Five questions to keep close to your wallet

  1. Is my spending marked by Christian generosity?

  2. What does my spending say about what makes me most happy?

  3. Does my spending suggest I’m collecting for this life?

  4. Is my spending explicitly supporting the spread of the gospel?

  5. Is my spending so cautious that it’s captured my heart and keeps me from loving those close to me well?

There was an otherwise doctrinally sound church in our area that got so hung up on Dave Ramsey that eventually savings accounts, one’s ability to buy a car or other expensive items in cash, etc., became the standard for Christian sanctification. Obviously God wants us to be wise with our finances, but real wisdom sees beyond these superficial standards.

No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Appreciated—one thing I’d like to see more in Christian financial counseling is an emphasis on the word “contentment”. The slave in the early church learned it, and it applied to a dealer in purple cloth (Lydia) and the wealthy patrician Philemon as well. A powerful concept that we can treasure whether we be rich or poor.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

One must find the balance of “Saving … Spending … Giving” [in no particular order … make “giving first”!]

And with saving: short term … medium term (say saving for a replacement car or for a down payment on house) and … long term - when you can’t work any more.

Spend less and you can give more and save more.

A lesson from a very old guy in our church (a surviving navy man from the Battle of Okinawa (he was 17 at the time)): He is very content with his Olds 98 (vintage 1991–1996). A very old guy with a very old Olds!