Thursday, September 10, 2009

Money Part 5: America's Got Talents, Wouldn't You Like Some Too!

Hey gang!

Back again for another part of the Money series. Last time, we had the video on financial advisors to show that most of the general public doesn’t need them outside of the ones that come in and help with company employees and their 401K programs. Most of us don’t have a savings, much less a large enough one to need help with where to put it.

But all of us have money that we spend in ways we shouldn’t. Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means simply that we get paid and within 24 hours, we’ve either written the checks or done online banking to pay all the bills. Then we go to the grocery store and the gas station to fill up on groceries and gasoline for the car. Then we decide how to blow the rest on entertainment or our own needs, if we’re single.

If we’re married and have kids, then it depends on how old they are whether it is diapers or clothes or school supplies, maybe all of them. After that, we tend to repeat the single people’s action and spend to our heart’s content and wait for next payday to repeat the cycle.

It can be vicious and seemingly we never get ahead. Today’s story is about the talents. This isn’t about the TV shows that have taken off in America and Britain, it’s not that kind of talent. However, this is about the talent, a unit of money in the time of Christ. It was a unit that all of the people would know about in that culture.

But this story is also about the talent of people. I think most of us know at least one person who does well with their money. Usually we envy them because of their skill to save. I have a friend that is able to save and has done reasonably well for himself. He’s the guy I would call on if one of my rich relatives died and left me a lot of money or if someone was really generous and handed me the winning lottery ticket for Mega Millions or Powerball.

Why would I call him? Because I don’t think money would change him. He could be rich and still do the same principles that he uses now. Me, I’m not great with savings and if I were given millions of dollars, on my own, I would be so stupid and spend it without full wisdom. I would do some good things with it. Gotta give the 10% to the church (we’ll talk more about that next week), give money to all my relatives to help them out, pay off the house, car and all the other bills. After that though, I’d end up buying stuff I don’t really need. I’d build on a Jacuzzi room with the big screen so I could sit and soak while I watch football. I don’t need it though. I have a tub and a shower and my regular TV does fine.

You get my point. Most of us don’t have the impulse control. I do believe that impulse control is a spiritual discipline and some people do have it though. My friend that I talked about earlier lives well, but not extravagant. I’m sure he buys the super drink at Starbucks (I don’t know what it is) once in a while, but that’s a splurge that won’t hurt him and he knows that. He’s a great accountability partner to have when discussing money.

When we get into the story of the talents, this man that is going on a journey trusts three men with different amounts of money. I think that he knows beforehand who he can trust with the money. He gives the first guy one talent, the second guy two talents and the third guy five talents.

I’ll start with the third guy first, just like scripture does. This guy obviously knew what he was doing. We went out with the five talents and made five more. He did 100% on the investment. Dave Ramsey would tell you to hire him since most financial gurus only get you 10-15% return on your money. The guy is loved for doing well with the talents and is given many more things to do for the man. When a guy shows good results as an expert, you trust him with more. The Wayans School of Finance would definitely recommend him because a smart guy equals “Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money!”

The middle guy took his two talents and put them to work too. He was probably an up-and-comer working with the man and the man wanted to see what he could do. He did well, he doubled the two talents. Again, 100% on the investment. The man was proud of him. He gave him more things to do as well.

The first guy took his one talent. He sounds a little scared, but the man also saw this employee as someone he had to find out if he could trust. The guy hid the talent, because he was afraid to lose what was given to him. But you saw what the other two guys did. Not only did he not believe that he could make money for the man, but even told him that he was a hard man, a person that was trying to reap from places that he hadn’t sown. That’s like going into work and choking your boss or slapping him in the face and telling him that you don’t trust him.

The boss was furious. He called the guy a lazy, wicked servant. Heck, he couldn’t even put the money in the bank and gain interest. God isn’t against savings. He wants us to invest wisely. If the guy was only smart enough to deposit the money in a savings plan and gain interest, God bless him. That was what he was capable of. But he didn’t even get a return because he took no risk. Sometimes we’re too busy with other things and a savings account with 3% interest is all the time and effort that we want to make. That’s OK. At least an effort is what the boss wanted.

The employee had the talent taken from him and given to the guy that made five talents and then in today’s terms, he was fired. He was probably fired with the wicked Vince McMahon voice. You’re Fired!

In closing, God wants us to save for a rainy day. They will come and he does want us to be prepared for the storms of life. He doesn’t want you to bury your money, he wants you to make it work for you. Be it 3% or 15%, make a little something at the very least to help you in times of need. Because when that storm comes, you don’t want to be tossed in the street and have no shelter or food in the darkness.

We’ll pick up with more money thoughts on Tuesday. Tomorrow, we’ll have a special Friday edition for Patriot’s Day.

I love you guys!

Mat 25:14 "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
Mat 25:15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
Mat 25:16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
Mat 25:17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
Mat 25:18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
Mat 25:19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
Mat 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Mat 25:22 "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
Mat 25:23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Mat 25:24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Mat 25:25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
Mat 25:26 "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
Mat 25:27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Mat 25:28 "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Mat 25:30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

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