By Pardon Mwansa, President, Eastern Africa Division

Summary: Financial difficulties can be avoided or reduced by following sound biblical counsel on money management.

As I reached for the telephone, I wondered who was calling me so late at night. I immediately recognized my friend’s voice. I am in serious trouble and I need your help, he said. I need $4,500.00 to pay to my mortgage company or they will sell the house. I have three days to come up with the money.

Another time, one late afternoon, I was in a New York City taxicab heading to the airport to catch a plane back home. I noticed that the cab driver looked tired and sleepy. I asked him how long he had been working that day. Since two o’clock this morning, he replied. Son, it’s hard to start work so early in the morning when you are my age. I retired last year, but I have to keep this job to survive.

At yet another time, I was conducting a seminar in Zambia on personal money management. When the subject of biblical counsel was being discussed, a woman made this comment: Biblical counsel is not always practical. In times of unexpected emergencies, one does not have any choice but to borrow.

You probably can add to these examples many of your own. Everyone has to deal with money at sometime or another. Interestingly though, there are not many college classes that teach you how to manage your personal funds. The truth is that financial difficulties can be avoided or reduced by following sound biblical counsel on money management. A clear understanding of what the Bible teaches about money management--such as planning, saving, and spending--would, in most cases, save many from financial stress.

The Bible gives us sound principles on money management. The story narrated by Jesus in Luke 14:28-30 is one such example. This story, though not originally used by Christ to teach personal money management, has excellent principles for money management. The primary principle of this story is planning. Jesus simply says, Before you undertake a project, sit down and plan (Lk 14:28-30) In business jargon, Jesus is saying:

? First, calculate the cost from start to completion

? Next, ascertain if you have adequate resources

? Then, develop a plan that fits your fixed budget

These principles are the major blocks of good financial management. Neglecting even one of these, says Jesus, will bring you embarrassment, humiliation, and a life of debt.