Born shortly after Pearl Harbor, Ron Blue, director of Kingdom Advisors, admits he’s witnessed a great deal of economic fluctuation throughout history from the Korean War to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Watergate to the inflation of the 80’s, 9/11 and the Iraq War followed by recession. Speaking at a Lifework Leadership class last month, Blue said that for many,
First, economic uncertainty is certain
There will always be bad news. That’s why he points to Matthew 7:24-37: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock” (NLT).
“When you follow biblical principles, you have built your house on the rock,” said Blue. “So don’t wait for certainty, start building now.”
Second, there is a paradox of prosperity
Despite the belief that wealth will create ease, the reality is that the more you have, the more choices you have and the more confusing and complex life becomes. It’s not simpler.
After earning an MBA from Indiana University, Blue was on a business success track having built an Indianapolis CPA firm among the largest in the US. When he dedicated his life to Christ after what he called a 1 Peter 3 experience, Blue had a desire to enter full-time ministry and made 11 trips to Africa in the 1970’s teaching biblically-based management seminars. It was this experience with the disparity in financial resources between the two cultures, which convinced him that American Christians could better handle their wealth and make an eternal impact. As founding director of Kingdom Advisors, Blue is now in the business of teaching others how to offer biblically wise financial advice that is relevant in any economy.
Ron Blue Reminds Us of God
“The important thing to remember is that God is in control regardless of how much you have. God’s word is true, and it is not new.” He recommends the following financial principles from God’s word that no one on Wall Street can argue with.
Five principles that will never change
- Spend less than you earn
- Avoid debt
- Build margin
- Make long term goals
- Give generously
These principles apply whether you are deep in debt or a millionaire. They are always right. They are never going to change, and they are always relevant.
In Matthew 6, we see that money is a disease of the heart, and it all has roots in biblical wisdom, said Blue. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-20 NLT).
“One thing people need to understand is the difference between stewardship and generosity,” said Blue. “When I accept Christ, everything that follows is stewardship. Money is just one piece of that.”
Generosity is symptomatic rather than causal. “If I understand who I am in the Kingdom and all He’s done, generosity is a natural outcrop. People want to know how am I doing? We discovered that when people plan to give, they give five times more.” He suggests you…
- Ask who owns it?
- How much is enough or where are the finish lines?
- Is the next steward chosen and prepared?
Contentment is critical
A prominent pastor once noted that God’s word should be the authority for every decision we make. Yet the church is perceived as having the answers for all of life except finances. In fact, Blue said, “Money is a tool I use, but also a tool God uses in my life. In the test of whether you can handle a little or a lot, the difference is contentment. Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you’” (NLT).
The contentment piece is critical. Remember “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). And the ups and downs shouldn’t affect our contentment, notes Blue. We learn in Philippians 4:11-13 that contentment is a choice. Paul said, “I learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (NLT).
Just like humility is a choice – humble yourself. Contentment is a choice. So the questions remain. How much is enough? And what am I called to do?