From Godly Financial Advisers
By: Tom Copland
God admonishes us to obtain counsel. Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (NASB), and Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
Unfortunately, sometimes Christians refuse to seek counsel because of pride. Proverbs 13:10 states, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Nevertheless, God indicates that your probability of success is greater with many advisers. Proverbs 24:6 states, “For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.”
God recommends that we obtain biblical counsel from godly financial advisers.
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. (1 Corinthians 2:14, 15)
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. (Psalm 1:1)
I have met some non-Christian financial advisers who do give good practical advice. However, if you want advice from a biblical perspective, which I believe is God’s will for every Christian, then you can get godly advice only from a godly financial adviser. For example, a nonbeliever is simply not going to understand the desire in the believer’s heart for giving a significant portion of one’s income to God’s work. The believer has an eternal perspective, wanting to build up “treasures in heaven” rather than “treasures on earth.” (Matthew 6:19–21)
In addition, a godly adviser would counsel you to use minimal debt (Proverbs 22:7), while many worldly advisers would encourage the use of a lot of debt, based on the belief that “smart people use other people’s money” or “buy now and pay later.”
Therefore, before making any major financial decision, I recommend that you seek the advice of two or three godly financial advisers. In my view, an appropriate definition for such a person would be as follows: a spiritually mature Christian who understands and applies God’s financial principles (Psalm 111:10), has a close personal relationship with God (John 15), has the necessary practical financial knowledge (Proverbs 24:3, 4), and habitually puts the interests of clients first (Philippians 2:3, 4).
I believe that one of your financial counsellors should be your spouse (Genesis 2:24), even if she or he has limited financial knowledge. God, through his Holy Spirit, can give his peace or lack of peace to an objective spouse who is not emotionally excited about or biased against a particular financial decision.
After obtaining the counsel outlined above, it is your responsibility, to pray and ask God to give you his wisdom (James 1:5) in weighing the advice you have received. Proverbs 14:15 states, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”
In summary, before making any major financial decision, seek counsel from two or three godly financial advisers and from your spouse. Proceed only after you and your spouse have spent considerable time in prayer, and God has given you his peace and his wisdom.