Seminar: Financial Bondage
Q&A: Children’s Finances
SCAM Alert: “Emergency” Scam
Minute with Maxwell: “Fear”
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Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way. This is where you are continuing to learn, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but can thrive even during these very uncertain times.
Hi and welcome everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and as always, it is an absolute honor to have you with us again—it really is. What is on the schedule for our 30-minute time together today?
- First, during our Radio Seminar time, you are going to discover a bit about the pain you experience when you violate God’s financial principles. This means we are going to talk about financial bondage.
- We will define it.
- We will take a look at some of the symptoms of financial bondage,
- Some of the root causes, and most importantly,
- Discover some thangs we can do about it.
- Next, we have a couple of great family money issue questions—two questions directed to whether we should help our adult children who are still living at home. That ought to be interesting.
- Then we have a new Scam Alert for you, and finally
- We’ll have another minute with Maxwell as John talks with us about the word “Fear.”
So stay tuned, won’t you. It is going to be a great time together. As we start, let me pray for us. Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please continue to give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
Not too long ago during our Radio Seminar times together, we talked about how God does and does not use money. Now let’s consider what happens if we use our wealth in ways not consistent with God’s will…let’s take a look at something we call Financial Bondage.
- We’ll first define it.
- Then look at some symptoms,
- What does it look like–how do we know if we have it.
- We’ll look at the causes—some of the real problems.
- And finally, see what we can do about it.
What is financial bondage?
- Very simply, financial bondage is an attitude more than a condition.
- Financial Bondage is when we choose to focus on wealth, even wealth according to God’s definition, it is when we focus on anything or anyone else above or more than our relationship with God. And remember, wealth according to God’s definition includes far more than just the cash in our billfold, purse, checking and savings accounts. It includes all the material stuff we have in our life such as our home, cars, clothes, jewelry, and all the rest. It also includes such things as our time, talents, abilities, and skills. Wealth according to God’s definition includes our relationships: the fact that we are a mom or a dad, a husband or a wife, an employee or an employer. These are all things we need to give our attention to but not at the expense of our relationship with God. We are headed in the direction of financial bondage when any, or some, or maybe even all of the material things in our life get in the way of our relationship with God.
- And, it’s important to remember that
- We can have lots of money and still be in financial bondage.
- We may not owe anyone, anything and still be in financial bondage
- What can happen is that we drift from God’s will, and may not even realize it, we drift because of our attitude, our focus, not because of the amount or the value of what we have been given.
- So what is Financial Bondage, Financial Bondage is an attitude, it’s the choice we make to set the material areas of our relationship with Jesus.
So that is what financial bondage is, but what does financial bondage look like? What are some of the symptoms of financial bondage? We have already covered these somewhat in prior times together, but let’s take just another quick look. These are some symptoms of financial bondage…see if any of these hit all together to close to home.
- First of all, financial bondage usually results from having too much debt, a preoccupation with wealth, or when you misuse money. These are the three most common symptoms of financial bondage but there are more. For example:
- Worry: uncontrolled anxiety over retirement, job security, old age, and total health.
- Anger: Do you have periodic emotional flare-ups linked to periotic financial flare-ups? Sometimes over what others have or you, don’t have.
- Greed: greed is simply the attitude of always wanting “more”, the biggest, or the “best” or what someone else has.
- Resentment: when we blame others for our financial condition. “I didn’t get the job because that employer didn’t like me.” “I got fired from that job not because of anything I did or said, but because some customer created a false impression about me.” Resentment is blaming someone else for the condition we happen to be in.
- Self-indulgence: buying things with little or no utility
- Poor record keeping: not balancing your checkbook, or not living on a budget, these are also symptoms of financial bondage.
- So, let’s review. What are some of the symptoms of financial bondage?…
- Now, the Bible tells us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:10)
- Note that this verse does not say that money is the root of all evil—it doesn’t say that. It says that it is the “love” of money that is the root of all evil. You see, it’s the attitude, it has nothing to do with the amount or the value.
- You see, according to the Bible, this attitude has the tendency to drive you away from your relationship with God
- And as a result, the problems you often face will often be self-inflected.
These are all symptoms of Financial Bondage. But what are the causes, what are the spiritual problems that lead to Financial Bondage?
Now, what causes financial bondage…what brings in on that causes the symptoms?
