Help! Where do we go from here? There is definitely a lot of bad news coming down the pike. From the United States’ massive fiscal problems to potential defaults in Europe to the massive inflation and economic slowdown in red hot China. If you also consider the Japanese global supply restraints and the Middle East oil crisis, there really is a perfect financial storm brewing. Will it be a tropical storm or a category 5 hurricane? That is the question. Bad times don’t have to beat you down. We serve a mighty God who can steer us through the storms. This doesn’t mean we will be bulletproof, but it does mean we can place our trust in Him rather than monetary instruments. This shouldn’t be an excuse for complacency and “sticking the mighty head in the sand”. Instead, it is a time to put our faith into action. We should seek to do all we can to proactively protect the wealth entrusted to us and leave it to God for the results. Plan ahead He wants us to plan ahead for good times and bad. In our desire to multiply all the Lord has provided, this means we should be taking the extra steps to be wiser stewards in how we: Earn income Give generously Spend money Invest a surplus By bringing our faith to the front and center, seeking wise counsel, and taking action, we have a better shot at producing positive results even while the world is falling apart. Have you noticed that there are two economies? The world’s and God’s? Where do you place your trust? Most of us will be quick to respond “of course we choose God!” Yet, is this the way we live? If it is, why do so many Christ followers worry and fight so much about money? Why do most Believers not handle their money any differently than non-believers? It all starts with your attitude Many Christians are still stuck in the rut that money is the root of all evil. They look negatively at wealth and cite passages like: Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. – Matthew 19:24 Many will also refer to the passage about the rich young ruler in Luke 18. The logic that often follows is “God doesn’t want me to be rich.” To be faithful, I must give up the pursuit of money. That is far from the truth. God does not want you to be rich or poor, He wants you! He longs for a relationship with you and He is after your heart. For He knows “where your treasure lies your heart lies also” (Matthew 6:21). Is your attitude toward money about greed or helping others ? In order to help others we need to get our financial homes in good order! I recently had a flight and was reminded that if something went wrong on the plane and you needed an oxygen mask, you are instructed to place your mask on before helping others with theirs. Why does this make sense? Well, for starters with no oxygen you will be dead within minutes. You see, when we ourselves need financial help, it is tough for us to financially bless others. When we are living paycheck to paycheck and draining all our energy each day just taking care of our family, we have no time or money for others. Don’t hear me wrong. We are commanded to take care of our loved ones, but we must also look outward. With the hard economic times that have fallen upon us, many have lost their jobs, their homes, and the lion’s share of their worldly possessions. People are hurting and in need. When we as a Body of Christ cannot come to their rescue, what does that say about His followers? God can use each and every one of us in many ways using our time, talents, and treasure, but if we lack treasure it can impact our ability to provide our time and talent. This isn’t a part of the “name and claim it” prosperity gospel, but rather a challenge to make wiser financial decisions so you can bless more of God’s people. Our slogan at Faith-Based Investor is “helping grow wealth with a purpose”. This is a personal mission God put on my heart. Our goal is not to just have more money for the sake of personal gain, but rather for the purpose of supporting Churches, ministries, and organizations all over the world that are doing Kingdom work. By pacing our focus outward rather than inward, we can gain peace knowing we are moving closer to God’s will for our lives. How can we accomplish this? 5 Core Principles It takes 5 core principles! As we look to grow closer to Christ through our finances we should strive to become: More passionate income earners: doing what we love each day and earning income in a way that pleases the Lord. More generous givers: working hard to give more time, talent, and treasure to organizations helping the sick, lost, and in need of help. More cautious debtors: using debt as a last resort and for things that have the potential to increase in value over time. Wiser investors: seeking to make smarter money choices where we invest our money to multiply what He has provided without sacrificing our Christian values. More prudent spenders: spending money on our family’s basic needs and some wants, but making sure our spending decisions line up with our faith. By following these 5 core principles, we can align our faith and money in a way that He can bless our efforts. It is never a guarantee that He will bless us financially. Yet, I hope you are like me in that I’d rather place Him first and leave the results up to Him rather than go it alone and try the world’s way. What are your thoughts? Let us know if you have any other important financial principles that help you stay close to God! Related Articles: 3 Timeless Principles for Wealth Creation 4 Fundamentals of Christian Financial Advice Redistribution of wealth in the Bible How to Get Out Of Debt (Part 1 of 7) 10 Things Rich Christians Must Do With Their Money Giving more than 10% 3 Things Moses Teaches Us About Money Jay Peroni, CFP® is author of The Faith-Based Millionaire , Chief Investment Officer at Faith-Based Investor , and host of the Rethink Wealth radio show . His life passion is helping individuals and businesses keep Christ first in the investment and financial planning process. As a thank you for subscribing to our newsletter you can download our quick eBook ” 25 Ways To Save Money in 2011 ” for FREE! The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. 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Grow Closer to God: 5 Core Financial Principles