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Grumbling About God’s Provision

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2023 5:49 pm

Grumbling About God’s Provision

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 24, 2023 5:49 pm

One of our favorite complaints is that we don’t have enough money. But when we complain about that, aren’t we really grumbling about what God has graciously provided for us? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will remind us how we can avoid grumbling about God’s provision. Then he’ll take your calls and answer the financial questions on your mind. 

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Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish. Philippians 2, 14 and 15. Hi, I'm Rob West. Is that a passage where you look for a little wiggle room to rationalize that it can't mean exactly what it says? After all, what's the harm in a little grumbling? I'll talk about that today and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, we're coming to you live today from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference. We're delighted to do so and I'm excited to unpack this topic.

Let's dive right in. First of all, there is no wiggle room here. In Philippians 2, Paul says, do all things without grumbling or disputing, not some things. That means when the boss piles on extra work or you get a flat tire, you're supposed to accept it without complaint.

Pretty hard to do though, right? Paul lumps disputing in with grumbling, seeing both of these sins as serious flaws that could destroy unity in the church. It's much more natural to complain about our spouses, children, and friends, our bosses, and elected leaders. We grumble because we can't find anything to wear in a closet stuffed with clothes or anything to eat in a fridge that's full of food. One of our favorite complaints is that we don't have enough money. You might think that if you only had just a little bit more, your life would be much better than it is today.

You like to believe that and sometimes you even say it out loud. No good ever comes from it. Instead, instead of trying to earn more or spend less, you complain. And once you start, well, it's hard to stop. Grumbling begets more grumbling.

It's important to understand what this is. It's actually rebellion against God and a form of blasphemy. Whenever you find fault with your boss, your bank account, or your spouse, you're really finding fault with God. You see, he's the one who's given you those gifts and your grumbling is discontent with his provision.

It's also important to know that God does not view grumbling lightly. He even imposed the death penalty on Israel, Israelites who complained about being in the desert. In Numbers 21, the Lord sends a plague of serpents on the grumblers and many even died. Ultimately, a whole generation of them wasn't allowed to enter the promised land. You see, if we looked at our carping and complaining from God's perspective, we would probably better understand the wrath he unleashed on the Israelites. He brought them out of slavery and provided for their every need in the desert.

But showing an amazing lack of gratitude, they soon were complaining that life was better when they were slaves of the Egyptians. God has given us everything we have and, of course, the greatest gift is that of his son on the cross for our salvation. Christ tore the veil that once separated us from God, allowing us to commune with him more fully. And because of Christ's sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, our debt is canceled. We're clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

How then do we live out the practical application of that relationship? Well, as Paul says in Philippians 2, do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God, without blemish. We should be content because we know that anything we experience on earth is temporary, but that our life with Christ in heaven will be eternal. That contentment when everyone else is grumbling is a powerful witness for Christ. To find that contentment, we must focus on Christ and not ourselves. Well, that's exactly what Paul did.

He was shipwrecked, beaten, and ultimately martyred for proclaiming the gospel. You'll remember in Philippians 4, 12, and 13, he says, I know what it is to be in need. I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all through him who gives me strength. There are several barriers to finding the kind of contentment in Christ that Paul describes. One of the greatest is spiritual. You see, we lack the understanding that God owns everything, including us, and that it's his decision what, when, and how he provides for us.

It takes spiritual growth, discernment from the Holy Spirit to get that. Another barrier to contentment is cultural. We're constantly bombarded with messages of scarcity and materialism. Commercials tell us you can have it all. Bumper stickers proclaim he who dies with the most toys wins.

But wins what exactly? Certainly not contentment. Often the more stuff you have, well, the less content you are. Finally, there's also a personal barrier to contentment. We allow worldly influences to dictate whether we're satisfied with God's provision rather than scripture, which repeatedly instructs us about the blessings of humility and contentment.

I hope that's an encouragement to you. We'll be back with much more right around the corner. Well, we're so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West coming to you live from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference. We're right on the floor in the middle of the action, enjoying the opportunity to gather with other broadcasters, those that are proclaiming the name of Jesus, leveraging the platform of media. Here coming together each year to have an opportunity to learn from one another, form community and collaborate. And that's certainly happening here with some wonderful speakers and community. And we're privileged to be a part of it here at Moody Radio. A little background noise, but hey, it's all a part of the fun today.

