The Money Tree
I hope the money tree will help you catch a glimpse of why it is important to write practical application posts. Jesus, in all his teachings about money, was helping establish the foundation or our roots with money. If the tree is not connected to those roots it dies. Financial failure happens not when you make a bad investing choices or a poor credit decision, but when your financial decisions are not rooted in the biblical foundation.
Foundational Principles and Applications
Much of the biblical material deals with motives, attitudes, and beliefs about money. Though there are some pieces of advice about work or saving, the majority of the teachings (especially in the New Testament) deal with unseen elements regarding finances. The Bible seeks to lay the foundation, and Christians then apply those principles to their own situation.
Your preacher might be a great spiritual leader, but he might also be broke.
I do not want to insult those who are church leaders, but since I am one I can speak regarding the financial situation of those in church leadership. Having received a Bachelor’s degree and an 84 hour Master’s of Divinity Degree, I am here to tell you that out of both of those degrees combined, I only had 3-5 hours (not course hours, but literal hours) of instruction that had to do with financial management. The problem is that your preacher might be an excellent resource for telling you what the Bible says about a given topic, but in the case of finances he might not have any idea how to apply those teachings. He might not know about the stock market, best ways to earn money, or even how to get great deal.
What Christians need is a bridge between the biblical teachings and their every day interactions with money.
Christians need a way to take the important foundational lessons about money (roots) and apply them to their daily interactions with money. MH4C seeks to help bridge that gap. Combining both financial knowledge and biblical knowledge, you can create a financial system that honors God and makes wise work, savings, investing, debt, credit, insurance, spending, and giving decisions.
The Tree Cannot Be Healthy If the Roots Are Not Healthy
During its lifespan, MH4C will post more articles on the application level. This is because once the foundation has been established, what is needed is reminders and follow through lessons. For this reason you can expect both Bible and money related posts and application posts.
You will notice that much of the tree, of course, is seen. However, the most important is the root system. This foundation is necessary to support the healthy tree. Were the roots to be destroyed or poisoned that disease would pass on up to the tips of every branch.
Said another way, your beliefs about money will inevitably reach into all parts of your money management.
Can’t a secular advisor give me application advice?
Of course. However, only a fellow Christian can address questions you might not even know to ask.
Consider the couple who is thinking about bankruptcy. This couple may think that this decision can and should be made independent of their faith so they seek out a secular lawyer. The trouble is that this lawyer cannot guide or advise them based on their faith. A Christian lawyer however, should at least raise the issue of faith.
One final note: I am not a financial advisor. Everything in this post is given with the desire to help you, but as always you should seek additional financial advice before implementing any of these ideas.
This is why MH4C is committed to providing relevant resources in order to assist Christians.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4 NIV)