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Gods calling for us…

God calls each Christian to apply biblical financial principles to their daily life.  Despite His clear direction, life application of these defining principles is one of the most difficult things to do. God knows this about us, in fact in the parable of the rich man, Jesus prophecies that “It is more difficult for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven.” Knowing this, we who are richly blessed with material wealth and influence, are called to a higher level of stewardship in this time. 

God’s Financial Principles…

  1. Avoid Debt. God knows that we can not be faithful to two masters so in many ways and in all times He strongly urges us to avoid the bondage of debt.  In accumulating debt we bring upon ourselves tremendous stress and guilt all the while preventing God from blessing us with His abundance.  When we foolishly acquire debt we are telling God that we don’t believe He knows what is best for us, and we are saying that we do not trust God’s timing to provide for our needs.  Since credit and charge cards have become somewhat of a necessity to transact business in the world, a relevant question may be “What is the appropriate use of credit?” 

    The perspective at Select Portfolio Management is that you should not charge more that you can pay off at the end of the month. And you should not acquire more debt than your assets can cover.  For example, if you mortgage your house than the equity in the house should cover the debt, plus any fees required to sell the house.

    • “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is the servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7

    Good stewardship also prevents us from helping others into debt that they can ill afford.  By default, when someone needs a co-signer the financial institution has already deemed them a poor credit risk and so should you. If you are asked to co-sign a loan you should only do so if it is in the genuine best interest of the person you are co-signing for and if you are also happily prepared to cover the debt should that person be unable to make proper payments.

    • “Do not co-sign another person’s note or put up a guarantee for someone else’s loan. If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.” Proverbs 22:26-27
  2. Share. We are made in God’s image and he intends for us to reflect his graciousness and generosity.  This means that instead of spending all of the money we earn or acquire on ourselves, that we spend it on others.  Generous people are quick to share their wealth without an expectation of a favor returned.  The generous heart genuinely wants others to share in the blessings of their abundance.
    • “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18
  3. Save. Life is uncertain and we can not fully know what lies ahead of us. Therefore God calls us to save a respectable amount for the future and in doing so we emulate the principle of prudence.  How much we should save depends on many factors including the style and manner of living you want to achieve or maintain. 
    A Select Portfolio Management advisor can help you maximize your current earnings for future savings.
    • “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but the foolish devour all they have.” Proverbs 21:20
    • “Go be like the ant, you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6:8
  4. Tithe Regularly & Give Sacrificially. Sacrificial giving is an attitude and a way of life. We often think of sacrifice in terms of what we give up. The Scriptural understanding of sacrifice has more to do with bringing God the best.  As Christian we are called to give our first fruits as a tithe to God. The basis for this principle is that we must remember who the money belongs to.  When we tithe we are reminding ourselves that God has given us this abundance and we are simply returning to him what is already his in thanksgiving. In simple terms to tithe means we are to give 10% of our earnings to the church.  ‘The church’ can be defined as your home of worship; the church you are a member of and regularly attend. ‘The church’ may also be a Christian ministry that promotes and expands the kingdom. Prayer can help you determine the best recipient for your tithe.   
    • "A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30
  5. Give Cheerfully. Several scriptures provide us direction for “how” we are to give vs. “what we are to give. God is crystal clear that he does not want tithes, time or sacrifices from a begrudging giver.  God wants us to give with a glad heart and when we give with a glad heart we once again demonstrate our trust in him.  This trust that he so longs for from us is reflective of our core faith in God.  If we believe in him and trust what he says; then we will do as he asks with a joyful heart, not a heart of suspicion or resentment.
    • “The one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
  6. Diversify. God instructs us to be wise and discerning in our investments.  No one can tell the future and so it is wise to keep a diversified portfolio to protect against disaster in any given area.

    Your Select Portfolio Management advisor can provide excellent strategic recommendations for a portfolio to achieve your financial goals, as well as quarterly rebalancing to ensure that you minimize risk and maximize market opportunities. 

    • “Give portions of seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster will come upon the land.” Ecclesiastes 11:2
  7. Seek Wise Counsel. At no time in history does God intend for us to go it alone.  God exhorts us to select counsel and to listen to subject matter experts with wisdom and discernment. When it comes to managing the myriad of choices and opportunities available in investment today it is a complex endeavor and the more assets you have the more complicated the options become.  It is important to work with advisors who have a comprehensive understanding of your situation and your goals. From there a strategy can be built to ensure the achievement of your objectives with variable tactics providing the diversification necessary to balance your portfolio. If you have large assets or complicated goals, the process is essential for your success.

    At Select Portfolio Management, Inc, advisors have personal tenure plus access to proven processes and top subject matter experts who handle individuals and corporations with high a net-worth.

