Have you ever been in totally over your head?

I have.

I had been invited to testify in front of a congressional subcommittee. If you’ve ever been flipping the channels and found yourself watching a riveting live feed on C-SPAN, you can probably picture the heavily paneled room, the bank of microphones, the senators all looking down from tiered seating at the front of the room, and the daunted-looking testifiers answering important people’s questions.

I was the daunted guy.

The question on the table, from Senator Dodd of Connecticut, was, “What advice about money would you give the American family?”

I swallowed hard, knowing my answer was going to sound really, really simple to him.

“Well, Senator, I would tell them four things. Spend less than they earn, avoid debt, save for the unexpected, and set long-term goals.”

The senator picked up his pencil and asked me to repeat myself.

I did.

Then he looked down at me over his glasses and said, “It seems that would work at any income level.”

(By now, I was gaining my footing and decided to take my chances. . . .)

“Yes, sir. Even for the United States government.”

And there you have it—the day I was in over my head and gave a United States Senator advice on how to run the economy. Gulp.

Key #2: Five Wise Principles

Twenty-five years later I am still confident that the advice I gave works. These four principles, along with the biblical principle of giving generously, are rooted in the timeless wisdom from God’s Word and, accordingly, are timeless, transcendent, and true. God’s Word is always right, always relevant, and will never change. This is true for my finances, your finances, and the finances being worked out at a macroeconomic, government level, as well.

5 Wise Principles

Spend less than you earn

Avoid debt

Give generously

Save for the unexpected

Set long-term goals

Ron Blue and Karen Guess, Never Enough? 3 Keys to Financial Contentment (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017).

We have just released a new Bible study on biblical book of Never Enough.

These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.