The Practice of Truth in Financial Matters (Z.T. Fomum)
Those who speak the truth in financial matters are very few. The worship of the goddess “money” is very pre-dominant. Read the following carefully:
Do you fear to have proper records as to how much money you are earning and how you are spending it? This is most likely the fruit of dishonesty. Figures have a way of bringing people to face facts, and your running away from them may be rooted in the falsehood of your heart.
Do you ask for ten thousand francs, whereas what you need is nine thousand francs? Liars approximate the money to the nearest one thousand to their advantage.
When you are given ten thousand francs instead of nine thousand five hundred francs, do you bring back the change of five hundred francs or are you one to whom ten thousand and nine thousand five hundred mean the same? You are not honest.
Do you earn one hundred and twenty-one thousand francs but give a tithe on one hundred thousand francs only, saying, that there is no reason to bother about trifles? If that is the case, you are false at heart.
Did you borrow money from someone and, because the person did not ask you to return the money, you decided that because he had forgotten, you, too, would forget? If that is the case, you are a thief. Repent at once and carry out restitution.
Did you borrow ten thousand francs from someone who later on forgot the exact amount and thought that your debt was five thousand francs and asked for five thousand francs instead of the ten thousand francs? Did you then consider that your debt was now reduced from ten thousand francs to five thousand francs and so you kept quiet, or did you go ahead to remind the man about what the true position was? How you acted reveals the condition of your heart.
You bought something and gave a certain amount of money in payment and expected some change. The person to whom you paid the money calculated wrongly and gave you more change than you deserved. When you discovered his error you were immediately placed on trial either to draw his attention to the error or to keep the extra money for yourself. How you reacted depends upon the condition of your heart.
In the place where you work, it is understood that some “permitted stealing” takes place: everyone is allowed by the boss to take away paper, furniture, petrol or some such thing even though it is not permitted by the law. Quite a fair share of advantage is involved and everyone else is taking advantage of it. What will you do? Will you refuse to participate in the “permitted stealing” or will you calm your conscience and call it fringe benefits?
There is a certain way of presenting your income which will lead to your paying less taxes though it is not correct. Many people are doing it and congratulating themselves on being wise. Your friends consider it a matter of being smart. What will you do as a believer? Will you stand apart and be different or will you toe the line of corrupt advantage?
You have committed yourself to give a certain portion of your income to the Lord’s work. Soon afterwards there is an opportunity for you to buy a car, a farm, or a house at a very low cost. What will you do? Will you break your commitment to the Lord in order to take advantage of the present opportunity or will you stick to your commitment to give to the Lord and let the car, farm or house go unpurchased at the very reasonable price?
Do you plan a trip at the expense of your employer principally because of some financial benefit, and after you have planned it that way, you then look for some professional reason for going on the trip and labour to justify it? That is falsehood. You need to repent.
Do you tell somebody in need that you do not have money? That it is not the truth. In fact, it is not only a lie. It is dangerous. A brother in the Lord was studying in Nigeria. He was still not delivered from the love of money and planned to change his money in the “black market” rather than officially. He, therefore, decided to hide the fact that he was carrying 300.000 francs C.F.A. with him. When he got to the customs, the officer in charge asked him if he had anything to declare. He replied that he had nothing. He was asked if he was carrying any money and he said that he was carrying none. As the Lord heard him say that he was carrying no money, the Lord decided to cause his confession to become true by causing the money that he was carrying to disappear at once! Yes, we have a God who calls into existence the things that are not and calls out of existence the things that are, so that no flesh may glory in His sight.
Those who have enrolled in the School of Truth have the strength of character to say to a man, “I have but I will not give you because I do not feel that it would be right to do so.” This is honesty. This is truth. This demands strength of character. This should be done by all who have passed from the kingdom of darkness (which may also be properly called the kingdom of lies) into the Kingdom of light.
Those who have enrolled and are continuing in the School of Truth will, when faced with a situation that is ambiguous, use their own money instead of the money of their employer or that of the people of God.
The person who would prefer to buy a more expensive car, travel by a more expensive means, eat at a more expensive restaurant, make an unnecessary telephone call, and so on, because someone else is paying for it is in the grip of falsehood. Such a person will leave lights on, leave taps flowing with water, and many similar acts because the money belongs to another. He will hire a special taxi and be very relaxed about the time spent because another is footing the bill. He is just dishonest and God will not give him more to take charge of. He is a liar.
The person who has made progress in the School of Truth in financial matters will not ask for help nor accept help easily until he has used all that he has. He certainly will not hoard what he has and ask for help from others for that would be falsehood.
The person who is living on the income of others but lives more luxuriously than those on whose income he is living is a crook. He is practising falsehood.
The person who investigates what people’s incomes are and then sets to pray that God would touch the hearts of those people so that they may give to his project is not walking by faith. He is exerting soul force on those people. That is not faith. It is falsehood.
The person who is always receiving and rarely giving is practising falsehood. The Bible says, “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:38).
Those who have made progress in the School of Truth in financial matters give and give and give. They do not give in order to receive. They give and give and give and give. They give to all kinds of people, especially those who might not be able to give them in return.
Those who have made progress in the School of Truth in financial matters do not keep anything that they do not need. They do not keep things and hope that the need will arise some day. They have read the Scripture that says, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses, that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:32-34).
Liars deceive themselves that their treasures can be on earth while their hearts are in heaven.
Liars deceive themselves that they can invest on earth and not lose it. The truth is that those who invest on earth will not lose their investments. They have lost them already.
The Lord Jesus taught, saying, “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations” (Luke 16:9).
The best way to invest money is to put it into the proclamation of Christ where He has not yet been named and in the building of His Bride, so that she might be without spot, wrinkle or blemish.
The best time to transfer money from earth to heaven through investments in the Gospel enterprise or winning the lost and building the Bride is now. Tomorrow may be too late.
A man’s true wealth is what has already been invested into the Gospel enterprise and, therefore, it is already in safety in the bank of heaven.
Those who intend to give to the Lord but do not act at once will later on discover that the Enemy has taken away the desire to give.
The one who plans to give tomorrow what he ought to give today is self-deceived.
Anyone who has money that he could invest into the Gospel enterprise but does not do so at once and yet prays that the Lord should touch others to give, is practising falsehood.
Anyone who prays that someone else should give more sacrificially than he himself is giving, is practising falsehood.
We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we cannot take anything out of it when we have to go. Meanwhile, we can send things from earth to heaven by investing them in the Gospel and on the poor.
God is more interested in seeing how much has been left back for personal needs than He is in what is given. He is ever looking for those who will give as He gave, and He gave His all.
There are blessings that God reserves specially for those who give Him their all. Those who do not give Him their all and desire these riches are self-deceived.
None can be a disciple of Jesus until he has presented all that he has and all that he will ever have to the Lord Jesus and receives God’s command about all his property and income.
Jesus gave His all. The apostles gave their all. Many in the early church gave their all.
Go and do likewise.
This is the way of truth.
Walk in it.
Teach others to walk in it.