Financial wisdom from a rich and smart dad (part 1)

bible-and-financesLast year I spent an entire month reading through the book of Proverbs and writing down everything it said about money. Along the way I picked up some key insights. Some of them you may know, and others may be new to you.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Proverbs, it is largely a book of wisdom written from a father (Solomon in most instances) to his son. Though it’s written from a parent to a child, everyone can gain wisdom from reading this book of the Bible (check this out and you’ll see why I make that claim).

Over the next six weeks I’m going to share them with you. I’ll be sharing five chapters at a time. For instance, this week it will be lessons learned from chapters 1-5. Next Thursday it will be chapters 1-6, and so on.

Let’s get started.

#1 The people you associate with will greatly influence your financial health.

Look at what Solomon wrote to his son:

Listen, my child,1 to what your father teaches you. Don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. 9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor. 10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! 11 They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Let’s ambush the innocent! 12 Let’s swallow them alive as the grave swallows its victims. Though they are in the prime of life, they will go down into the pit of death. 13 And the loot we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all kinds of things! 14 Come on, throw in your lot with us; we’ll split our loot with you.” 15 Don’t go along with them, my child! Stay far away from their paths. 16 They rush to commit crimes. They hurry to commit murder. 17 When a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away. 18 But not these people! They set an ambush for themselves; they booby-trap their own lives! 19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for gain. It ends up robbing them of life. (Proverbs 1:8-19 NLT)

Solomon’s counsel to his son was “stay far away from immoral and unethical people! They’ll ruin your finances… and your life!” This is a good pratice to teach our children, and observe in our own financial practices!

Oh, and in case you have any doubts about this, look at what Solomon later wrote:

The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted. (Proverbs 29:3 NLT)

#2 Money is important, but there are some things that are more important. Here are two:

My child,1 listen to me and treasure my instructions.  2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.  3 Cry out for insight and understanding.  4 Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure.  5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5 NLT)

Ironically it seems that people who have wisdom and understanding often see, as a result of those attributes, an increase in wealth! To make this point, later in Proverbs we find this little nugget:

The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. (Proverbs 29:3 NLT)

You’ll also profit from reading Proverbs 3:13-18 on this matter.

#3 LISTEN to wise teaching! It will bring prosperity.

Solomon wrote to his son:

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,  2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. (Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV)

The truth is that the people you are listening to will influence how you handle your money! Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!” makes the case that there is all kinds of financial advise being handed out… but not all of it is worth listening to. Listen carefully to people who have managed their money well… and you’ll be much more likely to handle your own well!

#4 Generosity opens the door to greater income.

This might seem counterintuitive but it is a truth that wealthy people have discovered to be true! Solomon said to his son:

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces.  10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10 NLT)

If you’re still not sure about this, read point #8 in this article called “Ten Common Characteristics of Millionaires You Can Follow.”

#5 Unhealthy and immoral relationships will drain your bank account!

WHOA! This is huge! Especially for people who are dating! Check this out…

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.  2 Then you will learn to be discreet and will store up knowledge.  3 The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.  4 But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword.  5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.1  6 For she does not care about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t even realize where it leads.  7 So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:  8 Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!  9 If you do, you will lose your honor and hand over to merciless people everything you have achieved in life.  10 Strangers will obtain your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. (Proverbs 5:1-10 NLT)

The point here is simple… unhealthy and improper relationships will do more than break your heart… they will also break you financially! Stay away from them!

Hey! Isn’t the Bible awesome? So much practical stuff! See you next Thursday with more from Proverbs!

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