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Finance (2 of 2)

Shane Willard

So Gods way of doing life, is to live with 21% margins. That we are to live on: 79% of what we make; and we are to give away the other 21%. Now there’s a problem with that.

In NZ, do people live with 21% margin? No. In America, the average person spends $1.01 for every $1.00 they make. Which means they’re living on their entire square, and 1% of some other person's square (ford motor credit, home equity lines, master card, visa).

So God’s way is live on a circle inside a square. What we believe is our version of the story, which is to live on the whole square.

Of course, when you live on your whole square, who moves into your house? Murphy, right? When you live on your whole square, with no margin, who moves in? Murphy. Not only does he move in, but his 3 cousins: broke; desperate; and stupid move in.

People do stupid things when they’re desperate, don't they. When you live with no margins, all it takes is one disaster to throw everything.

If you can’t afford to live, when your tire goes flat, what is wrong with you? We have to live with enough margins, that if the tyre goes flat, we can just go replace the tire, and not have to borrow money.

When you use credits cards, when we use that 1% of someone else square, here’s the problem: in the next year, we have to pay the 1% back don’t we, with interest. So we borrow 1%, but it takes up a bigger percentage of our square, until before we know it, our whole square is gone.

Let me tell you what that looks like: when you get paid, every cent of it goes to pay bills. How does that feel? If feels like you have no square. So what appears like freedom is actually bondage.

So they write things like: “the borrower is the slave to the lender”. In another words, if you make $1000, and $985 is actually someone else’s, because you owe it to them, then that’s not freedom - that’s lunacy, that’s slavery!

So we live on our whole square, plus a certain percentage of someone else’s square; and then we blame Satan for our financial problems. It’s not Satan - poor Satan!

When it comes to most of us, and how we manage our money, Satan can take a vacation. We make enough stupid decisions to ruin it ourselves.

God says: this is how I want to you to organize your financial life - a circle on a square.

If you’re buying cars you can’t afford, with money you don't have, to impress people you don’t like, it is not Satan’s fault where that ends up.

We have to take responsibility for it. We have to own it. We need to at least, enter into a process, a 2-year plan to get your life to look like that. At least make a plan to try.

You say: I can’t afford to Tithe? Great, do 1%. I can’t afford… yes you can. Everybody can afford to honor Terumah. It’s so small. It’s $25 on a $1000. Are you kidding me? That’s coke! (Drinking coke; not sniffing coke - that’s far more expensive). You could give up coke; you could give up coffee; to bring this thing around for your life.

Check out the next scripture; there is a connection between Generosity (Tzedakah) and Righteousness. Psalms 37:25-26 – “I have been young, and now I’m old; yet I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread; for all the day long, he deals generously”.

In English there’s a aural disconnect: “a righteous man deals generously”; but in Hebrew it would say: “a Tzedak man does Tzedakah”. A Tzedak man operates in Tzedakah.

Psalm 112v5, a righteous man always shows generosity".

Deuteronomy 24:17-18 - “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of a widow as a pledge. Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. This is why I command you to do this”.

In other words, why should you treat others with dignity, that maybe they don’t deserve? Because at some point in your life, God treated you with dignity that you didn’t deserve - and we have to remember that.

Isaiah 1:15 – “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you. Even if you offer many prayers I won’t listen. Your hands are full of blood. Wash and make yourself clean. Take your evil deeds out of my site. Stop doing wrong and learn to do right. Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come let us reason together, though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow.”