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Savings, Borrowing (debt) and Investing (Corrected 6/9/2019)
The spirit of savings
When we talk about savings we talk about time, space and most of all money and while we are talking about money, there are others somewhere talking about borrowing money, signing promissory notes, missing payments in other words— debt. Either saving money or loaning money it has a common interest—profit

A good steward knows how to store treasures collected in the house of the wise, how to save something for a rainy day putting the money aside. The wisdom given to the wise people to live in wealth and luxury and envied by foolish people who spent all they have as fast as they get it. There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; (Proverbs 21:20). The houses of the righteous do exercise how to lay up for the future.

It is not all what we eat today, what we enjoy wearing and what we smile about the blessings of today, but what we store for tomorrow, the treasures of Divine love which should be a part of us being a partaker of the Divine Nature of God. God’s grace is the oil that represents the Holy Spirit of Him that is in us should neither be taken for granted nor be taken advantage, but should be taken with care and humility which is the right thing that a wise man  should do.

The foolish man wastes his opportunities and a chance to embrace the grace given to him, but instead prefers to continue to misuse his power of free will of righteous living that drives the oil to be spilled which means driving the Holy Spirit away from him. When a foolish man is swallowed by his own exhausted desire, the mind stop. “In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.” Proverbs 15:6; Our heart is where our treasures and God look into our heart and will never left it empty. God will never leave us nor forsake us and when He said it, He will do it.

“The rewards of humility and the fear of the LORD are wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4

The soul of borrower
Sometimes we grew up the way we are reared.  Our attitude towards life, our decisions, our behavior towards our actions though, when we reach maturity it seems not easy to walk away how we were raised. The shadow of the past lingers, the legacy of the old seems to stay. My Mom told me once before and  until now still in mind, to have fear in the LORD. And then as I grew up I heard another thing and this is from our Bible Studies that God is a jealous God.

Very young in my spiritual walk I put this together and enlightened me to be joyous about the results.  “God is to be feared because God is a jealous God.”  I heard from Oprah that she raised this questioned on TV, “Why God will be jealous of her, because her fortune?” Though it raised an eyebrow to some, I continue to walk until I found the crown jewel, an answer for years that I never thought. That to fear is to be careful to offend Him and being a jealous God it means not to be idolatrous. While Oprah’s fortune is unquestionable because of her hard work she succeeded, but God blessed her without a doubt.

Scriptures encourage us to save and discourage us to borrow. If we borrow money to put up a business and we thought that is the only way to change our status in life,  the Scriptures said that in  Proverbs 22:7— “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Let us say that the rich is the bank that lend you loan and you are the start-up business person that rolled your sleeves hoping that one day you life will be higher than the standard.

As far as borrowing, when that checks land on our hand and start using it, we become a businessmn but no longer a free man.  We turn to be slave of the lender; work extra hours, more physical work, more decision making and more responsibilities. Maybe we can get many opinions that is pleasing to our ear and encourage us more; like it is worth being in debt for few years and buy certain things that we  want that we were not  able to buy before.

The distance between the rich and the poor nowadays are greater. In some countries, the middle income families are gone. The poor work for their money while the rich their money works for them and the rich becomes richer at the expense of the poor. The boss delegate the works to you while you work according to what is expected on you.

“If he can do it why can’t I” is sometime a wrong concept if you start a business especially using a credit card.  you will be totally enslaving yourself.  Luke has a written word about it a good advise that we should pay attention—Luke 14:28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

To follow up this written word in Luke 14, Solomon has something for us— Proverbs 22:26-27 “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?”

There is one time that I counseled someone about co-signing a loan and advise him not to do it.  It is not because you do not want to help but you might just putting himself to expenses beyond his means and you as co-signer has a big responsibility as well. Solomon’s wise advice here in Proverbs 22 is for those who make pledges and put up their own reputation for collateral for another is a good thing with intention to help but not wise.

When we owed anyone it is our responsibility to pay it back at the time of the loan is up.  When everything is running smooth, economy is good, low unemployment, low taxes and low interest rate. Then our mind is set to take advantage of the current situation and pursue our desire to buy things we can afford at the time. When the economy fell years later, a lot of people began to struggle making payments. Owe what is owed and pay what is owed, but how?  That’s a very hard place we could be. Paul said in Romans 13:7 “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

Lending money to the poor to make profit and not to help is sinful, especially taking his only means to cover himself for a cold night as collateral.  God warns these people directly with His word when they come to Him for help, He will surely hear them. Exodus 22:25-27 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” Paul said in Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Jesus said “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” (Matt 5:40) and also said, “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you” (Matt 5:42).

