- “Give everyone what you owe him.” Have you ever been tempted to spend more than you have? What should we do when we are tempted to borrow money for things we’re sure we need but maybe we could get by without them? Is it wrong in every case to borrow money? The house you live in, your academic degree, the car you drive–these are generally expensive burdens we obtain at a high financial cost. What is dangerous about being too much in debt?
- Borrowing and spending. Ow! This is going to hurt. Maybe you’ve borrowed money because it was available only to find out later it was a bad decision. Is it true that there’s always a risk when you borrow money? Always? Was David smiling when he wrote, in Psalms 37:21 “The wicked borrows and does not repay. But the righteous shows mercy and gives.” Or do you think David was thinking of examples that made it a sad assignment for him to label the person who doesn’t repay debt as “wicked”? Right now I have a few dollars in my billfold, so even if it’s the last money I’ll have for a while, is there anything wrong with emptying my billfold to buy something I just plain want to have now? Explain your answer.
- Stewardship and Instant Gratification. “Esau was a rugged outdoorsman,” our lesson points out. How did this characteristic control his actions? Or did it? Was Esau a helpless victim of his own lifestyle? Whether it’s an ice cream store, a big ad featuring an activity you don’t think you should pursue, or the lulling words of friends speaking to you–does your heart ever get confused about what you want? need? will have because you can? Instant gratification, our lesson states, is a symptom of an uncontrolled mind, an enemy of patience and long-term goals. Do you agree? Is it ever hard to agree with principles for controlling your impulses to be satisfied with something by leaning on your desire for instant gratification? Should it be?
- Living within your means. Are these lessons too tough? What is the opposite of the practice of wasting money? How do foolish people deal with their salaries? their earnings from sources outside the job? What is the primary purpose of the money you earn and receive month by month? What does a budget do for you in setting your priorities for spending? If Paul had used all of his resources to living a “good” life, what effect would that have had on his spiritual life? What were the only two financial situations that evangelists such as Paul seem to be concerned about? What are some of the temptations the wealthy face as Christians today?
- Saying No to debt. We talked about borrowing and spending in the second part of this lesson. Now we’re talking about debt. How are spending and debt related to our Christian life? What are the traps of co-signing with a borrower to help that person over a rough spot? A difficult concept, but true? Discuss the following: Debt isn’t immoral in itself, but it doesn’t strengthen our spiritual life. How should we relate to others, even fellow church members, who are deeply in debt and living in poverty? What happens to the Christian who depends on debt for living expenses? How can we help the poor among us?
- Saving and investing. Sometimes we hear about huge benefits paid to people who invested in nationally traded stocks, or ownership in businesses. Those people surely don’t have any spiritual problems with their wealth–do they? Instead of admonishing us about how to invest our money in business and other channels, what should our spiritual leaders focus on in guiding us to a closer walk with God? What is the best investment of all? And what are some of the benefits of investing in heavenly values? Do you want wealth, true wealth, spiritual wealth? Investing in spiritual growth means no recessions, no thieves, no market fluctuations. How can that be?
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons