Category Archives: Stewardship
SERIES: FRIDAY HUMOR #36
Bob had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work.
After a few weeks of this, his boss was mad and threatened to fire him if he didn’t do something about it.
So Bob went to his doctor, who gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed. He got a great night’s sleep and actually beat the alarm in the morning. After a leisurely breakfast, he cheerfully drove to work.
“Boss,” he said, “The pill my doctor subscribed me actually worked!”
“That’s all fine,” said the boss, “But where were you yesterday?”
*SOURCE: Carlos Sales
Biblical Personal Finance: Earning for God’s Glory
By William Boekestein
To paraphrase a question often asked by a popular financial advisor, imagine what the people of God could do if their financial houses were in order.
If the question doesn’t sound very “spiritual” we might have an unbiblical notion of spirituality. More than 2,000 Scripture verses deal with money and possessions. The way we manage money is fundamentally a spiritual matter (Luke 16:10-11). On top of this, consider the problems related to poor money management. In a recent survey 46% of Americans reported suffering from debt-related stress. Financial problems can lead to marital breakdowns and contribute to unethical behavior (Prov. 30:8-9).
It never ceases to amaze me that algebra is required in school but personal finance is not. We desperately need to hear what the Bible says about personal finance.
In Ephesians 4:28 Paul boils personal finance down to two points: Earning and spending. He does so not as a financial guru but as a pastor teaching believers how to “walk worthy of the calling with which [they] were called” (v. 1).
Fiscal fidelity looks different from family to family. Some believers cannot work due to severe handicap. Sometimes wives contribute to the family’s budget by working in the home. Still, ordinarily, earning and saving helps us to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others (Phil. 2:4).
A number of principles help us navigate the waters of earning:
1. Heads of Household Must Provide
Paul says something startling in 1 Timothy 5:8. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” It’s hard to understand Paul’s phrase “worse than an unbeliever.” What could be worse than denying the gospel and rejecting God’s free grace? God’s answer: Failing to provide for your family. While it is permissible for a man to delegate breadwinning to his wife for weighty and justifiable reasons, the responsibility ultimately rests on him (Ruth 3:1-4; Eph. 5:28-29).
2. Needlessly Burdening Others Is Sin
It has become acceptable today for people who could be helping provide for themselves, to burden others. I’ll never forget the answer I heard when I once asked a man what he did for work. “I leech off the government,” he said. Even though such an answer approaches the pinnacle of shame, I have stopped being surprised having now heard the answer a number of times. The Bible says, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Paul goes on to write, “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread” (2 Thess. 3:10-12).
3. Work Is for God’s Glory
Roughly 25% of our adult lives are dedicated to work. If we don’t work well, much of our life displeases our Maker. Even those who do not need to work to provide for their families still must work to glorify God. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Col. 3:23,24).
This rule of God-honoring productivity also applies to young people. Children should begin laboring on behalf of the family from an early age. By their early teen years they should be pulling much of their own weight. This is important because children are developing lifelong habits. For a few generations many parents have not required their children to work. As a result, laziness and self-serving indulgence abounds. In some families a young person’s schooling is viewed as their work. When this is the case parents must see that their students are academically disciplined. Students not working hard at school should be otherwise gainfully employed so they can “eat their own bread.” The status of “student” doesn’t entitle anyone to be slothful and unproductive.
4. Workaholism Does Not Honor God
Very few people in our day and place are forced to overwork in order to survive. Instead, often workaholism is a sign of imbalance. It may indicate a retreat from family stressors. It may indicate that the family is spending more than they should and may need to downsize in order for the breadwinner to be home more. Workaholism can also be one of the many counterfeit gods we worship. The love of money, the seduction of success, and the power and glory of achievement may drive us to work too much. Even during busy times God demands rest (Ex. 34:21).
*Article origin: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/biblical-personal-finance-earning-gods-glory/ (September 25, 2013)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Boekestein is the pastor of Covenant Reformed Church in Carbondale, PA.
He received his B.A. at Kuyper College and his M.Div. at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has worked in residential construction and taught at a Christian school for several years. He and his wife have three children.
He has authored “Life Lessons from a Calloused Christian: A Study of Jonah with Questions,” as well as three fully-illustrated children’s books on the history of the Reformed Confessions (“Faithfulness under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres ,” “The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism,” and “The Glory of Grace: The Story of the Canons of Dort”).
His latest, co-authored with Joel Beeke, is “Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation.”
Series: Friday Humor #22
Over a generation ago, in 1923, who was:
1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
6. Great Bear of Wall Street?
These men were considered some of the worlds most successful of their day.
Now, 80 years later, the history book asks us if we know what
ultimatelybecame of them…?
1. The president of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died a pauper.
2. The president of the largest gas company, Edward Hopson, went insane.
3. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was released from prison to die at home.
4. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cooger, died abroad, penniless.
5. The president of the Bank of International Settlement, Shot himself……
6. The Great Bear of Wall Street, Cosabee Livermore, also committed suicide.
However, in that same year, 1923, the IGFA Champion and the winner of the most important Fishing Tournament was Eredio Munoz, Sr.