- Financial ignorance:
- Proverbs 24:3-4 tells us, By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
- We get into financial trouble, for the most part, not because we’re stupid, but because we’re just don’t know what God’s Word says. Remember that there are over three thousand different verses that talk about money—how to spend it, how to use it, save it invest it, and all the rest. We don’t know what God’s Word says—that could be a problem that can lead us into financial bondage.
- We need to remember that it is God’s wisdom and God’s knowledge that we lack and that He promises to give us both if we ask…remember James 1:1?
- Another cause of financial bondage comes back to our attitude, wrong attitudes.
- We see in James 3:16, that For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice.
- If you have the attitude that says, “I’ve got to have it!” Or, “I truly deserve it!” then watch out. That’s not the attitude of a steward—that is not the attitude of a manager of what belongs to God.
- Poor planning can also help financial bondage along in our life.
- Remember that Proverbs 16:9 says In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
- This is a big problem for quite a few Christians.
- True, this scripture tells us that no matter how poorly we plan our lives the Lord can choose to make good of our lives by directing or redirecting our steps.
- However, the Lord does not want mere spectators on his team; He wants participants. He wants us to come down from the grand stands, suit up, and get onto the field and into the game.
- He wants us to become involved in short run and long range planning.
So this is financial bondage. What it is, what are some of the symptoms, and what are some of the underlying problems or causes.
Now, the good news is that if you recognize that you and your family are in, or headed into financial bondage, there are actions you can take.
- According to the Bible, there are things that can be done about financial bondage.
- Remember, there is always hope, there are always solutions to spiritual problems.
- There is always a way out…
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- There are ways out. During our next Radio Seminar Time together you will discover four steps you and your family can take to move away from , even move totally out of financial bondage. That’s next time. Don’t miss it.
Now, as we head into our questions and answer time together today, we are starting to lay the groundwork for our “How to Raise Money-Wise Children and Grandchildren God’s Way” seminar set for early in 2024—where, I’m not really sure. It will be either at our Chatuge Ministry and event Center in Hiawassee or it can be at a local church. If your church would like to host this seminar, please give me a call and we will talk about it.
You see, many families struggle with a variety of financial issues. For example, should parents pay allowances to their children should parents charge their grown children to live at home.
As the matter of fact, let’s start right there for our Q&A time together today. Here’s a great real-world question: Bob, should I help my adult son who still lives at home—should I help him financially? Although he is working, he is not helping with any of the household expenses. It seems to me like he is always spending his money and then asking me for help. As a widow, I still have enough money to be able to help him, but I question whether or not I should.
Wow, what a great question and what a great chance to offer a plug one of our upcoming seminars—our “Widowhood: What to do before and After” seminar we will be offering again after the start of 2024. But for now back to the question…how should this widow help train her adult son. My prayerful advice is for you to be very cautious. Why? Because history shows that it is possible to cripple your son by helping him too much. If you are going to help him, you need to require some accountability from him. Plus, if your son is wasting his money and getting further in debt and you keep bailing him out, you need to exercise some restraint. If he is incapable of handling his own finances, get someone to work with him very closely such as a volunteer counselor from your church, from Crown Financial Ministries and you can also refer him to the Dave Ramsey organization for some fee-based help. But this counselor is not just for your son, this counselor or financial coach is for you as well. Talk to the counselor and do what he or she directs. In other words, if the counselor suggests that you help him, then continue to help. However, if the counselor says to back off and not help, or not help as much, you must be willing to do that as well. Many parents say that they are willing to step back, until a hard situation comes up, and then they cave in to the emotional pressure to help. Remember, God’s Word says that He disciplines those He loves. Sometimes—Dr. James Dobson used to say this all the time–tough love is the best way to help manage this kind of situation. The Bible says, Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous therefore, and repent—that’s a great word from Rev. 3:19. So, to our widow friend I suggest prayerful caution and get some help.
Now, let’s turn the tables just a bit and consider this question: Should I help my mother handle her money? She isn’t handling it very well and is constantly getting into debt and then asking me to help her. I don’t mind helping my mother, I love her, but I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.
