4 Things Mom Taught Me About Financial Health

Yesterday I was preparing my 2 younger kids for school and they asked if they could buy lunch.  I had 4 singles in my wallet so I said, “sure, why not”  Lunch is $2.50, so I figured I could scrounge up some change from somewhere not knowing where that extra dollar was coming from.  20 seconds later, I picked up some clothes off the bathroom floor that should have been in a laundry basket somewhere and what do you know, I heard the clanging of four quarters falling out of jeans from the pile of clothes.  Exactly what I needed.  Sure this wasn’t a life defining moment, but I immediately got a subtle reminder that God has all my financial stuff covered.

Are you holding on to your money, or is it holding on to you? 

Financial LD

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”   1 Timothy 6:9

Ok, let’s all get over the fact that finances are a sensitive subject.  Most of us want to be RICH.  Many of us are already!  But the bible says it’s harder to follow Jesus when you’re rich.  We are sick people. I have money, you have money, if you have access to this article you will have SOME money.  But it’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have.  So how should we handle money?  Here are the four things my mom taught me about financial health.  She’s not perfect, I’m not either, but here is what I learned.

Four Things Mom Taught Me About Financial Health –

#1 Work – with ALL your strength –  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)  Your job is from GOD and He owns Everything!  We didn’t grow up with much, but there was one thing mom taught us, How – To – Work.  It wasn’t like we grew up in a child labor camp but we did our own laundry, dishes, cleared our own plates, and learned the simple art of work.  We pulled our own weight around the house.  Heck there were even times when we did have jobs as teenagers and we contributed to the family finances.  And by the way, mom didn’t pay us to do chores, she empowered us to think of how we were contributing to the family.  The bible says if you don’t work, well then you don’t eat.  No job should be below you, if you choose to mooch off the government, family, friends or others instead of work, well, that’s not biblical.  If you want to be financially sound then learn how to WORK.  But remember your work does not define your worth. 

#2 Give – up your control – (10%)  “Bring the whole tithe…Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing.”  Every Sunday was an opportunity to thank God for the week’s provisions.  I remember times at church watching my mom write a check for $30.  YES THAT WAS A FULL 10% TITHE FOR US AT TIMES.  One thing my mom always did was tithe, and through it all we NEVER went hungry.  All us 4 boys now have cultivated giving hearts.  It’s not just about the 10%, but tithe is training wheels to your giving.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to be financially healthy and not give.  It just doesn’t add up.  ALWAYS GIVE First not off what is leftover.

#3 Save – for the future – (10%)  “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but the fool devours all he has.” (Proverbs 21:20)  Most of us are terrible at saving.  We save virtually nothing and spend everything we get AND then some.  The average house has $8K in credit card debt, not good.  The reason why is most of us want more.  I didn’t say hoard, but saveSAVE SOMETHING.

#4 Live – with no regrets – (80%)  “Put your hope in God who richly provides everything for our enjoyment”  (1 Timothy 6:17)  Did you catch that last part?  ENJOYMENT, not stress, worry, despair, all consuming planning, stock market investment obsession, but JOY.  There is NO JOY IN DEBT!  If you have debt you have a new mission in life, eliminate all of it as fast as you can.  STEP #1 is to CUT the CREDIT CARDS UP!  You cannot give, save, and live a financially healthy life in debt.  Next week I will be writing a post solely dedicated to this one topic.  Eat, drink, live, be content.

Looking for some financial wisdom?  Go pick up a pile of laundry, God has you covered.

Which one of these is hardest for you?  comment below and let’s start the conversation!



Join us at 217church for our new series Live Differently…

May 4 – Financial Health

May 11- Family Health

May 18 – Physical Health

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.  Celebrate mother’s day with us Sunday May 11.




9 Ways To Get Rich This Christmas

Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Wacky Wednesday (I added that one myself) are over, maybe we can all begin to think clearly about Christmas, spending, riches, greed and everything that has to do with money, provision and our relationship with things.  I have news for you… “The little numbers on your credit card DO NOT define you.”

