Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Proverbs 3:7-10

Finances are a topic everyone is interested in! In fact, perhaps your mind is racing with details of taxes. In order to have a proper perspective, take some time right now and evaluate your financial freedom.

God wants all of us to be at peace with possessions and to experience freedom from bondage to anyone or anything. He wants His children to master their money, rather than be mastered by it. So what does God's Word say about our financial planning and how we can achieve financial freedom? What do you think?
- Are you at peace financially?
- Do you feel enslaved by financial matters or possessions?
- Is God honored with the way you handle your money?
- Why do you think Jesus spoke more often about money and possessions than any other subject in the gospels?

The Ruin of Financial Bondage

There is much haggling and squabbling over money. Almost every family has experienced this. Marriages even sometimes split over debt disagreements. Perhaps you are in financial bondage; why not ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you charge daily expenditures because you don't have enough cash to pay for them?
- Do you find yourself putting off paying bills or paying them at the last minute because of a lack of money?
- Do you borrow money to pay fixed expenses such as taxes, insurance, or rent?
- Do you find yourself unaware of just how much you owe?
- Do you have creditors and bill collectors calling or writing you about past due bills?
- Have you taken new loans to pay off old ones?
- Do you argue over finances with your spouse?
- Have you ever thought about being dishonest about money, such as cheating on income tax or participating in an unethical financial deal?
- Do you find it difficult to return God's tithe?
- Do you rationalize withholding from His offering?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, you are in financial bondage. If you don't agree, then how would you define financial bondage?

God is opposed to any kind of bondage that enslaves us. He wants to break those shackles and set us free to be slaves of Christ, Who is the only Master Who wants His servants to have freedom, fulfillment, prosperity, and power.

Even a wealthy person may feel the false self-assurance. You may feel you have plenty of security, so financial bondage is the least of your worries. Yet you may be in great trouble.
- Do you find yourself putting more faith in your money than in God?
- Do you continue to ask God for your daily bread?

If you think that is unnecessary, you are putting your faith in your wealth. If your personal goals in life are no longer God's goals, you are in bondage.

The Avoidance of Financial Bondage

The Principle of Priority
God is our priority, and we shouldn't let possessions get in the way. When this priority is maintained, life is successful. What do Deuteronomy 26:2 and Matthew 6:33 say about our priorities?

The Principle of Industry
Many people want more money so they won't have to work anymore. But God created us to work. As His workmanship, we have the need to work built into us. To cease being productive in life is disastrous. Even retirement simply means more time to serve God. What do Proverbs 10:4 and Proverbs 20:4 have to say about God's attitude towards laziness?

The Principle of Generosity
God blesses us when we learn to share. The more we share, the more we have. The more we hoard, the less we have. What do Proverbs 11:24 and Luke 6:38 say about generosity?

The Principle of Reliability
God is reliable. As we handle our possessions and our industry, we can, and must, trust God at all times. We know He will provide and care for us. What does God say in Philippians 4:19 about relying on God?

The Principle of Integrity
We must be faithful in what we have. Luke 16:10 tells us to be faithful even in the little. What is integrity? What warning does 1 Timothy 6:9-10 offer?

The Principle of Sufficiency
God is far more than sufficient to care for His children. What does Ecclesiastes 5:19 say about our possessions? If we will honor God with what He has already given us, He will pour out more blessings than we have the ability to handle (Malachi 3:10).

Poverty is no sign of godliness, and wealth is no sign of wickedness. God wants us to have wealth with godliness. Prosperity is simply having what we need to do what God wants us to do.

Now you are armed with what God's word says. Why not start now and evaluate your finances based on what you've read and if necessary, take some immediate steps to find the financial freedom that God promises and desires for you.