Dear brothers and sisters
Greetings in our Lord Jesus’ name, the name above all names!
Hope you found your favourite number! What do you mean? If that is your question, I urge you to read my last month’s letter. Don’t forget!
One of my close friends is a Financial Advisor who helps individuals in Financial Planning. Financial planning involves retirement planning, investment planning, educational funding, income tax planning, estate planning, risk management and insurance planning. All these helps one achieve their financial goals like Education, Marriage, Children’s education, retirement and many others. A few years ago when this friend and I worked in the same organization, we would often discuss over tea about Financial planning and its importance. I was getting worried if I had saved and invested enough for the future for my family. One of the primary tenets of Financial planning is consistent and steady savings in the right investments for long period and that invariably depends on a steady income.
Around the same time, providentially, I got closer to a former UESI Staff worker who attended the same church as I and who we got acquainted in the same EGF. One of his sons lived closer to our home in Hyderabad and this man of God moved temporarily to that home. My late afternoon office timings provided an opportunity to take him around in the mornings, help him run errands, like going to the doctor, visiting the bank and other things. To him they were ordinary routine things in his life but for me they were extraordinary teachings in life. In those few days God gave me insight into this man’s life and I learnt a very important truth which you will read later.
Here was a man of God, who worked most of his life as full-time worker where there was no guarantee of a full and timely salary, who never worked for a multi-national company nor had a secured Government job yet during his retirement years he was enjoying God’s blessings. He lacked nothing materially nor his children who are comfortably well settled. This is exactly what Financial planning is supposed to achieve. He recently went to be with his Lord and whether he has left an earthly inheritance or not is immaterial against the backdrop of the gloriously rich legacy he has left behind. I know by now you have guessed it, and no marks for guessing. He is none – other than our beloved Uncle Sathkeerthi Rao.
Does this mean Financial planning is not required for Christians? I don’t mean so, I still follow the principles of financial planning and recommend others, too. But isn’t this conflicting to what I mentioned a while ago. Well, financial planning for a Christian I believe is contrastingly different. How? We will see that in a little while but before that, let me share with you the financial status and needs of UESI.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus reveals a startling truth to his disciples. I know, I know, you have already memorized this scripture verse – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (NASB). For people attached to this earthly kingdom, no doubt have to follow all Financial planning principles faithfully to achieve their financial goals- there is no other way! This I call the Regular way of Financial planning.
However, those belonging to God’s kingdom, prioritize generous giving in their Financial planning – that is seeking His Kingdom – and the obvious gap in savings and investments caused by generous giving, I strongly believe is covered by the Lord himself and that’s a promise. If you notice, the ‘Seek first’ comes before ‘will be added to you’ and that requires simple faith often demonstrated by spiritual giants like our late Uncle Sathkeerthi Rao. I call this the Premium way of Financial Planning.
As I wrap up this letter, I want to challenge you this month to start your Financial planning if you haven’t already done so and you have two options – The Regular way or the Premium way. Which one will you choose?
Yours in His service