Below is a scripture that changed my life so many years ago.  It really isn’t about money, but it so closely relates to how we think about what will make us incomparably rich, Jesus!  However, to think how you handle and spend money has NOTHING to do with your relationship with Jesus is pure foolishness.  They are so closely related it is scary.

credit card

“…in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”  Ephesians 2:7-8

If you let me look at your financial records for one year, I could see how much you trust God, what you place your value in and in most cases how close you are to Jesus.  You might scoff at this at first, but it’s true.  Most of the following things come from a deficit in your relationship with Jesus: worry, insecurity, debt, materialism, and worst of all, loneliness and isolation. All of these things affect our relationship with Jesus.  The core issue is, we don’t think we have enough. Is Jesus enough for you?  Here are a few ways to get rich…

9 Ways To Get Rich This Christmas…

1. Receive Grace  (MOST IMPORTANT)-  You have already been given the gift of eternal life you could not afford.  This means we no longer need to have our identity in worldly wealth.  If you want to apply the following 8 ideas, let JESUS change your heart.  Without this #1, you are just dealing with symptoms.  He will make you rich beyond what any man could give you. Eternal life, forgiveness, freedom, wisdom, peace, joy. These are all yours for the taking through the Holy Spirit.  These things are not for sale, the are FREE!

2. Live on a Budget  –  Know what you owe, what you own and where it goes.  Notice I didn’t just say “get a budget,” you actually have to implement it.  If you aren’t living on a budget you are more than likely mismanaging the money God has entrusted to you.  And on top of all this, no one ever got rich spending more than they had. Proverbs 16:3- “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

3. Give First –  Before you spend a dime, GIVE!  The first item on my budget, Advancing God’s Kingdom.  We do this out of love, not legalism.  Start at 10%.  Send it on ahead.  Feed The Poor. Clothe The Unclothed.  I know, it’s counter intuitive.  But try it. God doesn’t do things your way anyway.  Get over it.  What if you took the first 10% of your income for the rest of your life and gave it away?  Do you think Jesus would provide for your needs? Most of us give out of the leftovers, not the first fruits, there is a difference.  Remember, there is no love without sacrifice.  Malachi 3:10  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing  that there will not be room enough to store it.

4. Don’t CompareComparison will ruin you, because you will never be satisfied.  You don’t make what they make so why do you think you should have what they have?  They probably can’t afford it anyway. 

5. Work Diligently – This may seem like common sense, but you may need to get an additional job in order to make ends meet.  I meet people all the time who are “too proud” to take a job “below them”.  This is pride.  You may need to move to a smaller apartment or sell your house, or the car.  But work hard, especially if you have debt!

6. Drive the Ultimate Driving Machine – The ultimate driving machine is a car that is paid off no matter what it looks like or what chicks you are picking up with it.  Leases are a waste of money and driving a brand new car is a colossal trap.  When you drive the car off the lot, you flush $$ down the toilet.

7. Save As Much As You Can – Sometimes we can’t afford to save because we have debt.  If this is you, then get on a plan and schedule to pay off ALL your debt as soon as possible.  Live with no regrets.

8. Plastic MUST go – When you got that credit card, you never thought it would lead to this place.  So often the only way out of “that place” is to get rid of the card.  Maybe you just don’t have the discipline to have a credit card.  It’s ok, admit it and start paying with a debit card and cash. SALE is another 4-letter word for DEBT.

9.  People NOT things –  This may seem obvious, but your kids, parents, cousins, wife, siblings, whomever, doesn’t need a bunch of stuff from you to know you love them.  Jesus, my family, and my church family have all made me exceedingly rich.

This SUNDAY IS A HUGE day for our church family.  One church, two locations, three services.  East Windsor (10:15am) and Hamilton (9:30 & 11:00 am) will never be the same because of you.  Can’t wait to celebrate together!



217church is a multi-site church in Mercer County NJ with small groups for families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater.  Our new East Windsor Campus is meeting Sunday December 8th 10:15 am at Ethel McKnight School and launches weekly services January 12, 2014.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit www.217church.com.  If you want to be in on the ground floor of a new exciting church planting environment, contact our East Windsor Campus Pastor Dan Gay at Dan@217church.com.