that is debt.

“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

“The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Proverbs 22:7

“The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.” Psalm 37:21

The wealthy get rid of their debts quick! So, next to giving to honour God, man and authorities, we too should pay off our debts in as short a time as we can, so that our income is free to work for us.

This may require us to live on an extremely lean budget for a while but, that’s okay. We can sacrifice and delay short-term gratification for long-term gains. This will require laser focus and strict discipline, but by God’s Grace, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will!

9. Don’t Borrow

The 9th Principle to Financial Freedom is Don’t Borrow.

We have seen that the bible says the borrower is slave to the lender. I don’t know about you, but, getting out of slavery is a pretty strong motivation for getting and staying out of debt.

Once out of debt, the wealthy, do not borrow personal finance. They may borrow for project investment where they have security to the value of the transaction which buffers their other income and investment from the conditions of the credit they received.

But, as far as personal finance is concerned, the wealthy become wealthy because they don’t borrow to meet personal expenses. They either pay cash or wait till they can pay cash.

Furthermore, we are told:

“For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you. Deuteronomy 15:6

It is no secret that the wealthy rule the world, whether it be wealthy individuals or wealthy nations.

If the wealthy Don’t Borrow personal finance, we too will make sure to get to a place where we no longer need to lose money or worse as a penalty for being in debt.

10. Don’t Be a Guarantor

The 10th Principle to Financial Freedom is Don’t Be a Guarantor.

I didn’t know how serious God was about not standing as guarantor for another’s debt till I saw the scriptures. He uses really strong language too:

“A man lacking in sense pledges and becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.” (Proverbs 17:18)

“Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26-27)

“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go—to the point of exhaustion—
and give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Proverbs 6:1-5)

Strong words, right? As Dave Ramsey puts it, whether the debt be yours or you entered it as a guarantee for others, get out of that trap with “Gazelle Intensity”.

11. Save

The 11th Principle to Financial Freedom is Save.

It’s obvious, I know. But how come so few of us do it? And those that do, how many can really say that they do it systematically and following a financial plan?

To get wealthy, the wealthy started as people who spent less than they earned. They lived below their means.

Whether you buy wholesale, or when things are on sale, or you buy conditioned goods and by consignment, or you do it yourself, find ways of reducing your expenses and preferably, at the same time, increasing your income, so that your money goes farther.

Factor Saving into your plan by budgeting a percentage of your income as different categories of Savings.

As a matter of fact, after allocating income towards giving and paying debts, the wealthy set aside their savings and only spend what is left over.

They save first an Emergency Fund. This way, no surprises throw them off course and tempt them to misallocate their budget or even worse, go borrow from others at exorbitant payment fees. Then, the wealthy save 6-12 months’ worth of income so that should “life happen” and they cannot earn as expected, they have a buffer fund to hold them and those who depend on them, over.

We are told:

“Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

See how important it is to diversify streams of income? You just never know what could happen. Satan may try to destabilise you but, with God rebuking the devourer for your sake and giving you the wisdom to plan for “famine” like Joseph did in Egypt, you will be financially secure. Saving is a no-brained for the Wealthy. To achieve financial freedom, it’s time we followed suit (Malachi 3:6, Job 42:10,12-17, Genesis 41).

12. Invest

The 12th Principle to Financial Freedom is Invest.

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children […]” Proverbs 13:22.

There is no way you can leave an inheritance to your grandchildren if you did not first save then, invest for the future.
Wealthy people leave a legacy because on top of practicing the other financial disciplines, the wealthy invest.
You might say, “But, I already save money for the future, shouldn’t this be enough? At least I have something for future spending.”

Apparently, this doesn’t fly with God. Did I ever mention that I think God is the greatest investor in all of eternity? God doesn’t just put money away, He invests so that HE gets more with compound interest. And He teaches us to sow seed in good soil so that we too can reap 30, 60 or 100-fold, according to our capacity. (Mathew 13:8)
God shows us how to plant a seed (invest) to later reap a bountiful harvest (exponential financial returns). Anyone who knows to do this, and is able to, but does not, God deems to be a “wicked servant” and bad steward of resources.

We can draw this principle from the Parable of the Talents in Mathew 25:14-30.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Wealthy people invest so that they can grow their money by having both the initial figure they put away (the principal) plus on top of that, the amount they have grown and accumulated over time (compound interest). This way they make their money work for them which keeps growing their wealth and provides financial freedom to them and their future generations.

Wealth is Our Inheritance in Christ Jesus

Wealthy people practice these 12 Principles to Financial Freedom as a lifestyle and legacy. They teach it to their children and they, in turn, teach it to theirs. It starts as a practice, becomes a principle, is entrenched as a mindset and is perpetuated as a culture. This is how the wealthy become wealthy, establishing their names, empires and, impact for generations to come.

This is God’s will for all our lives and our portion in Christ Jesus. May we honour our God by following every word of instruction from His Word and Holy Spirit because, as He said to Joshua, only then, will we “be prosperous and successful’. Joshua 1:8.

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