Above Reproach?

The vice-regents and governors got together to find some old scandal or skeleton in Daniel’s life that they could use against him, but they couldn’t dig up anything. He was totally exemplary and trustworthy. They could find no evidence of negligence or misconduct. So they finally gave up and said, “We’re never going to find anything against this Daniel unless we can cook up something religious.” – Daniel 6:4-5

What does it mean to be above reproach? Like Daniel, church overseers must be men and women whose character is unimpeachable, and who are esteemed within their community. Such men and women should be known for their good character, untarnished integrity, and reputation.

Paul, in his letters to Timothy and Titus, addresses the distinguishing marks of good church leaders. However, it certainly does not diminish the need for all Christians to aspire to the same qualities. Being above reproach should be an ongoing aim of all believers and should direct our daily choices and decisions. If your life and decisions were publicly examined, would you be found above reproach?

16 Habits of the Financially Successful Church

No matter if you are a company, church, not-for-profit ministry, or family of four, many of the good_habitsfinancially successful all have certain habits in common with each other. Here is a list of the top 16 key habits of the financially successful.

1. They establish and follow a budget.

Being able to plan ahead for your financial needs and setting limits on certain spending types will always result in better results in the long run. Anyone can make a budget, but staying disciplined enough to follow it is the challenge for some.

2. They keep their monthly expenses to a minimum.

Along with making and keeping that budget, they also evaluate their monthly expenses and reduce them if possible. By avoiding unnecessary spending they allow a larger portion of their income to go towards an emergency fund and long-term projects.

3. They are willing to learn.

The financially successful follow current financial trends and are not afraid to increase their knowledge so that they are able to make the right decisions when it comes to managing finances.

4. They focus on the long-term goals not just short-term experiences.

Those enjoying financial success today did not start planning for it yesterday. Being able to think about long-term financial goals while dealing with today’s fiscal circumstances is a key habit to practice if you want to achieve financial success.

5. They make savings a priority.

Simple math will tell you that if you save money now, you will end up with a more financially secure future in the event of economic downturns. Many of the most successful today share the same habit of always putting some of their income aside in savings.

6. They do not compare themselves to others.

Simply put, the financially successful are not interested in “keeping up with the Joneses.” They do not waste time, energy or money by looking at what others have and trying to have that too. They keep focused on their own goals and their own financial abilities.

7. They eliminate and avoid debt.

Financial success can be easily achieved when there is no debt to stand in your way. While it is not always easy or fun, it should be a top priority to try to eliminate as much debt as possible.

8. They control impulse spending.

Is this a need or a want? Some struggle with sudden impulses to buy something they want, but do not necessarily need. The difference between some people and those that enjoy financial success is the ability to control these impulses.

9. They are careful when making decisions.

Those who have found success with money usually have this same habit in common. They rarely make quick decisions without giving the situation thorough thought and planning. They take the time needed to research the possibilities, pay attention to current circumstances, and focus on what’s really important. They take whatever time is needed to be able to make informed, calculated and logical decisions.

10. They track their spending.

Those who flourish financially usually do so because they are keenly aware of exactly who and how much they owe, the interest rates on each debt, and the extra costs associated with those debts. By tracking and staying aware of each of your debts, you will be able to better focus on which to pay off faster and which can wait a little longer.

11. They live within their means.

To remain financially successful always live within your means. Evaluate your expenses to eliminate what is unnecessary and constantly make adjustments to your budget when possible.

12. They set goals.

Most people would agree that the the most financially successful companies, churches, and families in the world started setting goals for themselves early and continued to set new goals when the old ones were achieved.

13. They don’t procrastinate.

They do not ignore debts hoping they will go away, nor do they put them off until later only to accrue unnecessary additional fees or interest. They pay their bills and other debts on time every time.

14. They work with trusted advisers.

Even the smartest and most successful in the world still rely on the assistance of others. They are not afraid to seek and implement the advice from other people who specialize in certain areas.

15. They are patient.

Rarely does a company, church, not-for-profit, or family become financially successful overnight. More often, that success comes from years of hard work and dedication. The ultimate habit to have in order to accomplish this feat is simply patience.

16. They learn from past mistakes.

Making mistakes with money is a common occurrence in life. Those who ultimately achieve financial success in life not only make those mistakes, but more importantly, they learn from them.