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Tag Archives: Larry Burkett

U is for Usury, a Loan Shark, an Arm and a Leg #A2ZChallenge

Image courtesy of Gehres Law Group article on CA usury law

Yikes, the new pump for our below ground bathroom will cost $1000 if we can’t find a part to fix the old one. It’s not quite an arm and a leg, though, the phrase we use to say something is terribly expensive. Usury is a word we don’t use much these days, but it also describes cost, specifically the cost of interest on loans.

Usury is interest that is too high, and it’s not just an old problem in the Bible. California has usury laws today stating that 10% is the most an unlicensed lender can charge.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Wow, all those credit card bills in California must be less, right, since credit card companies with good rates start at about 15% and go on up to 26% or more. I found out it doesn’t work that way. Licensed lending institutions can charge more as can real estate agencies and others.

Loan sharks are already violating the law before they start busting knee caps, because they charge usurious interest. You and I could get into trouble too just helping a friend out if we charge more than our state usury laws allow.

He who increases his wealth by interest and usury, gather it for him who is gracious to the poor. (Proverbs 28:8 NASB)

In case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God… (Leviticus 25:35-36)

A Psalm of David. O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart… who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.(Psalm 15:1,5)

In the Bible usury is condemned and charging interest from a fellow God-follower is blasted. What strikes me in that last scripture above? Lending money for interest is included in a list right next to taking bribes to condemn innocent people. Yowser! I didn’t see that coming.

Larry Burkett, founder of Christian Financial Concepts, sums up the usury principle this way:

The vast majority of interest charged regularly in America is probably usurious, meaning it is an exorbitant or abusive rate of interest….Obviously you can’t call your creditors from whom you’ve borrowed and say, “I’m sorry you’ve broken God’s principle of usury, therefore I don’t owe you any money.”  What you can do,if you have charged others usurious rate…is to tell them they don’t owe you any more than one percent a month, because that’s what God allows…”

In college I loaned a friend money and quickly learned how easy it is to start second guessing how they spend. Did she really need all those movies on her bookshelf? I caught myself thinking that and realized I was allowing the loan to twist my attitude within our friendship. I had to take those feelings to God, to ask him to help me be gracious instead of judgmental. Lending even piece of yard equipment or a book and having issues can become a stumbling block.

Am I really listening when I pray the Lord’s prayer saying “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors?” (Matthew 6:12).

My prayer for you and me this day is to let us “excel in the grace of giving.”

Since you excel in so many ways–in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us–I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7 NLT)

Amen.

–Kristin

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in A to Z Blog

 

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H is for Humility (The Bible Says What?!? About Your Money) #AprilA2Z

Along the side of the road in the Congo I saw a woman squatted next to a pile of large gravel. She had a small pick-hammer in one hand and was breaking up a large purplish rock to add it to her pile, her for-sale pile. Does the picture of her inspire pity? Admiration? Gratitude?

Recently I find myself intrigued with a man who was baptized at our church. He lives homeless with his mother and father. I want to ask him so many questions. Where do you stay at night? How do you get by? What work have your tried? Where do you shower?

There’s a bigger question for me and perhaps for you as well. It’s about HUMILITY.

Do we consider ourselves higher than someone else simply because we have the ability to earn more money or have more advantages? (The Word on Finances by Larry Burkett)

Our world values position and wealth. Is that what we find valuable in a person? Is someone less important because they have little? Not to God they aren’t.

The humble will inherit the land, and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (Psalm 37:11)

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:16)

In The Word on Finances, Larry Burkett, founder of Crown Financial Ministries, says,” …having humility means we can accept God’s blessings without feeling superior to any other individual.”

God wants to use our money (among other things) to deal with our attitudes, with our heart of hearts. For me it’s sometimes hard to look deep inside and be honest. Can we honestly admired that woman in Congo? She puts in very hard days of work to provide for her family.

–Kristin

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2018 in A to Z Blog

 

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The Bible Says What?!? (About Your Money) B is #A2ZChallenge

Heads up. I’m going to use the B-word now. Stick with me any how.

B is for Budgeting. This isn’t some constricting, kill-joy budget. It is a plan. Make this the P-word. Plan. We want others to have a plan. The coach. The surgeon. The airline pilot. The contractor. The teacher. If these people just go with the flow to see what happens, we get ticked.  Why? We know without a plan nothing gets done or things can even go horrendously wrong.

The Bible says several things about our plans for “our money” (i.e. the money belonging to God that we are to manage. See A is for…)

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want” (Proverbs 21:5, New Revised Standard Version).

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” (Proverbs 24:27)

Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? (Proverbs 27:23-24)

Sometimes the Bible is straight forward. A plan will get enough for my family plus more to share. Rushing forward without a plan leads to unmet needs. Before we spend on a something large, figure out if we can afford it. Work first, then make your big purchase.

Plymouth Rock Chicken

e condition of my flocks? Sometimes we have to take the principle being taught by the Bible to an agricultural society and apply it to our society. We’re not dealing in chickens and sheep, but a plan will keep us from eating up too many assets. What is your monthly income? What are you setting aside for the future? Are there animals, I mean expenses that need to be cut from the herd? Are you investing in a Guinea fowl IRA or a Plymouth Rock 401K? Flocks and herds were riches as surely as bank accounts, cars and houses, and they don’t last long without attention and won’t last forever regardless.

Do you know your net worth? Your financial condition? Add up the value of your house, car and accounts and subtract all your debts.

Is your car getting in better and better shape? Or do you have a financial plan for when and how you’ll replace it?Is your health getting better and better so that you will always be in the condition you are today?

Maybe the plan is as simple as a summer vacation or sending the kids to a great camp. Did you plan for that in your budget? Or are you eating up assets you have and those you don’t? (Hello credit card.) Whether you consult Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, make a plan. If one system for sticking with your plan doesn’t work (e.g. the Envelope plan), try another (e.g. one page budget).

Need more help and for free because you don’t have a budget for that help? Call around local churches to find one with a financial class. Classes in your area may include I Was Broke Now I’m Not, Discovering God’s Way of Handling Money, and Financial Peace University among others.

Free help and even coaching are out there.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22 in New International Version).

26 Days of The Bible Says What?!? (About Your Money) are coming your way.

Other “B” Topics from #A2ZChallenge around the web:

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Kristin King began her study of the financial principles in the Bible during tight times in 1999 and has never stopped learning and teaching. She recommends joining the Crown.org newsletter for uplifting testimonies, solid teaching and applications. Kristin is also available for speaking engagements as time allows. Message her on Facebook at Kristin F. Chaudoin King for more information.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2018 in A to Z Blog

 

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