Better Than What Grows on Trees

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Money doesn’t grow on trees?”  Of course you have!  This is probably one of the most used idioms in the English language!  There are many other idioms based on money.  However, if we were to look into our Bibles, we would find much wiser commentary on the topic of finances.

The book of Proverbs is full of nuggets of wisdom regarding our assets:

  • Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.  (Proverbs 11:28)
  • Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!  (Proverbs 14:23)
  • Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.  (Proverbs 10:4)

The topic of money is one of vital importance to young people today – and one that surfaces frequently in many homes.  There is always something new that they “must” purchase or an event that they “have to” attend in order to maintain their happiness.  Our materialistic culture is constantly sending the message, “BUY!  BUY!  BUY!”

However, in a recent study (ICM, 2014) conducted by the Institute for Church Ministry, young people within the Seventh-day Adventist church were asked if they believed that wealth is a gift from God.  Seventy-five percent of youth believed this statement!  Only 9% of young people surveyed did not believe that God is the source of wealth.

Therefore, if wealth truly is a blessing from God, it is very important to teach our young people the importance of financial responsibility while they are young.  Dave Ramsey, famous for his courses that help adults manage their finances, has some helpful tips for teaching young adults to manage money:

  • Teach your young people how to make a budget.  Find out where their financial priorities lie and create a budget around those.  Do not make the budget for them; it is a much more valuable teaching tool if they take the time to create (and abide by!) the budget themselves.
  • Teach the importance of long-term saving.  If there is something that they want (a big priority at this age is a car), help them develop a plan to save money to make the purchase themselves.
  • No credit cards!  In our debt-ridden society, it is simple to swipe a card to “pay” for something – but it’s easy to forget that all of that has to be paid back!  Train your young people to spend only the money that they have and to live within their means.
  • Love your young people enough to teach them to be responsible adults.  This can honestly apply to any area of life, but specifically can apply to finances.  By instilling smart financial habits early on, you are teaching your youth to be trustworthy stewards of the blessings which God has given them.

(For more information, check out the full article at: http://www.daveramsey.com/article/how-to-teach-teenagers-about-money/lifeandmoney_kidsandmoney/)

In Proverbs 30, the writer says this, “O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’” (vs. 7-9a).

Isn’t having God’s favor better than anything that could “grow on trees?”