Lee Jenkins on Money
CBN.com REAL MONEY MANAGEMENT
Lee Jenkins is a 23-year veteran of the financial services industry. From his experience in the financial field and speaking to people about money, Lee discovered that most people don’t know a lot about how to successfully handle money. They aren’t taught about it at home, in school, or at church, though the Bible contains over 2,000 verses on money.
The majority of questions he gets asked are about simple, common, everyday issues. He decided to write Lee Jenkins on Money as a lifetime source book, much like a dictionary, to have the answers people look for most about money. We as Christians have to handle our money differently than the world or we will fall into the same financial traps. We must learn to handle money the way God intends us to. Lee deals with finances in three areas: financial, biblical, and cultural.
SPIRITUAL KEYS FOR MONEY
Lee says there are three spiritual keys for Christians to learn about money: 1.) The principle of ownership vs. stewardship 2.) How to view spending, and 3.) Prosperity vs. stewardship. First, with the principle of ownership vs. stewardship, we must realize that God owns it all. We are stewards of what He has given us. However, we usually manage money for ourselves or someone else and God is either last or not in our finances at all. We should manage our resources to please God and advance His Kingdom. Second, we should realize that if there are problems with spending, it is a life style issue. Most people live at or above their means. Christians have learned to rationalize and even spiritualize their spending. It is a form of spiritual materialism. Third, with prosperity vs. stewardship, the truth is God does bless His people and nothing is wrong with this. However, we as Christians have began to measure our spiritual lives by material success, which is not correct.
REASONS YOU MAY BE FINANCIALLY CHALLENGED
Financial problems aren’t always our fault. Aside from practical reasons for financial challenges, you may be financially challenged for the following reasons: 1.) There is spiritual warfare. Some financial adversity is the result of spiritual warfare. Satan is responsible for a lot of resistance many Christians face in the financial area. The last thing the Enemy wants is for Christians to know God’s financial principles. We discover this through God’s Word, prayer, and practical application. 2.) There is the Lord’s discipline. God can often use difficult financial situations to get us to abandon our sin and get back on track financially. (Hebrews 12:6 “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines.”) It is never pleasant to be corrected, but it is a sign of God’s deep love for us. 3.) To accomplish the God’s will. An example of this is the story of Joseph in Genesis. He was sold by his brothers into slavery. Later he was put in jail. God used these setbacks for a greater plan, which was to preserve their lives, save Egypt, and prepare the way for the nation of Israel. Joseph understood that what his brothers meant for evil, God used for good (Genesis 50:20). 4.) To develop your character. Perhaps God is using financial challenges to develop character as in Romans 5:3-4: “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations bring about perseverance; and perseverance proven character.”
No matter what financial challenges you face, be assured that God is in control and will use everything you’re going through for His good purpose.
PRACTICAL KEYS TO ELIMINATE DEBT
God wants us debt-free. We need to get out of debt. We’ve bought into the American dream. We need to evaluate our spending and lifestyle because money problems start from spending problems. Lee offers some practical keys to eliminate debt:
- Face Reality – Don’t deny. Look at your financial situation.
- Determine who you owe. Write down your debts.
- Change your mind about debt. Develop a strong distaste for debt.
- Repent - Ask the Lord to forgive you and obey His principles regarding your finances.
- Stop using debt – Cut up credit cards. Use cash for purchases. If you can’t pay for it, don’t get it.
- You might have to make drastic decisions. Free up your money – change your lifestyle, sell home/car, etc.
- Make a workable budget.
- Reduce spending, figure out what you can do without, etc.
- Start paying off debt - start with smaller debt first. Having small victories will keep the momentum going.
Lee grew up in a Christian home and was always an exceptional athlete. Early in life, his goal was to be a pro athlete and rich. His family was not poor, but they had financial hardship. This created a desire for him to be rich because he didn’t want to struggle financially. Lee was willing to do whatever it took by hard work and Christian values to attain this goal.
Every Sunday he went to church and learned good principles but missed out on a relationship with Christ. Christianity was important to him, but not the most important thing – football, fame, and fortune were. At an early age instead of being “down and out”, he was up and in – he was popular, a good student and a star athlete. He had 40 football scholarship offers and he decided to go to the University of Tennessee.
Lee was very successful and achieved everything, but he felt empty inside and all his successes only made the void in his life bigger. During his freshman year, when he was 18, he heard former pro football player John Bramlett speak at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting. John gave his testimony and shared that riches, fame, fortune, and success can’t make you happy. Lee was overcome by what John said. Lee knew that he needed a relationship with Jesus, and he made a true commitment to Jesus. Within a year, he was elected to be the President of the FCA.
He sensed a call to be a preacher as well as a strong call to be a businessman. This caused a big conflict within him. Most pastors felt that he needed to leave business alone and be in the ministry full time. Businessmen thought the opposite was true. From ages 19 to 30 he struggled with his call – business or ministry. However, God blessed him in the business arena.
From ages18 to 22 he was a star football player. When he was 22, he was drafted by the New York Giants. He spent one year with them. Unfortunately, he was injured during preseason and didn’t fully recover – he was out the next year. This was a difficult time because this was Lee’s dream. His financial dream was crushed when his NFL dream ended because he thought the sports arena was the way the Lord was going to use him.
Lee knew God was in control and Lee trusted Him. Now, Lee sees God allowed the NFL dreams to die because the marketplace is a bigger platform. At age 30, he was ordained as a minister. God brought the two callings of business and ministry together.