Yes, there is such a thing and I would like to tell you how to get one.
I recall sitting in a college class where the professor was explaining functions. He drew a box on the blackboard. I know I’m telling my age. For the youngsters in the audience, we used to have these black things on the wall and chalk that made a huge mess when erased. Call it a very primitive form of PowerPoint but back to the story. He drew the box with an opening at the top and bottom. He said that a function was like a machine that took input, performed a process (a calculation in this case), and produced an output. I’ve found that money works the same way in our lives. It comes in, goes through a process and something is produced.
Jesus told a story about three guys with this internal money machine in Matthew 25. I was reading this one day and something jumped off the page. Jesus said that that a man went on a journey and entrusted his workers with his belongings. Jesus seems to imply that he entrusted them with everything. Doing a little math, he divided his belongings into eight parts. He gave the first servant 62%, the second 25%, and the last 13%. Here’s what astounded me. He said that the owner gave the servants pieces of the estate “according to their ability”.
It seems that the owner knew what each could handle and that determined what they received.
The first servant had built a machine that could handle more and so he was given more. The same was true with the second. Jesus drove this point home when in His story He said that the first two servants took what they were given and doubled it. Their internal money machines produced a 100% return. The last servant’s machine produced… excuses.
We live in a world where money is a big part of our lives. If you and your spouse (for the married folks) don’t take time to build the Biblical money machine, the money will produce arguments, more debt, worry, and further dependence on the systems of this world. However, a Biblical money machine is a thing of beauty. It takes money and produces peace, thankfulness, enjoyment, help for the poor, the spreading of the Gospel, and a picture of Biblical prosperity. If you were going to pour money into one of these two machines which would you choose?
So, how do you build a well-oiled machine?
Here are some tips:
- Spend 45 minutes each week (with your spouse if you are married) talking about your finances. In our book, Doing Money God’s Way, we call it a Money Date.
- For the next four weeks spend this weekly appointment listing and categorizing expenses for the week (a pen and paper will do).
- At the end of four weeks evaluate expenses and make a budget. What should be trimmed (eat-outs, travel, etc.), what should be increased (tithe, debt reduction, savings, etc.)?
- Use each weekly appointment to track how you are doing with the budget. This gives you four opportunities throughout the month to make adjustments if you have an off week.
If you follow this process you will begin to build a money machine that is finely tuned, produces a good outcome, and is able to handle increase when it occurs.
“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all of your increase so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine,”
What are some other ways we can improve our internal money machine?