But the show is the same. We'll be taking your calls and questions on anything financial. So lines are open right now, perhaps one just for you with whatever you're thinking about financially. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.

That's 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you. Let's dive right in today. It looks like our first question is from Nikki and she's asking about a 403b. Go right ahead, Nikki.

Hi, thank you for having me. Sure. So my husband and I, we have a mortgage on our house as well as a loan on a piece of land next door. And our goal is to pay off the two of them. And then we want to trade our son in the country, so we'll have to purchase a separate home. But we're making extra payments on our mortgage right now and are wondering if maybe we should cash out a 403b to use to pay off debt we have already on the lot. And then we have a car payment as well.

All right. Yeah, I love the idea that you want to be debt-free and I would certainly encourage that. You know, we talk about the biblical worldview of debt, that borrowing is not a sin, but there are absolutely warnings all over the place about the use of debt. So the idea that we would become over time, as we're able, unencumbered so that we could follow the leading of the Lord, be able to live or die, give or go, as Ron Blue likes to say, I think is a good idea.

But I think at the same time, unless you just have an absolute conviction from the Lord to be completely debt-free as soon as possible, I would say we need to balance that debt repayment and ultimately that debt eradication with keeping enough liquid reserves and the ability to save for the future and leverage key compounding and growth years. What is your and your husband's age, if you don't mind me asking, Nikki? I'm 30 and he's 29. Okay. And what do you have accumulated in that 403b?

I have, there's $27,000 in the 403b and then my employers had put $19,000 in like a match fund. Yeah. Great. Okay. And are you actively contributing to it out of salary deferral? I am not currently.

Right now I'm staying at home with our son due to my husband's work schedule. Okay. Yeah.

That makes sense. Does he have a retirement plan at work? He is not contributing to one right now. Okay. All right. And so do you all live on a budget? Do you have a spending plan? And then second part to that is, do you have anything left over at the end of the month typically? Yes. So we did the May day and then we, so we have our like our basics and then even after paying the payments on the lot and the car payment, the mortgage, we still have extra to put extra on the mortgage.

Okay. So you're covering all of your expenses. You're servicing the debt and you have a little bit leftover. Do you all have an emergency fund currently? We do. We have a three month emergency fund.

Great. So talk to me about just the priority of debt repayment because typically apart from just a real conviction from the Lord to be debt free, I would say in this season of life, you all are young. If you're able to service that debt, I absolutely want you to try to move toward paying it off quicker than the scheduled amortization. But that typically might look like maybe one or two extra payments a year so that we can start funding retirement by putting money away on a tax deferred basis, compounding that. Because if you all are contributing to a retirement account that's going to grow for the next 30, 35 years, that will be a great nest egg for you to supplement social security even if that means it takes a little bit longer to pay off the debt. So that would be my typical recommendation for you is let's get up to at least 10% of your pay going into a retirement plan. And then if you're able to limit lifestyle, maybe with raises and bonuses along the way, we're looking for opportunities to accelerate the mortgage repayment. But that's after we fund retirement. But you all may just sense that God's leading in a different direction.

So give me your thoughts on that. I think our sense of urgency is we have a 16 month old. We want to raise him in the country like a more simple life. And in order to purchase a home in the country, we want to be able also for my husband to be home more. So use the home that we have now as a rental and then eventually build on that lot we have and use those two as rentals to supplement income. And then eventually those will be our retirement funds. Yeah, I see. All right.

And that makes some sense. I mean, I think the only downside to that is just comparing the long term returns, at least based on historical averages of the housing market versus a stock and bond portfolio, largely stock portfolio, given your age and the implications of the taxes, which you know, you'd have the capital gains, although you could continue to move it forward through a 1031 exchange. But you'd have the capital gains versus it growing in a tax deferred environment. Are you all opposed to stocks and bonds or do you just have a preference toward real estate?

I think it's a preference towards real estate just because of what we've seen in our lifetime with the stocks and bonds. Yeah. Okay. What do you owe on the two mortgages? We owe $203,000 on the one with the home on it and then $11,000 on the one without the home on it. Okay.

