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Money by the Book


by Chris McAlpin

The first step in a solid financial plan is to give some money away. The sounds crazy doesn’t it? “Just give some money away and it will magically return to me” That idea sounds like a crazy ponzi scheme.

 This story told by Dr. Adrian Rogers illustrates, John D. Rockefeller was dying at the age of 55. He had a bleeding ulcer; and the only thing that he could eat was crackers and milk. He could not sleep for more than one solid hour without being awakened by pain. He had millions and millions of dollars. The doctor said “Mr. Rockefeller you are dying and will be dead in a short while.” He got to thinking, “if I am going to die, I had better stop concentrating on making money and start doing some of the things that I have always wanted to do and ought to do. One of the things that I have always wanted to do and have been to busy to do is give away my money’.” He started giving his money, the more that he gave the more that God gave to him. The more that he gave the happier he got. Later in life he said, “That when I learned to give, it so changed my life, my ulcer healed up and I began to sleep,” Mr. Rockefeller lived to the age of 97. He started and financed many philanthropic organizations; gave fortunes to his church, to his community, and to the nation as a whole.

 Mr. Rockefeller himself once told this story. “Yes, I tithe, and I would like to tell you how it all came about. I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work, I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord. I did, and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me.

 And I want to say, if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made. Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of the Lord.”

 John D. Rockefeller was a fantastic businessman, though considered ruthless by some. However, he had extensive knowledge about money, both making it and keeping it. He was born of humble beginnings, and became a Christian as a teenager. This is said of him in the Rockefeller Archive Center In those years...Rockefeller might have been found there any Sunday sweeping out the halls, building a fire, lighting the lamps, cleaning the walks, ushering the people to their seats, studying the bible, praying, singing, performing all the duties of an unselfish and thorough church member... He studied his Bible regularly and diligently, and he knew what was in it.

 Since he studied his Bible regularly and later in life was a student of business and money as closely as he was, it is safe to say that he learned his money management principles from the Bible. He was not perfect, none of us are; and some of his practices were rightfully called into question, but not those that he would have gotten from this book.

 Those principles written in Proverbs are: “Give freely and become wealthier; be stingy and lose everything…” Jesus said, “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full…”
 Winston Churchill, the great English leader of World War II, said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” A tithe is giving 10% of your gross earnings to your church; the Bible commands it with great promises in return and curses for lack of obedience. Be generous. Managing money properly is not about keeping score and the one who dies with the most toys does not win.

Proverbs 11, Luke 6

May 9, 2007

Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC.  SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.

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