Seminar: Religious Folklore #1
Clark Howard: Track Tax Refund
Minute With Maxwell: “Together”
Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way radio, where you will learn, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but thrive during these very uncertain times.
Hi and welcome everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us—it really is.
- What can you expect to hear during our 30-minute time together today?
- First, let me ask you, would you like to know one possible reason you sometimes fail financially even though you believe you are following God’s financial principles? We’ll talk about it during our Radio Seminar time together.
- Next we will respond to a couple of great, real-world financial questions about family finances.
- Clark Howard will tell us how to track our tax refund for this year.
- PLUS, John Maxwell is going to show us that one is too small a number to achieve much more than just speed.
- Finally, you will learn hot to receive our free info packet for this month titled “Answers to Your Questions about Insurance.”
So stay tuned, you sure don’t want to miss a single minute of today’s program.
Now, as we start, as we always start, please join me in prayer to make sure He is the one we are going to hear from during these next 30 minutes. . Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
My friend, in all of our times together you can see we are drawing heavily on the Word of God. For example, you’ve see the importance God places on his belt of truth, the logos, the written Word of God—your Bible. And from your Bible you’ve discovered the two most critical financial principles in all of God’s Word; wealth according to God’s definition which is everything God places into your spiritual trust account, and stewardship which is how you are to manage everything God places into your spiritual trust account.
But for right now and for the next several Radio Seminar times together, I want you to take a step back with me. I want to raise a red flag for you to consider. What kind of red flag?
- Well, remember you—actually you and I and all Christians everywhere—recall that you often tend to get into trouble for two reasons. Sometimes you get into trouble because you are entirely too close to the world. Other times, well, other times you get into trouble because you’re not nearly close enough to God. Right?
- You see, sometimes you may think you are close to God and you are following His principles but you still get into trouble. Has that ever happened to you, I mean, you’re moving along in your spiritual disciplines of hearing, reading, memorizing, meditating and studying the Word of God, but suddenly you seem to crash and burn in some financial or material part of your life. Does that sound familiar? Now, why might that be? Well, it could be because some of your material beliefs and actions are based on stuff that sounds spiritual but is not scriptural. This “stuff” is called religious folklore and I’m telling you from personal experience, religious folklore can really get you into a whole lot of trouble. Religious folklore can lead to worldly habits that will get you into trouble.
So, let’s stop for a minute so you can learn to recognize and deal with religious folklore. As you do,
- You will discover the definition of religious folklore.
- You’ll see some examples of religious folklore.
- And finally, you will discover how to avoid religious folklore all together.
My friend, according to the Bible, it is always important to see past what you do, to better understand why you do it. Remember, you can do the right thing for the wrong reason, or you can do the wrong thing for what sounds like the right reason. Your goal is do the right thing for the right reason, which means you need to get rid of all the right sounding wrong reasons. Now that was a mouthful, but you get the idea, you need to get rid of and stay away from religious folklore.
So, what is religious folklore?
- It includes the sayings that get you into trouble when you are not close enough to God. It includes all those sayings that sound spiritual but are not scriptural.
- Let me give you an example.
- A number of years ago a couple came in for some financial coaching. This couple was a fantastic example of what a Christian couple ought to look like both inside and outside the church. They had a great Christian Family. That’s why I was surprised when the husband told me that his wife wasn’t speaking to him, his children weren’t speaking to him, and that life in their home was an absolute train wreck…all because their out-of-work son wanted to borrow some money to start a business. The dad asked me what I thought about the idea of the mom and dad lending their son some money to start a business. Well, I didn’t jump right in with all my thoughts on the subject, and I had quite a few. Praise the Lord I kept my mouth shut, listened to what they were saying, and then simply asked if they had prayed about it. They said, “Why, yes we have.” I asked, “What did God tell you?” They said they were confused because they had the resources, more than enough resources, to help but the husband believed God did not want them to help. I asked, “Why?” The husband said he did not remember exactly where, but somewhere in the bible is says, “Never a borrower of a lender be.” The dad said, “Bob, just help us find this verse so my family can see the basis for my decision, and that I’m just trying to be the best spiritual leader possible by following God’s Word even when it hurts. Bob, where does it say, ‘Never a borrower or a lender be?’” Now, let me ask you, do you know where that’s written…well, I’ll give you a hint, it’s not in the Bible. As far as I can tell, Ben Franklin mentioned it in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” but it actually comes from Shakespeare. It sounds good but it is not from God. It is religious folklore. Moreover, it was causing a whole bunch of grief for this fantastic Christian family. But it sure sounds good, doesn’t it? You see, there’s a lot of stuff that sounds good, even sounds Godly, but when you begin to apply it, then you slip, trip, stumble and fall and wonder why, because you honestly believe you’re doing what God wants you to do, how He wants you to do it.