All right. Well, perhaps one approach and again, you all need to pray about this and this is between you and the Lord, but perhaps one approach is you prioritize paying off the $11,000 because that eliminates that payment. Obviously the $203,000, that's going to take quite a while. So maybe you really go after the $11,000 and then once that's gone, you take your surplus and you split it between excess or debt reduction on the principle of the $203,000 and you put the other half in the retirement plan and I definitely wouldn't be pulling out of that 403b if it were me because you're going to create the taxable event, you got the penalty on top of it and it's probably down with the market so now it doesn't have the chance to recover. So again, apart from you all just saying, no, we absolutely want to go after the mortgages. If it were me, I'd leave the 403b there, keep it invested.

I'd put all your surplus toward the $11,000 and then once that's paid off and that payment's gone, let's take whatever surplus you have and go 50-50 on accelerating the $203,000 mortgage pay off and then reestablish some contributions to that 403b or 401k, whatever your husband has. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. Thank you so much. All right. I hope that's helpful to you, Nikki. We appreciate your call today.

God bless you. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Let's head to Kenosha. Colleen, thanks for your call. Go ahead.

I have a question. I've been living in a fixer-upper for about six years and it's driving me absolutely crazy. I want to fix up just like the first floor and be done with it so I don't have to look at it anymore. You know what I mean? I have a TSP with just a little bit of money left in there.

By the way, I'm a retired military army reservist and not that it keeps it, but it keeps it dwindling. So I'm wondering with the little bit that I need to do as far as towards this fixer-upper, should I go to my equity or should I just close out the TSP? Yeah, that's a great question. All right, let's do this. I'm going to take a quick break. Colleen, when we come back, we'll talk about how to approach this fixer-upper. We'll be right back.

Stay with us. Welcome back to Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West live from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference. We're delighted that you're along with us today, having so much fun connecting with many, many broadcasters and media executives, just celebrating what God's doing, leveraging the platform of media to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Moody Radio, well represented, and we're privileged to be broadcasting many of our programs right here from the floor of NRB. We're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. We've got some lines open, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Just before the break, we were talking to Colleen in Kenosha. She's got a fixer-upper and she's tired of looking at the renovation that needs to be done, so she's thinking, well, what if I at least get the first floor done?

I'll feel a lot better when I come down to breakfast. We want to see if we can help her figure that out. What do you think, Colleen, it would take? What kind of budget would you establish for that part one of the renovation?

Well, it's more like part five, because we're just chipping away at it, but you're absolutely right about everything else. I mean, seriously, I think at this point, if I get done what I need to do just cosmetically, I would have to say $15,000. Alright, $15,000. What is the home worth, do you think?

I think because it was a buyer's market just recently and I checked it online with the comps in the area, it's going for at least anywhere between $2,700 to $290,000 at this time. Alright, so around $280,000 is right in the middle of that. What do you owe on it? What's your mortgage balance? My mortgage balance, I want to say 6 years ago is approximately $155,000. Okay, and where would you pull the $15,000 from to do this renovation?

I know that's your question, but what options? Yeah, equity or my TSP, thrift savings plan, which is 401k. Not too much, not too much left, because when I bought the house, I'm like, oh my God, I can take it. So then when I retired, I started chipping away, I got a new floor, I got a new furnace, a new hot water heater, that type of thing.

And that really absorbed some of that savings. So what do you have left, do you think? About $30,000, not too much. Okay, and what is your age? 60. 60, okay.

And in terms of the, if you were to get a home equity loan to do this, obviously, you have the equity, how would that fit into your budget? I mean, do you have some money left over at the end of the month? Oh, I do.

I do. I work full time, so that helps. What do you think your monthly surplus is roughly?

Not as much as I'd like it, and I don't have an emergency fund at this time. Yeah. So here's what I'm going to suggest. I mean, I don't like the fact that you would keep going back to this TSP. I mean, this is expensive money in the sense that it's down with the market undoubtedly.

You don't have the penalty because you're over 59 and a half, but it is going to be added to your taxable income for the year. So you got to pay tax on it, and you don't give it the opportunity to recover and grow. I would love for this to be a part of your nest egg that's available for the future.

And when you pull it out, it's not there any longer. So I think even though this is going to take a little bit longer, and you may say, I'm just not willing to do that, and that's ultimately your call, I would probably start by taking every bit of surplus, dialing back your expenses as best you can, living on a budget, and then fund that emergency fund until you get to three months expenses. And then at that point, let's start saving to do this renovation out of current cash flow and just stage it such that you do it over time, maybe a project here and a project there as the money becomes available. You certainly could take the home equity loan, that would be the other option. And I would be okay with that if you can fit it into your budget, but I build up the emergency fund first, just so you can do that a little bit quicker. Does that make sense?

