Hope when Facing Personal Financial Crisis (Part 2)
by Steven Chan
Listen to God’s Wisdom in Prov 13:-
- “The soul of a lazy mandesires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (Prov 13:4)
- “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised iswisdom… “He who walks with wise menwill be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” (Prov 13:10, 20) “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.” (Prov 13:18)
- 11 Wealth gained bydishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.” (Prov 13:11)
- “Every prudent manacts with knowledge, but a fool lays open hisfolly.” (Prov 13:16)
- Be Diligent; not Lazy
- “The lazy mansays, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. 15 The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” (Prov 26:13-16)
- “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, 8 Provides her supplies in the summer, Andgathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep— 11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” (Prov 6:6-11)
- “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thess 3:10)
Work + God’s Blessings: “And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” ( 2 Kings 4:1-7)
2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. 4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
We must start with what we have (Matt 25:24-27: poor attitude of the one talent man) & borrow whatever is necessary (but not for personal consumption but for productive purposes) and God will bless/multiply our efforts. Danger of Debts: Prov 22:7
- Associate with Wise people and Seek their Advice:
- “Where there isno counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Prov 11:14; 15:22;24:6)
- 1 Kings 12:1-5: Rehoboam listened to wrong counsellors and lost the major part of his kingdom!
- Many have lost their hard earned savings to “money games” and “structured or wealth management products” or “investment schemes” – when they don’t seek advice from people who have better understanding of such products.
Savings, Proper Planning & Budgeting are Necessary so that one will not run out of funds:
- “For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children”. But children are also required to “repay” their parents (2 Cor 12:14, ESV; 1 Tim 5:4,8)
- In preparation for the 7 years of famine, Joseph advised the Pharaoh to “collect one-fifth (20%)of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful …and store up grain …that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine.” (Gen 41:34-36)
- “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enoughto finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him” (Luke 14:28)
Do not be Deceived: Avoid High Risk Investment Products
- BEIJING — “When Lisa Wang sank her retirement money — all $730,000 of it — into a single investment, her fund manager repeatedly said the product was risk free. It wasn’t. On Wednesday, Ms. Wang, 61, joined about a dozen other customers in the lobby of a Beijing branch of the bank China Minsheng, pressing employees for details and demanding their money back, after the Chinese news media reported that more than $400 million of investors’ money had disappeared. “I invested because they told me it’s a product that would guarantee my capital,” Ms. Wang said. “I’m so angry and disappointed.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/business/china-minsheng-shadow-banking.html?_r=0
Ponzi schemes are not sustainable because they are not engaged in productive activities
- Sad story of Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme
- The Ponzi scheme will eventually fall apart after:
▪ The operator takes the remaining investment money and runs.
▪ New investors become harder to find, meaning the flow of cash dies out.
▪ Too many current investors begin to pull out and request their returns.
- In Madoff’s case, things began to deteriorate after clients requested a total of $7 billion back in returns. Unfortunately for Madoff, he only had $200 million to $300 million left to give.
- Read more at http://www.businessinsider.my/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7/#yyf0y6lZQl0720IU.99
- Act Ethically & with Integrity
- “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23)
- “Having your conduct honourable” (1 Pet 2:12)
- ”Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he isa slave or free” (Eph 6:5-8)
4.Act with Knowledge
- “The (Jews) have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom 10:2)
- “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hos 4:6)
- Many people have started businesses or made investments without due/sufficient consideration of what they are undertaking or investing in.
- Prov 31:16: “She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.”
The Christian will avoid the causes of personal financial crisis which are within his control; and at all times, he will pray that God will watch over him and protect him.
God provides Hope for us when facing financial crisis but we need to Trust Him, Pray to Him, Study His Word & Do What He has Told Us.
We need to put our Faith & Hope in God & Pray to Him for Wisdom & Grace to Help as well as Learn to be Content and let His Word be our Guide (2 Tim 2:15; 3:15-17)
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