- My friend, when there is so much that God has to say about money, why do we need to spend part of our valuable time together talking about what the Bible does not say?
- Again, you need to recognize your worldly habits before you can see the need to replace them with Godly habits.
- You saw earlier that you often get into trouble because you are to close to the world. Here you see that you also get into trouble when you are not close enough to God.
- Let me give you an example.
Personal opinion: Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to give you any personal opinions, I know, but I’m going to give you one here anyway. Personal opinion: I got to believe that one of these days another boy, is going to throw another rock, into another cave over in Israel, and uncover another bottle, and inside that bottle will be another scroll, it’s going to be that long lost, infamous lost book from the antiquities…the Book of First Opinions. It’s going to happen. You wait. And in that book of First Opinions will be all that stuff that sounds good but never came from God’s Word. OK? OK. Let me share with you several more great examples of the religious folklore that will be part of that book of first opinions.
The first one is “God helps those who help themselves.”
- Have you ever heard this? Is this what God says? He says, “I delight in helping those who can never help themselves.”
- Read Eccl 9:10 when you get a chance.
Or how about this one, this is a good example of religious folklore...”Money is the root of all evil.”
- Is this what God’s Word says? No again. This not what the Scripture says. This has to be 1st Opinions 1:1. This is probably the most misquoted scripture about money in all of God’s Word.
- What does God’s Word say is the root of all evil? Paul did not say money was the root of all evil. He said that the love of it was what caused all the problems.
- It is not the money you have to worry about, it is your attitude about money that gets you into trouble.
Here is another: Poverty is spiritual. You hear this one a lot…particularly when the elder and deacon boards get together to discuss their pastor’s salary…”Lord, you keep him humble, we’ll keep him poor.”
- But do you know what? Nowhere in scripture will you find that poverty is spiritual. Listen my friend, if poverty was spiritual you would find a whole lot more spiritual people in the world today. But most are not. And that is not what God’s Word says.
- God’s Word does say, Agar said in Proverbs 30:7-9:
Two things I ask of you, O lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
- What does Agar ask for? Only for his daily bread…only to have his needs met.
- He recognized that if he didn’t have enough, if he were poor, and if his family was hungry, he might be tempted to steal. I mean, wouldn’t you, might you be tempted to steal to feed your family? The temptation would be there.
- Now, Agar also recognized that if things were going to well, if he had too much he may become too independent, and not depend on the Lord…remember our “spheres of influence.”
- By the way, remember that there is no moral value to money. Money is not good or bad, spiritual or non-spiritual. Just like debt and credit is not inherently good or bad. Again, it’s our attitude that’s important.
- No, Poverty is not spiritual.
These are just some of religious folklore examples I have to share with you, Next week I’ll share several others and then we will talk about how to avoid religious folklore.
Finally, what’s the point of our religious folklore times together? You need to recognize that the truth of God’s Word can be hard to grasp because you have been exposed the lies of the world for such a long time. You need to become so familiar with the Truth, the Logos, the written Word of God that you can clearly see the difference between words that sound good and the Word that is good—to be so close to the Truth that a lie is readily apparent. Only then will you be able to replace the words and habits of the world with habits based and founded on God’s Word. Only then will you begin to discover Debt-Free Living God’s Way. These are going to be great and productive times together…don’t miss next week. And by the way if you would like to re-listen to this or any of our programming, simply go to our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org.
Over many years working with Larry Burkett and Dave Ramsey we’ve seen a whole lot of folks ask a whole lot of questions. And I think that’s great because responding to those questions brings what the Bible has to say about family money issues to life.
For example, here’s a great Question:
- Bob, should I help my adult son who still lives at home? Although he is working, he isn’t helping with any of the expenses. It seems to me like he’s 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 if I should. What do you think?
- Well to start, I suggest you attend our upcoming “Widowhood, What To Do Both Before And After” seminar a bit later this spring…believe me, you are not alone—there are a whole lot of widows facing the same set of circumstances.
- What I advise is that you be very cautious. Why? Because it is possible to financially cripple your son by helping him too much. If you are going to help him, you need to require some accountability from him. If he doesn’t want to be accountable to you, then I suggest you refer him to a volunteer financial coach from your church.
- 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 you son is incapable of handling his own finances, get someone to work with him very closely. Find and work with a financial coach in your area and do what that coach suggests. In other words, if the coach suggests you continue to help, continue to help. But if the coach suggests to back off and not help, you must be willing to do that as well.
- Many parents say that they are willing to step back, until a difficult situation comes up and then they cave in to the emotional pressure. Remember, God’s Word says that He disciplines those He loves. Sometimes tough love is the best way to manage this kind of situation.
- Finally, where can you go to get help for yourself and your son? I suggest Crown Financial Ministries, the Dave Ramsey organization or you can check us out at christianfinancialmiinistries.org.
