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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you have joined us again as together we continue our discussion of “Making the Best of a Bad Decision.” This has been a long series because there are plenty of bad decisions and some of us have made a lot of those bad decisions, haven’t we? Today, we’re talking about bad financial decisions.
I was going to take the time to actually read a statement that someone gave me but I’ll simply summarize it. During a difficult financial time, he worked very hard, spending a lot of time in his business, neglecting his wife. Now his wife wants out of the marriage because she feels neglected. His argument is but I was just trying to keep the family together because I had mouths to feed. But he also made a bad financial decision. He made an investment that went sour. And, by the way, he’s not alone. I had one man say to me, “I’ve made so many bad financial decisions that if I were to buy a cemetery I’m sure that people would quit dying.” Well, where do you go from there? I wish I could somehow wave a magic wand and tell this couple how they could resolve their financial issues. I can’t do that but I can give some guidance.
First of all, this man, and as far as that’s concerned, his wife as well, because she was a part of some of the decisions, they have to acknowledge the mistakes of the past. There’s no use continuing to justify yourself and to try to show why it really was a good decision that just turned out bad. Listen, if it ended badly, admit it without self-justification. Lay it on the table. Be like Hezekiah, who when he received a bad letter, the news that an enemy was coming. The Bible says he spread it before the Lord. Take your finances and spread those finances before the Lord. But I want to assure you—God has not forsaken you. He’s still there. He’s going to help you.
The other thing that you have to do, at times, is simply cut your losses. And then what you have to do is stop looking back. You have to live in the future and not the past. You can’t simply be regurgitating all of the mistakes that you have made. Especially if you’ve asked forgiveness for them. And speaking about couples, you know, I know a couple who said, “We’ve buried the hatchet. But the grave is very shallow and it is well traveled.” Leave the past behind. It can’t be changed. What you need to do now is focus on the future. And I’m going to actually end today by just reading a passage of scripture that reminds us that God is interested in our lives, especially even as it relates to money. And if you’ve made a bad decision, especially because of greed you wanted to get ahead real quickly and you made a quick decision hoping to make a bundle and you lost it. Learn from that. Don’t do that again. No get rich quick schemes please.
But this is what the Bible says—Paul writing it says these words: “Now there is a great gain in godliness with contentment. For we brought nothing into this world and we certainly cannot carry anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. For those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” If you’ve made a bad financial decision, think through what you can do in the future. If there’s debt, receive some counsel and some help as to how that can be mitigated. Move on. Don’t live in the past. Live in the future. And I hope that you join us next time because I want to show how God even takes care of his people when they are so destitute that they live in a desert.
And today, I leave you with the fact that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. Seek his wisdom and he will show you a path out. Above all don’t divorce. Don’t write one another off. Learn from the past and together, if you are married, together move forward. And join us next time as we show the faithfulness of God even in the midst, yes, of destitution. But as for today, you just go with God.