That's painfully honest. Yes, I believe that it sounds like doable. It really does. Good, good.

Well, I think you'd be glad that you did it once you get to the end, even though I know it would be nice to have it knocked out a little bit quicker. Hey, thanks for your service to our country, Colleen. We appreciate you being on the program today. To Indianapolis. Hey, Kevin, how can I help you? I'm doing well. Rob, I appreciate your time.

And I listen to you guys every time I'm in the car when you're on anyway. But I've got a question about single premium dividend paying whole life being used. The term I've heard is infinite banking concept. And having a well, just as an example, a $10,000 single premium whole life.

And then eventually being able to pull that money out, borrowing against the death benefit, using that money for various other potential investments, cash flow at your own personal discretion versus using that idea versus just using discretionary income to take care of whatever we were going to do anyway and not involving the insurance company at all. On one hand, some of the videos we've watched, it seems impressive, but I can't get past the numbers, just crunching numbers of using the money myself without going through the whole life vehicle. Yeah, to do that comparison.

Sure. Well, I'm not a big fan of this. I mean, it's complicated. It's expensive. I don't use like using whole life insurance for anything, whether it's this infinite banking concept or for your investments. I mean, obviously the big idea here is that you're overfunding a cash value life insurance policy and then treating it as a line of credit. And then you borrow against your life insurance policy rather than taking out loans from traditional lenders. And then, you know, often you're contributing 10% of your income toward the cash value. You know, the downside is this type of policy is somewhat expensive. And so I don't like all of the costs associated with it. The cash value takes a long time to build up and you need to contribute a hefty sum of money to your policy's cash value for this to even work. Again, often folks are putting as much as 10% or more of their income and it's just very complicated to be able to understand it and execute it well. So I'd rather you just do this in a more traditional route and skip the infinite banking concept.

That's just my take on it. Thanks for calling, Kevin. We'll be right back.

Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live, where we apply the wisdom from God's word to your financial decisions and choices, helping you live with a biblical worldview in this area of money management as stewards of the King of Kings resources. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. The studio's not as quiet as it normally is today because I'm not in the studio. I'm broadcasting live from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference here with Moody Radio and gathering with the media professionals and broadcasters from literally around the globe, celebrating the work that's being done in the name of Christ, some great teaching and encouragement and worship and a lot of community and relationship building here as well. We're at the Orlando World Center Marriott, and we're having a wonderful time, delighted to be able to broadcast live from here. So it's going to be a little noisier than usual, but it's a good kind of noise because there's a lot of great stuff going on. But we're, of course, taking your calls and questions today, and we've got some lines open here in our final two segments of the broadcast. We'd love to hear from you with whatever you're thinking about.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. Let's head to Fort Payne, Alabama. Hey, Chris, go right ahead. Hey, Rob. Thanks for taking my call.

Sure. My wife and I have recently sold our house, and we are debt-free. We have not found a place to move to yet.

We're staying with some friends temporarily, but we are wondering, instead of the money from the proceeds of the sale just sitting in our savings account, what would be the best place for us to move that money to? Yeah, what's the time horizon on that next purchase, do you think? Well, we are actively looking, but we've placed offers on four or five properties and just not been the first one to get it yet.

Got it. Yeah, so it could be really quick, potentially. It could be, and I'm also a builder, so I'm actually looking more so to find some property to build, so the money would actually be dispersed over time.

Yeah, that makes sense. Well, I think the key right now is just to keep it safe, because the name of the game in this season with this particular bucket of funds is capital preservation. You want to protect what you have, but then secondly, you want to grow it if you can, and interest rates are working in your favor right now despite the fact that that's offset by high inflation, so I would be putting this money in a high-yield savings account.

I mean, you could take a portion of it if you were confident you didn't need it all right away, although the possibility you would find something just to buy rather than build kind of flies in the face of that idea, but you could get a little more yield by getting maybe a 10-month CD with a portion of it if you knew you were going to build, and it was going to take time for that drawdown to take place, but apart from that, getting four-plus percent annualized on a high-yield CD with no fees and FDIC insurance, I think, is probably your best option. What do you have liquid right now? How much are we talking about? Probably about $300,000.

Yeah, all right. So at one institution with two different account categories, you could get that kind of coverage if you had, let's say, 250 of it in an individual account in your name, for example, and then you put the other 50 in a joint account in the name of you and your wife. You could cover all of that with FDIC insurance. If you didn't want to do that, if you wanted both joint accounts, then you'd have to go to another bank. I'd probably look at Marcus or Capital One 360. Those would be two great options, both paying more than four percent, and at least you could feel good that you're getting some interest.

What was the first one? Marcus, M-A-R-C-U-S dot com. That's the retail side of Goldman Sachs, and it's an online bank, and they don't have any brick-and-mortar operations, and because of that, their high-yield savings is very attractive. Okay, that sounds great.

Awesome. Well thanks for your call today, Chris. By the way, for those of you looking for a banking solution that aligns with your values as a believer, because I know that's increasingly more important than ever to a lot of folks out there.

They want to know they're with a banking partner that they can be confident in the alignment of values. Check out Christian Community Credit Union. That would be another great option. You can learn more at Some lines are open, 800-525-7000, to Joliet, Illinois. Hey Kevin, go right ahead.

Oh, thanks for taking my call. Sure. I guess I've got a question about rental property investing and debt associated with it. I guess just a tiny bit of background, I work as a professional freelance musician and music instructor, and well, I've only got so many hours in the day, and it's a little seasonal too, so we've been trying to develop a portfolio of long and short-term rental properties, because we kind of see it as a possible way to be able to generate some income that's not immediately dependent on me physically being present at a location. Obviously, personal debt, we don't want to have any personal debt, consumer debt, but I guess I'm wondering what you might say about using leverage such as a mortgage in order to open up a business like a long or short-term rental property as a means of generating longer-term wealth generation.

Yeah. I like real estate as an asset class. I think it's a great opportunity to build equity in a piece of property or, over time, multiple properties that's also income-generating, and that's why I'd like you to have single-family homes or at least a duplex, something that you could rent out as opposed to raw land, but I think that makes a lot of sense. I'm certainly okay with you using debt. A lot of times, you wouldn't be able to get into this kind of investing without using some leverage, whereas I'd love for you to have at least 20% down going into your home. I'd love for you to try to target 50% down where possible on these rentals, and one way to do that is to save and buy the first one and then take all the cash flow that's coming off of it that's not used for maintenance and marketing and taxes and insurance. Sock that away in a nest egg that eventually becomes what you fund the next property with. The key is that you keep the debt service low enough so that if you have some disruptions in income because you don't have a renter or the housing market turns on you or we get into a recession later this year and it's deeper than we expected and you go a period of time without a renter or maybe they leave and there's a lot of damage and you're having to do some maintenance and some significant work, you're not going to put your financial life in jeopardy and your personal finances. I love the fact that you're really treating this as a business because that's what it is and debt service can be a killer for a business if you're not careful. I think is debt service permissible in this case?

Absolutely, but you just need to be on your guard and make sure you're not getting overextended and I would try to only collateralize this by the properties themselves as opposed to obligating yourself personally or borrowing against your primary residence. Does that make sense? Yes, I do think so. Yeah, thanks for that feedback. I do appreciate that. Well, you're welcome. I love the direction you're going though, Kevin, so don't get me wrong here.

I think that a lot of folks just try to do a little too much too quick and end up taking on more than they expect and although that may work in the current environment, then they get into a season that's a little more challenging economically and all of a sudden they're hurting and now we're having homes foreclosed on and things like that, so we just need to be careful there. We appreciate your call. We'll be taking more of your calls and questions here in our final segment just around the corner. Clive and Carol, we're coming your way. We have room for one or two more 800-525-7000 is the number to call.

That's 800-525-7000. Hey, as we head toward our fiscal year in June 30th, we can absolutely use your listener support. You can give to the ministry right now at our website, A gift of any amount would go a long way,

Just click give. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Have you thought about that your financial journey is one of the key ways that God shapes your spiritual journey? It's one of the most tangible evidences of where you place your trust. We work out our finances every day. We're always spending money even if you're not actually spending money right now.

You've got utilities that are back home churning away. We want to align our spending decisions with our values and priorities. You see, that's the purpose of money to accomplish a set of goals, but we don't end there. It's a set of goals informed by our values. As believers, where is God taking us? What does his word say?

