Faith integration in finance management becomes clear when business people study the word of God and do according to the teachings. An important area of integration of an individual’s faith in this context of managerial finance is the stewardship. According to Freedictionary.com, a steward is a person who is able to manage another person’s finances, property and other affairs. God gave His wisdom using the Holy Bible.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy3:16-17).
This helps us understand that the word of God has continued to be applicable even today because it maintains reference and strength to all aspects in life and the development. The subject of finance has been very much looked at in the Bible whereby suggestions of better practice are provided. It becomes clear then that God had designed finance to be providing for the development of the people and the world at large (Study mode.com, 2012).
This paper will look at the scriptural areas that help understand finance topics in the Christian perspective. This will be reflected in the events in the Holy Bible that provide a better understanding on how relevant the Bible is in today’s world. It will try to explain the reason as to why faith integration is important because God has given directions in His Holy Book.
Finance management and faith integration.
Investment decisions are called capital expenditures or budgeting decisions. Some of these decisions like those in Walmart’ stores include tangible assets, the ones that can be touched and the intangible assets like development and research, software and advertisements. These assets are financed through borrowing. The financial manager therefore has great challenges in making decisions like the investments the company should make, and how to make the payments of the investments (Mcgraw-hill.com). These decisions will automatically involve money usage as well as ways of raising the money. However, as the financial managers think about these, they need to consider what the Bible teaches about living on a certain margin. This means that the company should have room for certain things to happen. Every body including businesses and corporate ought to live on a specific margin be it a physical, time or financial margin (Back to the Bible, 2013). The managers of finance should learn to focus more on spending money on areas that will bring profit to the business. These should be given priority first so that others can follow. For example a company should decide on first having promotions and advertisements before taking the employees for a treat. This is because the advertisement and promotions may boost the sales of a company hence more profit. The finance managers should also not borrow a lot of money that would make the companies to strain. They should decide to borrow what the company or corporate can afford to pay.
Another important responsibility of finance managers is to raise funds for the business. This can be done by inviting the investors to pay for shares and partly own the corporation, or they promise the investors that they would pay the money in future with interest (Mcgraw-hill.com). The company could also borrow loan from the bank to pay for a certain period of time. On the other hand, if the corporate is not in a very tough strain that requires money it is advisable that one should stay away from the debts. The Bible advices that it is not good for one to take debts which one cannot be able to pay or will have much trouble in paying. The Bible states that whoever is in debt loses his or her freedom (Psalm 37:21). This means that even the businesses will have no freedom. The bible also mentions in Proverbs 22 verse 7 that the rich always rule over those who are poor and borrower is the servant to the one who lenders.
Managers of finance institutions are advised to utilize what the corporation has to yield profits (Mcgraw-hill.com). Many cooperates tend to sell their assets such as the cars so as to buy new ones which they say are more efficient and pleasing. Managers also tend to take some of the assets and money from their businesses for their own benefit. They should not be selfish in the way they use the funds available. The Bible warns that one should be contented with whatever one has (Hebrews 13:5). Those firms that get profits are those that will always serve the customers well until they are satisfied. Companies where employees do their work with loyalty and effectively make the business have increased profits. The Bible talks of Hard work pays. Where one works hard, there will be profits and where people only talk and no work, poverty dwells in them (Prov 14:23, 28:19). This shows that business men must therefore work hard so as to have increased profits.
The money used by corporations to invest in the real assets comes from the investor’s savings. This is the case in Apple Inc where the company sells its shares or can reinvest money back into the company’s operations. The reinvested cash is saved and is invested on behalf of shareholders of the firm (Mcgraw-hill.com). This is very much in line with the teachings from the Holy book where it teaches about saving money and setting aside for future use. The Bible talks of a treasure which is desired and oil in the wise people’s custody but the foolish ones spends all of it (Proverbs 21:20). If a business earns a certain amount of money as profit, then a certain percentage can be saved to be used in future.
The Bible teaches about making budgets and keeping records (Proverbs23:23, 24:3, 4). This makes one to be a good steward of God’s money. It is not wise for someone to have a business which does not have records. Large corporations involve team work where all the players such as directors, lenders, employees and management have a great role in the success of the company. The company therefore requires having records to monitor the progress. It therefore prepares financial accounts such as balance sheets and income statements regularly and has auditors coming to certify that the accounts are true (Mcgraw-hill.com). With all these done, the employers and managers would not be in financial troubles. In any case, it is very rare to find a business thriving successfully without keeping records (Back to the bible, 2013).
Even if there is no word like investing or stock market in the Bible, there are various passages in the Holy Book that talk of the way Christians are supposed to take great care of financial resources (Porter, 2003). The main context of our financial matter’s views should be the one of stewardship. This reminds us that the earth belongs to our Lord and so does other things in it. Whatever we posses belongs to Him and therefore we are answerable for the care and better use (Psalm 24:1).
People have been in great financial woes and this is brought about by lack of knowledge in what the Holy Book teaches. These people end up borrowing a lot of money from other financial institutions that they end up becoming slaves of credit. The Bible has great lessons which if followed by corporate managers would see it that they would thrive successfully even without borrowing. Lessons like savings, budgeting, keeping records, making good use of use what is available and believing that God is the provider and therefore seeking Him first (Phil 4:19) will make the business men to have their businesses turn around from the miasma of borrowing to saving the profits obtained.