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We Are All Called to Live Like Millionaires

Yesterday as I left mass I discovered an interesting article titled,  The Millionaire Next Door in Tobias magazine.   The article spoke about 7 characteristics that defined your average millionaire. I found these characteristics surprisingly applicable to non millionaires also.  So here are the 7 principles of millionaires:

  1. The live well below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
  4. Their parents did not support them financially.
  5. Their adult children are economically self sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupation.
When I read this I thought of immediately about Jesus' parable of the talents. (cf. Matt 25: 14-30) In the parable Jesus rewards the first and second servants who were able to double their talents while he condemns the servant who chooses not to use the single talent given to him.  This parable I believe is significant in understanding how the Lord wants us all to use the resources given to us and yes that even includes money.

I find it funny how Christians react when you speak about money.  You either have the ones which believe that "money is the root of all evil" or the Joel Osteen types who believe that not being wealthy is sinful.  Both  interpretations are wrong.  I believe that the answer to this lies in the 7 principles mentioned in the beginning.

Take for example the first principle,  They live well beneath their means.   How could anyone disagree with this one.  We are called to be stewards of all that the Lord gives us, yet unfortunately most Christians that I know personally do not practice this basic principle.  As long as they are praying. going to church and contributing to ministry then it doesn't matter that their financial houses are not in order or that they are living way above their means.

How about the 3rd principle, They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status. Once again this principal is inherently Christian because for a person who is truly grounded in Christ the successful management of money is never about appearances.  To this person financial Independence is just an offshoot of following gospel principles, a natural reward of discipline and fiscal restraint.

How about the 7th principle, They chose the right occupation. I know many friends of mine who choose a college profession simply on the grounds of interest and "self exploration" rather than choosing a profession that will help sustain their lives financially. (Trust me, I understand I have done the same)  I am in no way advocating choosing a profession strictly on financial grounds; what I am saying instead is that we need to discern carefully our professions because it is simply too expensive to use college as a time of "self exploration."  Choosing the right occupation is vital to financial security.

Most importantly these 7 principles show us that sound financial principles are not just for the wealthy.  They are for everyone.  Why? because the way we manage money says a lot about who we are as Christians. How can we expect to draw others nearer to Christ if our financial lives are out of order?  How can we desire to be wealthy when we can't even manage the little that we do have?  We must become more like the first and second servants in the parable who were able to double their talents. Maybe by doing this we will find that we can become millionaires if not in this life then definitely in the next.

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