    • “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” Proverbs 16:3
    • “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5
  8. Don’t Waste. It would be taking the easy way out to limit the concept of waste to not throwing away uneaten food. Waste is such an epidemic in our country that it has become all but transparent to most Americans; however a glance at the daily headlines reveals the results of our waste.  Wealth and abundance have lead to serial consumption and unrestrained materialism that should shame us.  We perpetuate “waste” every time we order too much food, water lawns unnecessarily and buy unnecessarily large cars without considering the consumption of gasoline.  We waste every time we buy clothes we don’t need, every time we upgrade our electronics, computers, cars, houses and furniture simply because we can. We waste money and natural resources every time we purchase or consume something we don’t need. Most Americans engage in waste on a daily basis and the effects can be seen in every aspect of life from growing obesity to declining health to global warming to deflation of the American dollar.  We are a society of wastefulness making a negative global impact and God is calling us to a higher standard.  When God calls to not to waste he is reminding us that what we have is not our own; it is his and as property of someone else entrusted to us it should be managed with incredible respect and appreciation.  We show God how desensitized we have become with unrestricted consumption and negligence. Instead we need to reevaluate our individual habits and minimize waste in our lives in order to realign our sensibilities and sense of responsibility with our true role as good stewards of this earthly kingdom.       
    • “When they had had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12
  9. Enjoy Your Portion. The conversation about Christian financial principles would not be greeted with such trepidation if we routinely remembered that part of God’s plan for us is joy.  If we are provided material wealth to steward He wants us to rejoice and be glad.  He does not want us to feel poorly because we were given a larger measure than someone else ~ he simply wants us to respect the principles of stewardship and to share cheerfully with others instead of wasting selfishly on ourselves.  With this healthy and balanced perspective we can be entrusted to even greater levels of stewardship.  
    • “And, it is a good thing to enjoy receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it.” Eccl 5:19
  10. Be a Blessing. When we are blessed with a life that gives us more resources than our needs require, we are not given the excess for our own enjoyment, we are given the excess that we might be a blessing to others and in doing so share with others the goodness of God. When we see materials goods as our own and neglect the needs of others we are not only dishonoring God with our behavior, we are also preventing another from experiencing God as he intends.
    • “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2-3
  11. Enjoy Work.  This is an interesting principle – liberating to some and challenging to others.  Right from the beginning God instructs us to be stewards of Earth and tend to the land. As humans we were created to please God and by our own sin, destined to work.  By no biblical definition were we created to pursue a life of sloth or play.  What God seeks from us is to enjoy the life, including the work we have been called to do.  This scripture has different implications for different people.  For some it may mean readjusting priorities, for others it may mean finding work that one can truly enjoy, for others it may mean bringing joy to the work they are presently doing without joy.  For all it means looking toward a full life of work.  God calls us to work for as long as our health allows, and while the substance and intensity of our work many change over time; it is our life long challenge to enjoy the work we are empowered to do.
    • “It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work – whatever they do under the sun – for however long God lets them live…to enjoy work and accept your lot in life – that is indeed a gift from God.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-19
    • “Whatever you do, work with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Colossians 3:23
  12. Be Grateful. The premise behind gratefulness again points to ownership; God’s ownership of everything from our talents to our provisions to our opportunities. When we remember the correct order of things it is easy to exude thankfulness in our lives.  It is when we forget that everything comes from God and we start to take personal responsibility for our intelligence, talents and lineage that we begin to see our accomplishments as our own, and we forget to give thanks to God and to others in our live that are responsible for our success.  When we live life out of balance in this way it is very difficult to seriously embrace and apply Gods financial principles.
    • “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deut 8:18
    • “Every good gift is from above” James 1:17
  13. Be Discerning. God calls us to discernment so that we can be responsible, respected stewards of his abundance.  Discernment shows good judgment at all times. A discerning person chooses counsel wisely, does not follow a crowd for the sake of the crowd and does not speak without thinking.  A discerning person invests time in acquiring knowledge in their areas of responsibility, knows his direction and has clear priorities to move him forward. For some discernment comes easy, for others it is built up intentionally with experience. For all, discernment takes discipline and thick skin, because sometimes discernment requires that unpopular decisions be made for the sake of long term good.  The degree of our discernment shows us in all areas of our financial lives.
    • Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” Proverbs 27:23-24
    • “A person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” 1 Cor 4:1-2
    • “We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.” 2 Cor 8:20

God’s promise to us…

As in all his laws, God gives us these financial standards to protect us.  Much of what is wrong with our society, our families and our selves can be traced back to our decision NOT to follow these simple principles.  When we abandon God’s financial plan for our lives and follow the world’s temptation into greed, pride and debt we set ourselves apart from God and outside his protection.  Adhering to the world’s standards we lose track of priorities, ensnare ourselves in poor choices and pass along an unwise legacy to the next generation.  God’s principles protect us from the world and from ourselves.  In following his principles, God does not promise a life without hardship; however He does promise to provide for our needs and in doing so allows us to live fulfilled lives with reduced stress, guilt and worry.  In this we remain more vital beings, capable of leaving a legacy of goodness and making a substantial and positive impact for the kingdom of God.