Another great question and another hard situation. How so? Well, from my personal experience, it is very hard for children to give financial advice to their parents. Mary, perhaps it will be best for you to work through a third party. Perhaps go to your pastor and ask if he or she knows someone in the church who can help your mom better manage her finances. If he does, encourage your mother to meet, ask for, and receive help. Again, if there is no counselor in your church, contact Crown Financial Ministries—you can contact the Dave Ramsey organization. Mary, Scripture does command that we honor our parents, this is true. However, that does not mean to feed their weaknesses. If your mom is not handling her money properly—especially if she is being frivolous with it—and you continue to help by giving her more of what she clearly can’t manage, you are not helping to solve the problem, you are helping to make the problem worse. A third party—a good financial coach—might be the answer to your situation.
Ouch, it’s time for another Scam Alert. This time it’s called the “Emergency Scam” from the Better Business Bureau.
|How does this Scam Work?
According to the Better Business Bureau, emergency scams are about a family member or friend who is purported to be in a dire situation. What happens is you get a call, email, or social media message from someone claiming to be a family member who is in some kind of distress. They may say they’ve been arrested while traveling overseas, or there was an accident, medical emergency, or other calamity. They provide convincing details, such as family names, school details, even nicknames.
A common version of the emergency scam is the “grandparent scam,” where the con artist contacts a grandparent claiming to be their grandchild and asking for money. The plea is so persuasive that the grandparent wires money to the scammer, only to find out later their family member was safe and sound all along. This scam can also work in reverse, where the “grandparent” calls their grandchild asking for help.
So, that is what it is, now what can you do to avoid emergency scams:
- Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is. Check out the story with other family members and friends. Hang up or close the message and call your loved one directly. Don’t call the phone number provided by the caller or caller ID. Ask questions that would be hard for an impostor to answer correctly.
- Know what your family members are sharing online. You may not have control over your family’s social media accounts, but familiarize yourself with what they are sharing online.
- Don’t wire any money if there is any doubt about the call. If you do wire money and later realizes it is a fraud, contact the police.
So, there you have it…you now know about the Emergency Scam and how to avoid it.—great information for the Better Business Bureau.
Minute with Maxwell
Wow, time is really marching right on along…but I want to make sure we have time for our Minute with Maxwell. Recall that John Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker and considered the world’s most influential leadership expert. This is one of my favorite times together, so, today Let’s see what John has to say about the word “Fear.”
Thank you John, that is yet another great Minute With Maxwell. This time he was giving us some words of wisdom about the word fear—that we are not to allow fear to hold us back—that feat stunts our growth, limits our potential, and our fights against our success. Thanks John.
Okkkkk, that just about wraps up our time together for today. Recall,.
- First, during our Radio Seminar time together, you discover a bit about the pain you experience when you violate God’s financial principles—we talked a bit about financial bondage.
- The first thing we did was to define financial bondage as an attitude more than an action. We place ourselves into financial bondage when we have the attitude that anything or anyone deserves our attention more than God. Financial bondage is an attitude.
- Then we took a look at some of the symptoms of financial bondage, for example having too much debt, Worry, Anger, Greed, resentment, and self-indulgence. These are all symptoms of financial bondage.
- But what are three of the main problems that lead to financial bondage—what are the three most common causes of financial bondage?
- The first is financial ignorance—we simply do not know what we need to know about what God has to say about money…and recall He has quite a lot to say. There are over 3000 different verses that talk about money—how to make it, store it, spend it, invest it, give it and on and on. Recall that God spends more time talking about money than any other single topic in the Bible except the subject of Love.
- The second most common cause of financial bondage is our un-Godly attitudes—our stinkin thinking when it comes to money
- And finally, the last major cause of financial bondage is poor planning…God calls us to prayerfully plan the areas of our lives to include our financial lives.
- Now, during our next time together we’ll talk about how to keep from getting into financial bondage AND how to get out of it once you are there.
- During our Q & A Time we learned how to possibly work with an adult child who still lives with his parents, and a great question from a daughter that needed advice on how to help her mom handle finances..
- And, you now know about the Emergency scam and how to avoid it
- And finally, we just had a great Minute with Maxwell all about the word Fear.
Now, as we close, just before we pray, I want to remind you again to please check out our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org. This is where you will learn about all our upcoming live seminars and workshops AND all about our yearlong Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy where you learn then learn to teach others Bible-based financial principles and applications. You can learn to become a certified coach. And by the way also, on our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org you can relisten to this program or you can re a transcript of this program.
My friend, thank you for being with us today. Let us close out our time together exactly the way we started out, and that is with a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for bringing us together today and for each of the days to come to Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have a blesse d day, won’t you, and we look forward to seeing you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.