What became of him?
He continued fishing and eating his catch until he was 99, died at the age of 100.
He was alert and financially secure at the time of his death.
The moral of this history lesson:
GO FISHING………… !
You’ll live longer and be better off in the end!
20 Great Questions To Ask When Choosing a Career
Choosing a career is the most significant investment of your life and time that you will make. The selection of a career field obviously will determine what you will be doing during this time, what kind of life-style you will enjoy, and your level of fulfillment. However few will select a career field and stay with it for their entire adult lives. The average person graduating from college today will have four separate careers and several jobs with each career. As a result, your criteria for career selection will be very important to you. Choose wisely! Here are some questions to ask that may help. – Bobb Biehl, The Questions Book, p.41.
(1) What contribution would I like to make to others? No amount of money will offset a career that is not fulfilling. You will be most fulfilled when you know you are in a career that makes a contribution to society and you know your efforts are important to that contribution.
(2) Do I have the proper training to make that contribution? Find out the education and training needed to be an asset to the career field you are considering. In a time of rapid technological change, continuing education will likely be significant to you.
(3) Am I prepared to pay the price the career will demand of me? This question is not simple. You must ask yourself what kind of time and emotional energy will be required in light of your commitment to non work responsibilities.
(4) What is the work environment that allows me to do my best? Do you like working inside or outside? Do you like a fast pace or a slower, more steady routine? Do you like change or predictability?
(5) Where will I be in this job in ten years? Picture your position, your income, and your responsibility ten years from now. Would you be content with what you envision?
(6) Will a person I respect in the career be willing to talk to me about it? Look for someone with gray hair in the career or company you are interested in. The person can provide a wealth of wisdom about what you would be expected to do and what the career might hold for you. Find out the good and the bad. Every job has both.
(7) What would the ideal boss look like? Do you need structure, or do you need lots of freedom? Can you work with a boss who is fairly autocratic, or do you need a more participative style of leadership from your supervisor? Should you be on your own?
(8) What are the ethical challenges I will face? To find this out, you need to talk to an ethical person in the prospective career field. The more you can find out ahead of time, the better you can prepare yourself to keep your integrity.
(9) What is the reputation of the company I’m interested in? Go to the library [internet] and get help in researching articles and information about the company. Find out its reputation among the critics.
(10) What is the market for the product the company offers? Some products have a short-lived life span. Some high-tech companies have products that can become obsolescent in a few years. Your future is tied to the company, so know something about its future.
Other Questions to Consider
(11) Do I need to have increasing levels of responsibility to be happy?
(12) What kind of people will I be working with?
(13) What would an average day look like in this career?
(14) What kind of non work life will I have?
(15) How much travel would I be comfortable with?
(16) Am I open to moving around the country?
(17) What are the annual sales of the company over the last few years?
(18) In what ways will my job challenge me?
(19) What weaknesses could hinder me in this job?
(20) What strengths would make me an asset to this company and career?
Doug Sherman is founder of Career Impact Ministries, a Christian organization that helps business people integrate their faith and vocation. Mr. Sherman’s career started with service in the Air Force Academy and followed with a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of several helpful books on your vocation including: More Than Ordinary: Enjoying Life with God; How to Succeed Where It Really Counts; Keeping Your Head Up When Your Job’s Got You Down and Your Work Matters to God & How to Balance Time Demands (co-authored with William Hendricks).
Inspiring Quotes From an Inspirational Dad – Reviewed by David P. Craig
Anyone who has ever watched Bear Grylls’ adventures on “Man vs. Wild” can’t help but amazed at his spirit of adventure, ingenuity, courage, wisdom, and passion for life. In this little book Bear Grylls gives his favorite Bible verses, life quotes, and wisdom and dedicates this collection to his boys. It is a wonderful compilation for any Father to seek to implement in his own life and emulate for the lives of his children. Grylls emphasizes a love for Jesus Christ, a love for others, and maximizing your time in life by serving others. Let me share some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Aim to live a wild, generous, full, exciting life–blessing those around you and seeing the good in all.”
“Have a few close friends who you see often–their friendship matters more than having many shallow acquaintances.”
“Choose your job carefully–do work that excites you. It is where you will spend so much of your time.”
“Cheerfulness in adversity is a key character trait in the game of life.”
“Moments of doubt are part of life. Accept them and remember that Jesus Himself said, ‘My power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).”
“Understand that failure is an essential stepping-stone on the road to success.”
“Give more than you take, especially with friends and family. See the best in people–as Christ does with you.”
“Spend more time with your family and less at work–no one on their deathbed says they wish thye had spent more time in the office!”
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“You have two ears and one mouth–use them in proportion: Listen twice as much as you speak!
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Thank God for your many blessings; then go out there and blossom. It is okay to succeed.”
I recommend this little book – especially for dads to share with their children. It would make an excellent gift for Father’s day, and a great gift for father’s to give to their sons when they become dads someday.