Any financial plan should be covered with prayer. First, ask God for the wisdom to understand His teachings about money and how they apply to your situation. Next, pray for clarity about all details—including how much is earned as well as how much is spent.
One final step is to seek the Lord's guidance in assessing whether spending habits are in line with His priorities. In evaluating this, it is helpful to divide expenses into categories, including:
1. Giving to the local church, missionaries, and other organizations
2. Basic needs—food, clothing, and housing
3. Insurance, retirement plan, savings
4. Debt, such as second mortgages, loans, and credit cards
5. Personal spending on entertainment and extras—cell phones, Internet, cable TV, eating out, vacations, etc.
Some of us will discover that our finances are not in line with scriptural principles, which may be discouraging. If this is true of you, turn to the Lord, confess what has happened, and pray for the strength to handle your God-given resources His way.
Financial discipline is a learned skill. It requires a commitment to live according to Scripture, persistent effort to change bad habits, concentration to develop new ones, and faith that we can learn to live according to God's priorities. We're blessed when we practice prayer-based planning.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.