As noted in my opening post, financial freedom, or at least its foundation, is located at the corner of Word and Wise. The last post surveyed the biblical view of money, the Word. This post shares lessons from the Wise, that is, financial wisdom garnered from those whose life experience validate their credibility. Besides, learning from others is a far easier path than learning from your own mistakes.
I sought to learn from others by (1) Reading, (2) Listening, and (3) Finding mentors.
Always mining for gold nuggets of wisdom, I devoured books, and subscribed to magazines or, more recently, podcasts. I attended seminars and listened to radio programs during my daily commutes, making note of new insights gained. When I discovered a valuable resource, I digested all I could and sought to discern truth from error. Larry Burkett was one of the first Christian Financial gurus, and his writings formed an early foundation of my financial mindset. I collected quotes to use as a database to periodically review and, when necessary, recalibrate my scales.
My collection of quotes from both past and present mentors included:
- “Make all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can.” (John Wesley)
- “Act your wage.” (Dave Ramsey)
- “I accept that both the cause and the solution to my money problems lie within my own heart.” Chuck Bentley (Crown Financial Ministries)
- ”He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.” (C.S. Lewis in “The Weight of Glory”)
- “Giving is the surest way to reorient our perspective from hoping in the temporal to placing our faith in the eternal.” (Crown Financial Ministries)
- “But when economic winters come, they are not excuses to show fear but opportunities to live by faith.” (Tim Kimmel in “In Praise of Plan B”)
- “During economic summers we give from our surplus. During economic winters we give from our sacrifice.” (Tim Kimmel in “In Praise of Plan B”)
- “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” (C.S. Lewis)
- “The buy-now, pay-later mentality is a path to excessive debt. Save-now and buy-later instead.” (Author Unknown)
- “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” (George Horace Lorimer (1899-1937); Editor)
- “God invites us to a life of gratitude while the world fosters discontent. God proposes trust; the world arouses fear. God promotes giving; the world promotes getting. God invites us to cooperate with his providence while the world rallies behind self-determinism. God appoints us in stewardship while the world touts ownership. The world encourages entitlement when, in reality, everything is a gift from God. God invites us to look out for our neighbor; the world tells us to look out for ourselves. God operates from abundance; the world from a place of scarcity. God created us out of generosity to live generous lives; the world encourages us to live a small, selfish life.” (Matthew Kelly, The Four Signs of A Dynamic Catholic, pg 111-112)
- “Stewardship is what we do after we say — we believe.” (Acton Institute)
- “There is nothing wrong with being successful even when measured by worldly standards, unless you end up a failure by godly standards.” (Larry Burkett)
- “Spend less than you earn and keep doing it for a long time.” (Ron Blue)
In my last post, I quoted Mark Twain, who said, “Judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment.” But in learning from others, I discovered the experience I needed did not always have to be my own.
Learning from the mistakes of others is far less painful and less expensive.
Over the years, I found myself re-reading several books. Each is dog-eared, highlighted, and underlined to make quick reviews easier. I commend them to you.
Wealth to Last by Larry Burkett and Ron Blue
The Root of Riches by Chuck Bentley
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Money, Greed, and God by Jay Richards
Finishing Well by Bob Buford
Current websites I visit frequently include:
Read, listen, and study with a discernment refined by the purifying flames of Scriptural truths and you will be equipped to distinguish good judgment from bad judgment.
After soaking in the wisdom at the corner of Word and Wise, what financial principles did I develop and follow? Come back next week for the conclusion of my series on Dollars and Sense.