What are the big themes in scripture? How do we reflect the heart of the master in managing his money? That's our goal as we manage God's money each day. We'd love to help you do that here on this program each afternoon.

The number to call today with your questions is 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West coming to you from the National Religious Broadcasters Conference. We're delighted to be here with media professionals, podcasters, radio broadcasters, television personalities, and executives really coming together just to talk about how we can more effectively share the love of Jesus Christ literally around the globe using the power of media. It's an amazing experience and delighted to be broadcasting from this incredible conference. Let's head back to the phones. We'll go to Cleveland next. Clive, you'll be on our program.

Go ahead, sir. Clive, are you there? All right. It looks like we don't have Clive at the moment. Our team will work on that.

We'll stay in Cleveland. Carol, are you with us? Yes, I am. Great.

Go right ahead. Okay, Rob, thank you. This question, okay, I want to start with, I was saved about two years ago in July, okay? So, biblically now I know that we're supposed to tithe 10%, we're supposed to save 10%, and then pay, you know, our bills.

That's my understanding. So, in November, Jesus gave me a new car pretty much, not brand new, but needless to say, I was tithing off my net income and Jesus brought to my attention like a month ago that it wasn't off my gross, okay? So, since then, I've tried to make up, you know, what I've owed for April in my tithe correctly and now May, but what happened and what has transpired as of, I'm working two jobs, two, one full-time, one part-time, and what, just to make ends meet, and what happened in April, like April 20th, I got a garnishment from somewhere that they're taking about $600 now a month from me, so I am not able to pay my rent payment now, nor am I able to pay my car payment for at least two to three months. Anyways, so my question is, do I, with what little money I have, do I continue to tithe and believe God will put up the faith and say, God's gonna, you know, make a way for this to happen, to cover it, or do I, you know, do we, the biblically saying, would God want me to take what little I have and put towards my rent or towards my car, even though it's not gonna pay even a month off?

I don't know biblically what to follow at this time. Well, let me just start, Carol, by saying how much I appreciate the spirit in which you're asking this question, because clearly you want to honor the Lord, you want to be found faithful in giving generously and still honoring your obligations. Keep in mind, you know, God is not an accountant.

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. It's all his. What he's more interested, in my view, and the way I read scripture, is your heart posture, the why behind your giving. You see, we're giving as an act of worship, out of obedience, out of the demonstration of his trust. I think it's less about kind of checking a box and a percentage number and more about our heart and why we're giving to the Lord and being able to do it in a way that's cheerful and out of gratitude for what he's given to us, starting with the abundance that we have in Christ, given that we were reconciled to the Father through what Christ did by paying the penalty for our sins on the cross. And out of that, we give. Now, how do you balance the how much of giving with the other priorities of life? And I think that's where you need to be on your knees. At the end of the day, that's between you and the Lord.

And if he is leading you to give beyond what you can even see right now and trust him, I would never stand in the way of that. But apart from you telling me that that's what you're sensing from the Lord, I would say it's just as biblical to honor your obligations as it is to be generous. So what I would probably do is, and I love the idea of you trying to orient your life around the 10-10-80 principle, tithe or give 10, save 10, and live on 80. That's great.

That's not in the Bible, though. It's just kind of a good rule of thumb. So what I would probably do is start by being a percentage giver. And you establish what that percentage is off of your gross increase, okay?

So whatever comes in, you're going to automatically give systematically. And let's trust God with that amount. And let's build a financial plan, a budget, that allows you to meet all of your obligations and at least keep things current, paying what you owe on the scheduled payment plan that was given to you, that you committed to. And then as the Lord provides and you're faithful in doing that and limiting your lifestyle and cutting back in areas of excess and continuing to give, then maybe progressively we start to push that percentage up. Maybe you're starting at 5% on the gross, and then next year at 6, and then God gives you a little bit more and you pay off some of your debt, and maybe you jump to 10. But I think it's less about you being able to, quote, pay back what you didn't give or hit a certain number, especially if that means you're not going to be able to make good on the obligations, the commitments that you made previously. Does that all make sense, though?

