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Do you love your neighbor?

Martin Luther once said,

“A true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself but for his neighbor; Therefore the whole spirit of his life compels him to do even that which he needs not do, but which is profitable and necessary for his neighbor.”

As one who is interested in economic history, it is a little known fact that the global economy remained relatively flat until the Protestant Reformation. Not only did the Bible begin to be distributed into the hands of commoners, it set in motion what became known as the protestant work ethic and economic growth began to explode. History shows that the economic growth of the West correlates with the spread and adoption of God’s Word.

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Help! I'm caught between church and credit cards

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 3.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

I need some help. I am a 50 year-old widow with a teenager at home, and I’m using credit cards to survive, drowning in late fees. I am over extended and miserable. My income cannot support my obligations so I decided to find a part-time job in the evenings and weekends. But now I am taken away from my weekly involvement and support system in church, leaving me very unhappy. Still, I don't have any other way of paying off these credit cards. What should I do? Please help.

Struggling Widow

 

Dear Widow,

My team and I will pray for you as you and your child go forward in life. Please know you can contact us for more personal help.

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I have seen some jaw-dropping tattoos and piercings in my travels. How about you?

Genesis 1:31 reads “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good”.

He created man with beautiful skin and perfectly formed ears and a nose. But, the world has tried to alter that which He called “good”. According to a 2012 Pew Research study, an estimated 36% of Americans have at least one piercing somewhere other than an earlobe and that percentage may be higher for those 17-25 years old.

But now, millennials seeking professional jobs, and entering a new, more conservative phase of life want things filled in or removed. A job interview or the opportunity in a boardroom is causing many to reverse decisions made by peer pressure or impulse. The piercings and tattoos accumulated in younger years just don’t cut it in the classic work force. 

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This New Year, make Christ-honoring financial choices.

We are inundated with financial advice. The list of sources for the latest and greatest on how to make and manage money is all around us.  The vast majority of what I read can be condensed to this formula – do this or that to increase your earnings and to have more money. It is stated or packaged or even disguised in thousands of ways, but the common denominator is usually the same.  

However, The Bible does not offer this advice. The Scripture tells us primarily what we are to believe about money. This is a profound difference than telling us what to do.   

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Do you struggle with consistency in your personal daily devotions?

In this dark world, we need help to see our way. Psalm 119:105 declares that “God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” Yet many, who claim to know the Lord, do not rely on this power on a daily basis.

Tim Challies at Challies.com defends personal devotions for a reason greater than self. He states that the benefit of knowing God extends to your family, your neighbors and your church. If you aren’t doing devotions for your own benefit, then won’t you do them for the sake of others?

Husbands & Wives: Read the Bible as an expression of love for your spouse. Growing in the knowledge of God’s love will bring humility in light of His majesty, realization of your sins and greater dependence on Him. A greater love for God will overflow into greater love and appreciation for your spouse.

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Tis the Season for Charitable Giving

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 23.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My mail and email are full of requests for end-of-year donations, and there are so many good causes. But it’s hard to balance how to give at a time of year when I’m shopping for so many. How important is it to close out the year with charitable giving? What kind of choices need to be made? It’s hard to get the money together for Christmas, but I feel guilty when I see those financial needs piling up. How should I balance these things?

Charitably Challenged.

 

Dear Challenged,

Since there are so many great and worthy causes, I can understand your challenge. I will speak to the question of balance and priorities, but the importance of giving is the focus of my response.

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Have you unknowingly put your trust in money?

I think we all know that we should not love money. 

Read 1 Timothy 6:9,10:

"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves."

In his series, Gods at War, Kyle Idleman suggests that in Scripture, “Money is most often portrayed as God’s chief competition.” He claims, “Your god is determined by what you put your trust in. So for most people, money is their god.”

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