Hebrews 12:11 tells us, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." We’re more than ready to accept God’s blessing, but we should be just as willing to accept discipline when we need it. We’ll talk about that today on MoneyWise. ●We often talk about how following God’s financial principles makes sense. He owns it all anyway and when we follow his instructions on how to manage His resources we usually prosper. What we probably don’t mention enough though is that God also has ways of correcting us when we go astray. Now, we should point out that God’s blessings and His corrections aren’t always financial. We should recognize that the principles taught in Scripture apply to many aspects of life and that certainly includes how we handle money. ●Deuteronomy 28 is a good example of where God clearly lays out His intended blessing for obedience; but He follows up with curses for disobedience. Though these were for the nation of Israel, the principles still apply to us. Verse 1 says, "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God." Those blessings include having children and abundant crops and livestock, everything the Israelites could expect if they were obedient. But in verse 15 we see the consequences for disobedience, "You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks." ●Does this mean that God will curse us and our families for generations if we fail to balance our checkbooks or we make a late payment? No, but we should look at some of the practical ways we are corrected when we mismanage money. If you fail to live within your means or fail to plan for spending, giving and saving for the future, unpleasant things are bound to happen. You’ll run up debt. You won’t have enough to pay your bills. Or you won’t have enough income when you can no longer work. And if you continue living beyond your means, you’ll eventually get to the point where you can’t even make the minimum payments on your credit cards. Creditors will start calling and your stress level will go up. God doesn’t have to curse you for those things to happen. They’re just the natural consequence of not following His financial principles. ●There’s a spiritual component to this as well. God absolutely will use the pressure and the stress in your life to bring you to repentance and to make you realize you have to change your ways. And when you do, He will bless you. So what can we learn from all of this? ●First, unlike the clear warnings we see in Deuteronomy 28 and 1 Samuel 2, we won’t always know what God’s blessings or corrections will look like. But your outcome will ultimately be good when you follow God’s path and not so good when you wander off it. ●Second, the reason we’re to follow God’s principles is not because it’s a formula for financial success. Following them usually puts you in a position for financial success, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to be obedient, which makes us more like Christ and enhances our intimacy with Him. That’s what we’re ultimately pursuing with our finances and every area of our lives. 1 Peter 2 tells us, "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." LISTENER QUESTIONS: Rob also answers the following listener questions: ●What can you tell me about converting investments into income streams? ●What are your thoughts about purchasing out-of-state rental properties for an income stream and how to do it? ●Should I take my pension in a lump sum or in the form of monthly payments? ●When do you have to begin to take required minimum distribution payment in retirement? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.