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1. Why do you think our culture places money and the appearance of being financially successful on such a high pedestal? How could comparing ourselves with others contribute to being financially over-extended? Share any real life illustrations, your own or others’.
Read 1 Timothy 6:9-11
2. In verses 9-10, what type of person is described here? What behaviors and consequences do you see here for people with this attitude?
3. What is stated to be the root of all sorts of evil in verse 10?
4. The commands in verse 11 are in stark contrast to what we see in verses 9 and 10. In verse 11, Paul is not advocating that we run away to a monastery and take a vow of poverty. What IS he then telling us to do? What commands do you see in verse 11, and how would following them make a difference in our lives and in our view of money?
Read 1 John 2:15-17
5. Note each time the term “world” is mentioned in these verses. What significance might this have? What are we commanded to do here, and what are the consequences if we do not obey?
6. Looking at verse 16, how would you explain the desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of what we have and do? What do these look like in us?
7. How does verse 17 give us proper perspective?
Read Proverbs 21:5
8. What cause and effect do you see in this passage?
9. Describe diligence and haste as they relate to financial issues.
10. How would you summarize the overall teaching of the Scriptures above, when it comes to money, the world and handling riches? What attitudes or behaviors might you need to change as a result of the above passages?
11. Since lesson one, we’ve encouraged you to keep a record of all your spending for each day. We will use this data now as we continue with the following exercise — completing our own Personal Spending Plans. This is an important step in being a faithful financial steward. Completing our Spending Plan will help us examine our priorities and set safe limits for our spending.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you complete your Spending Plan:
A. Looking ahead to next month, enter appropriate numbers in your plan for both income and expenses. You will not necessarily have an expense in every category. Use the data you have gathered in the last month to help you choose a number for each column that is realistic.
B. In the upper left column under “Earnings/Income Per Month” put all the money you have coming in, even if it is from parents or other areas. (See Spending Plan below.) You may be receiving income from a combination of parents, work, grants and other sources. Be sure your income is accurate for today, no matter how large or small. If you have received a gift you do not consider to be income, do not put it in this column. Create a separate column for these types of gifts.
C. Some expenses don’t come every month. For those expenses which are due only once per semester or every 6 months, like tuition and insurance, you need to plan ahead by including the appropriate amount in your budget each month. This way, the total amount needed will be set aside by the time the bill is due. To determine the appropriate amount to include in your monthly plan, divide the total amount of the bill by the number of months the bill covers.
D. Fill out only the columns that apply to your current situation. Take some time to fill out your Spending Plan right now. (Page included below.)
E. Once you have completed this, take note of how your income compares to your spending. Are you earning more then you are spending? Great! Now you can move ahead to make sure your giving and saving are in place. If not, it’s time to make some good changes, even including setting some giving and saving goals. In earlier lessons, we have already addressed the idea of goals in some of these areas, but now that we can see all the data, we can more accurately choose an area to work on. Below are some areas to start on or continue in for this month’s budget. Next week you will have the opportunity to revise your Spending Plan, with help from your group members, if needed.
____ Begin to give regularly to the Lord
____ Begin spending less than I earn (avoiding a consumptive lifestyle)
____ Begin setting money aside for emergency and future needs
____ Begin setting financial goals in areas where I have not yet
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