I really do not believe that there should be Christian Financial Management. Money is the same for a Christian and a non-Christian. The principles for wealth creation will work for anyone regardless of their belief system. The need to talk about Christian Financial Management comes from the fact that there are some grey areas in wealth acquisition that a christian will not approve of. There are also time tested Biblical principles that have been secularized which must be highlighted and “redeemed”. In this article and the next one, I hope to highlight principles which any follower of Jesus can practice to become excellent managers of the money that comes their way.
God is the source of all things and it all belongs to God
There is a principle I call the 10-10-10-70 Principle or the 70-10-10-10 principle which I use to simplify Christian Financial Management. This is a very ancient principle, all I have done is to name it and interpret it in the light of our current experience. Before I describe and explain this principle, it is important to be reminded that God is the source of all things and it all belongs to GOD.
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein. ~ Psalm 24:1
Think about it! God is the owner of the universe. The sun provides all the energy we need on earth. Take out the sun and we will all freeze and its all over. God created humans (you and I) and placed us here to enjoy the abundance that He created. The first and most important principle for excellent Financial Management is that you came with nothing and you will leave with nothing. None of these things belong to you. You are simply managing them. You have access to as much as you need. You can use as much as you have capacity to manage. When your time is up, EVERYTHING that you have will be handed over to other people and you will have no control over what they do with it. You may have some influence on how it is initially shared, but really you cannot do anything if the people choose to go against your wishes.
Remember! Nothing on the earth is yours forever! You can manage as much as you have capacity for, but as you leave, you must leave everything behind. Think about it as living in a hotel. You can use everything in that room for as long as you are there. Once your time is up, you leave the room, return the keys and walk away.
Our stay on earth is also like a hotel. You can use everything in it and when you are done, you leave it all behind including your body. This to me is a powerful reminder that everything belongs to GOD.
Once you realize that God is the source of wealth and the owner of wealth, then you can also agree that there is no scarcity in God. There is enough wealth for all the current tenants on earth to enjoy. If there is anything that you need and is not yet discovered or designed, God has already giving us the power to discover, design or create whatever we need.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:26-28
Know it! Meditate on it! Believe it! Everything you need to excel on earth is available in abundance. There is absolutely no scarcity in God. Any form of lack is not a as a result of scarcity of resources on earth. It is the result of mismanagement of the available resources or a misunderstanding of the abundance that is available in God.
I don’t know how much money you have at your disposal, I would like you to know that you can always have more or less depending on your call and your desire to be a blessing to others. If you determine to manage what you have properly, follow biblical principles, you will have more! You will be fruitful and multiply. I believe that God want’s all his children to be fruitful and multiply. Scarcity and lack is not part of God’s plan for us.
The 10-10-10-70 Principle for Christian Financial Management!
What is this Principle?
- The first 10% of your income “belongs to God” – Tithes
- The second 10% is savings
- The third 10% is for personal development
- The last 70% is what you have to spend
There are many variations of this principle in different financial management books. This exact structure was impressed upon my heart several years ago and I have been trying to follow it and I know that it has been a great blessing. In this first article, I will only consider the first 10% which “belongs to God.”
10% of your Income should always go to God – Tithe
What is a tithe? Simply put, it means 10% or tenth. Abraham was the first to give a tenth of his spoil to a priest to show gratitude to God.
19 And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor[a] of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. ~ Genesis 14:19-20
What Abram did here was in response to the mercy of God over his life. I believe that giving 10% of what belongs to God back to God is just a way to say:
“Thank you God! I know you own it all, you even own me. I give this back to you in gratitude”.
This shows that tithing was already in place before it came into the levitical laws
30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’” 34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. ~ Lev 27:30-34
The tithe (10%) belongs to the Lord! The whole (100%) belongs to the Lord! Bringing the tithe to the house of the Lord is simply an acknowledgment of the fact that everything including your very life belongs to the Lord.
Tithing is an honour!
It should never be a burden. It should be exciting every time you have income, to offer first 10% as a joyful act of gratitude to God. I believe that anyone who learns to offer this 10% joyfully to God, has broken out of the scarcity mindset and entered into an abundance mindset. Our GOD is a God of abundance! 10% is just a benchmark! We should be giving more when we have more at our disposal. That is why in the new testament, tithing is not an issue. A heart that is filled with the spirit of God is always willing to give all! Tithing should never be an issue for a regenerated believer in Christ Jesus.
Tithing should be a joy! Not a burden.
If you find it hard to give at least 10% of all your income regularly, it is not because tithing is difficult, it is because you believe you don’t have enough or your heart loves your possessions more than God! There is an idol somewhere. In my experience as a pastor over the years, I have noticed that as people really fall in love with God, tithing is the least of their problems. They are happy to give much more than 10% even with very little teaching on tithes.
Tithing is a Principle for Christian Financial Management
Master it and money will no longer be an idol in your life. Master tithing and you will be the one in control of how the remaining 90% is spent. Tithing is God’s remedy for living from pay check to pay check. Take hold of your financial future today by determining that the first 10% of your income is not yours to keep. It belongs to God. It is your thanksgiving for the life you have, the skill you have and the grace you have that makes it possible to earn a living.
How do you give money to God who you cannot see?
In the Bible times, tithes were given to the Levites because they were devoted to the service of the temple. They had no portion in the land, all they had was their service to the Lord.
21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. – Numbers 18:21
The Levites also had to pay a tenth of the tithes they received to the Lord.
26 “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe. ~ Numbers 18:26
The tithes of the Levites were given to the priest. The tithes made it easy for the whole nation of Israel to enjoy a very rich worship experience. The Levites and the Priests, took care of the tabernacle and then the temple when it was built. In turn the tithes from the other tribes was given to them by God.
In the new testament, because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, every believer is a priest unto the Lord.
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,“Behold, I lay in Zion. A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ~ 1Peter 2:5-9.
If we are all priests, then all we need to do is channel our tithes to make it easier for us to build the Kingdom of God. Our tithes should be given to any church where we are receiving our spiritual nourishment to ensure that the great work that is being done continues. It is from these tithes that the employees of the church will be paid. It is from the tithes that the Pastor of the church is paid. We all as priests before our God, give our tithes to move the Kingdom of God forward.
Tithing helps you to become conscious of what church family you commit to.
It is interesting to note that when believers pay their tithes to a particular church, it is because they believe that God has approved that church. I do not think that anyone will give 10% of their income to an organization that they think is ungodly.
I pray that believers all over the world will recognize that the money in their possession belongs to God and as such, they must manage it wisely.
In conclusion, please remember that all the money you have belongs to the Lord. The first 10% is never for you to spend. It is for the Lord. For the work of ministry. Release it to the church family where you are being fed spiritually or where you are serving. Rejoice that you have something to give. Determine by the grace of God to always have more tithes every year for the rest of your life. Delight in bringing more and more to the Lord for the work of ministry. This is the first step to having more money and managing your finances properly.
In my posts over the next 3 weeks, I will be considering the 90% of the income that is left after the tithe has been paid to God. If you want to read study more about tithes, here is a good place to start.
Find below a copy of the slides I used for this message a few years ago.