We can stay out of debt if we are not in debt and keep it that way and telling ourselves it is not easy. There will be time that the desire of the flesh is very powerful to resist; e.q. buying a house, buying a new car, taking vacation, eating in an expensive restaurant,  little or big things adds up. It is easy to be in debt than not. It is easier said than done, like Paul said to owe nothing to anyone.

When the Bible said stay out of debt is good and being in debt is not good, then, stay out of debt! And be happy!!  If someone borrowed money from you especially your friend, you know things can happen that you can lose a friend for not paying you back. Best solution is to use the word in Psalm 37:21 “The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.” Though money doesn’t grow on trees; money can be earned but a real friend is hard to find. Try to evaluate the situation. You did what was clearly written in Matthew 5:42 “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” When you choose to love your friend you denied the love of money which is the root of all evil. Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

The Flesh that invest
There’s a saying that if you give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish and he will eat forever. I have a personal experience about this saying and what the Bible said In James 2 -“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:15-16

Instead of giving them money to spend for one day I gave them a start up money that they can use to put up a business.  About six families that I helped and it didn’t work.  Maybe because of their inexperience in handling a business or they used it for personal needs. Years come to pass I never heard anymore from them not that I will ask them about the investment but how they are doing. They should realize that there is always a New Beginning. In business you failed once is not the end of the world, it just gives us experience to be careful the next time opportunity knocks.

In Matthew 25:14-30—there is a good lesson to learn and anyone should read it in full. I encourage everyone also to learn from my experience. Matthew told the Parable of our Lord Jesus Christ, these are all about the master entrusted talents (Gold-Money) to his servants, this story is about trust, stewardship, investment, industriousness and laziness as well. When trust is given to you, cherish it and handle it with care.  In return you may receive more and for those who mismanage or misuse it, chance will be taken away. The Bible at the end of the parable said: “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Below are written words that you might be interested to read to be your guidance in your walk by faith, to fight temptations and to be an inspiration to be a good steward of God. Let you walk and talk in goodness and be blessings to others. May the Scriptures below give you guidance:

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 19:2 Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Proverbs 24:6 For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Bible Verses about Saving & Investing
Saving up for a rainy day and putting your money to work in hope of multiplying is a wise thing to do and supported by Scripture. Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:20 “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
Proverbs 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 30:24-25 Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer

Bible Verses About Diversifying
None of us knows what will happen from one day to the next, in our lives  – and in the stock market.  As a result we are best served by diversifying our holdings to protect ourselves.
James 4:13-15  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Ecclesiastes 11:2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
Bible Verses About Ethical Investing
When we engage in business and when we invest, we’re called on to be faithful and to deal justly.  Invest ethically, and in a way that doesn’t harm others.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard;  here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.
Proverbs16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than vast revenues without justice.
Leviticus 19:13 You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.
Psalm 112:5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.
Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Luke 16:10 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

Get Good Advice, Plan Ahead before making a move, Save as much as 10%, Diversify your investment and be faithful with what you are doing and also to those who help you achieve your goal while you are in need.
• Get advice and listen from others’ experience who have been there.
• Only a fool rush in many things.
• Saving is good but not at the sacrifice of your household. Eat healthy and you save a ton of wealth.
• Wisely put your investment where you have control.
• Invest in the company that give dividends
• Avoid day trading
• Avoid chasing stocks when it is going down.
• Do not put your money in one basket, diversify and it will multiply.
• Don’t forget not to be over confident to help reduce investment risk.
• Watch a glib talkers whose intentions is only to sell and make money.
• Be faithful to God’s word and always ask Him first or tell Him first your move.
• Don’t rely in overnight richness, rely on God and you will never go wrong.
• Don’t forget to provide your family what they need and God will provide what you need.
• Keep seeking God’s truth and money will come by surprise. There is nothing to hide our God will provide.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

As an investor myself, I did not ask for guidance from the LORD and seek assistance from the Spirit and I admittedly say that is my fault I did not do good being a good steward of God’s providence. If given another chance we should not forget that all that we have came from Him through the Son and should not boast. "In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and bless your efforts with success." (Proverbs 3:6)

Have a little give a little then invest a little, but our focus should not be diverted when investment started to grow.
PROVERBS 19:17 “HE WHO IS KIND TO THE POOR LENDS TO THE LORD, AND HE WILL REWARD HIM FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE.”
PROVERBS 22:9 “A GENEROUS MAN WILL HIMSELF BE BLESSED, FOR HE SHARES HIS FOOD WITH THE POOR.”



 
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