Great question, let’s see, yep, I believe we have time for one more, quick Question.
- Here it is: 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 mom. I love her, but I wonder if I’m doing the right thing.
- Ann, believe me, from personal experience, it is very hard for children to give financial advice to their parents. My suggestions would be to work through a third party. Go to your pastor and ask if he knows someone in the church who can help your mother manage her finances. If he does, encourage your mom to meet with that financial coach.
- Now, if there is no financial coach in your church, you can again, contact Crown Financial Ministries, the Dave Ramsey organization, or check out Christian Financial Ministries at christianfinancialministries.org.
- As you do, please remember that the Bible does command that we honor our parents, but that doesn’t mean to feed their weaknesses. If your mom is not handling her money properly, especially if she’s being frivolous with it, and you continue to help by giving her more, you aren’t helping to solve the problem; you’re helping make it worse. Again, a third party—a trained, Bible-based financial coach—might be the answer to your situation.
So, there you have some very typical, real-world questions and some Bible-based responses. But let me ask, do these responses seem comfortable or uncomfortable to you?
- Let me ask you, why do you suppose it is that we share these Q&A with you? Is it so you can simply see the responses given to others? Or, is it to help you see how these Q&As might apply in your life or in the life of someone close to you.
- If some of these responses seem a little unrealistic in today’s world; if some of these responses make you a bit uncomfortable, then why not go to the Lord in prayer, with your Bible open, and ask Him to help you become comfortable with the stewardship He expects to see up and operating in the life He is giving you. Please remember what you already know—these are His times with you, not my times with you.
What was one of the first things on your mind after you submit your tax return this year?
My guess your question is, Where’s my tax refund?
Now, according to our consumer advocate friend Clark Howard, you need to know that the IRS issued a warning to all of us earlier this year that we could experience significant delays in getting our refunds for this year.
What can you do? Well, you can check your tax refund status on the IRS website through a page called Where’s My Refund?. The easiest way I found to get there is to simply Google “Where Is My Refund” and click on the links. Once you get there you will need to have three bits of information to check your refund status:
- Social Security number or ITIN
- Filing status
- Exact refund amount
Plus, the “Where’s My Refund?” tool also indicates three different status levels for your refund:
Assuming you file electronically, according to the IRS, you should be able to check the status of your return 24 hours after you file. If you use snail mail to send in your return, it can take up to four weeks to begin tracking your status.
The IRS makes it clear that you shouldn’t call looking for your tax refund unless it’s been at least 21 days since you e-filed. And this is where the IRS2go mobile app can help.
You can search for “IRS2Go” on your smartphone’s app store to find it. If you’re using a mobile device, you can use the link the IRS provides on its website to download the app.
The mobile app follows the same protocols as the IRS webpage.
So, either google Where is my Refund, or download the IRS2Go mobile app to get some idea of the status of your tax return for this year…hopefully that will work for you. Thank you Clark Howard.
Minute with Maxwell
- Well, it’s time for one of my favorite times with you, and that is our Minute with Maxwell. Recall that each time we hear from this world-renown Christian author, speaker, and coach—during each Minute with Maxwell, you are going to gain insight into a single word—and that insight can really add a great deal of value to you in every area of your walk with the Lord.
- Today, let’s see what John Maxwell can teach us about the word “Together.”
- What can we take away from this Minute with Maxwell? To me, it seems to me that if we tend to choose to do things on our own because it’s seemingly faster and more efficient, we are likely to miss out on the route that goes on for miles; the route that takes us to places we never could have imagined, but maybe somebody else can, and already has. That’s why we need people—because one is too small a number to achieve more than just speed. It’s often best to slow down and work together. Thank you John Maxwell
There you have it, another time for us to talk about your personal finances from God’s perspective in in the books.
- Looking back, recall you learned that one reason you may fail financially even when you are trying to work with Bible-based financial principles is because you are to close to the world and not nearly close enough to God…when that happens you can fall victim to Religious folklore. We defined it and gave you’re a couple examples of it and will talk a bit more about it next couple of weeks.
- Next we responded to a couple of great, real-world financial questions about family finances.
- Clark Howard showed us how we can track our tax refund for this year.
- PLUS, John Maxwell talked with us a bit on the word “together.”
- Finally, our free info packet this month is titled “Answers to Your Questions About Insurance.” It’s free, It’s from Crown financial Ministries, and all you need to do to receive in in the mail is to either give us a call at 828-835-0888, that’s 828-835-0888 or you can drop us an email from our internet site at www.christianfinancialministries.org
So, that’s it for this week, sure hope you will be back next week. For right now, let me close us in prayer.
- Father God, I thank you for bringing us together today and for each of the days to come to Your glory in Jesus’ Amen.
Have a blessed day, won’t you, and we’ll see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.