Biblical Finance 101: Red Flags 4

In this last topic on “Red Flags to Financial Bondage,” I’ll cover the common issue of a reversal in financial priorities. In financial planning, money is spent for two broad categories: dollars for the present (DFP) and dollars for the future (DFF). DFP are for the basic necessities of life, cash reserves and insurance. When any of these items is insufficient, there is always the possibility of financial bondage. DFF are those items meant for some future purpose (e.g., education fund, pension plans, IRAs, etc.). DFF should always play a subordinate role to DFP. In other words, “Don’t put the cart before the horse!”

Sometime ago, a couple in their early 60s came in for some pre-retirement counseling. Through many years of diligence, they had accumulated a sizable retirement nestegg (DFF). Unfortunately, they had been without health insurance (DFP) for the past several years because they thought it was too expensive. Even though I thought they could have afforded it, planning for retirement received top priority at the expense of other planning needs. (Of course, this is a common dilemma for many folks.) The husband had a heart attack a few months prior to our visit and the resulting bill was around $80,000. Now, he is uninsurable and the anticipated golden years won’t be so golden.

It is very unlikely that anyone can afford every planning necessity. That’s why praying for God’s guidance in financial stewardship is a must. There have been times in my family’s past when we did not have cash reserves, certain insurances, and some basic necessities. It was during those times when we were going through some major financial transitions and the money just wasn’t there, but God was. Seek His counsel, obey it, and He will supply all contingencies.

Gary Ellis, MBA, CFP
Association Stewardship Director