Yeah, it does. The problem that I have here is even with this garnishment that's taking $600, I barely, I couldn't do the 10. I've tied 10 off my net, but I haven't saved 10. I want to save very little, okay? And then every time I save, it's like, okay, I need more gas to get to work, or I need some food, or I need necessity and I've got to remove it, so therefore I don't get a savings buildup. And I don't know, maybe I thought the Lord gave me this car, you know what I'm saying?

But it's a lot of money, but my credit wasn't good and I couldn't even get a car if it wasn't for him. I know this was through the Lord. There's no doubt in my mind. There's no question there.

Well maybe, Carol, you start at 1%. I mean, you've got to figure it out. I would start with that spending plan and say, how can I order my finances so I can cover my obligations and you've got to build up a surplus? And I realize that's easier said than done and right now you're in the thick of it, but let's trust the Lord. He is your provider, no one else. He said he'll meet your needs. And so let's trust him in that.

Not pull out the plastic, you know, who knows how he's going to provide. It might be through a knock at the door or a family from church, but let's just be faithful in meeting your obligations to the best of your ability, trying to order your financial life to do so and give systematically, but at a level that you can give and do it with the right heart posture, out of gratitude and worship. And again, maybe you're starting at 1%, not 10%, and you move up from there. But I think you've got to start somewhere. I wouldn't stop giving altogether. I would continue to exercise that giving muscle and do it for the right reasons, but I would really try to focus on taking some surplus and building up, you know, let's set a goal of $1,000.

If you can get $1,000 in emergency savings, that'd be a great start. And then try to order your finances in such a way to cover all the other bills, and I realize that's not easy, and to give systematically at whatever level you establish between you and the Lord. But let's be less concerned about the number and more concerned about the why of your giving and trying to meet your other obligations, okay?

Okay, my final question. It doesn't say 10% in the Bible that you're supposed to tithe. Doesn't it say that somewhere that... Oh, yeah. Well, see, it's in the Old Testament. So under the law of Moses, which we're no longer under, it was replaced by the law of Christ, there was actually three tithes, and one of them was every third year. So the Israelites were giving 23 and a third percent. But Jesus changed everything.

I mean, he came and he actually raises the bar. He says to whom much is given, much is required. And he praises the widow. We don't know her name, but she's the most famous giver ever. She gave out of her poverty. So we absolutely should be givers, and the word tithe means a tenth.

Jesus referred to the tithe, but we're no longer under the law. And so I think at this point, it's about saying, God, I want to give with the right heart posture. I want to give to worship you. I realize you've given me everything I have, and I want to participate in your activity. That's a blessing you give me. But it's not about legalism or checking a box.

It's about giving unto the Lord and playing to him as an audience of one. So I think that really needs to be your focus here. Thanks for your call today, Carol, and we'll certainly be praying for you. To Cleveland. Cliff, go right ahead, sir.

How can I help? Hi, Cliff. Thanks, Rob. Yeah, so I'm saving for retirement in a 401k, but I'm not sure if I should be saving more in the traditional versus the raw. I do have about 35,000 saved, but I'm trying to accelerate that. I just like to know the pluses and minuses for each at my age. Well, they both have tax advantages. One's just going to be paid with after tax dollars, the Roth, one with pre-tax dollars, and then you've got tax deferred growth. You'll eventually pay the tax on the traditional when you pull it out in retirement. It comes down to a few things. Number one, your tax bracket now and in the future.

One is known, one is unknown. Your tax bracket today, obviously, is your current tax rate. If you believe that you're paying more in taxes now or a higher tax rate than you will be paying in retirement when you're not working, then it would be more advantageous to you, especially at age 50 without as many... You don't have 30 years of compounding left for you to use the traditional IRA or 401k because you're going to get that bigger tax benefit today because you're in a higher tax bracket.

The second is the flexibility. You can withdraw the contributions in a Roth at any time for any reason. You can't in the traditional without a penalty until age 59. The third consideration is the required minimum distributions. Currently, the required minimum distribution is age 72 for a traditional IRA. It's going up in the next few years, but with a Roth, there is no required minimum, so if you have reason to believe you won't need this money down the road, I'd go with the Roth.

All things being equal, at age 50, the traditional is usually the better option. Cliff, thanks for your call today. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith5. Thank you to Amy Tahira. Thankful for Jim and Chris as well, broadcasting live from NRB.

This has been Faith in Finance Live. Hope you have a great rest of your day, and come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-24 18:06:45 / 2023-05-24 18:23:50 / 17

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