By Kelly Carr
Money—it’s always on our minds. We work to earn enough for food, shelter, and clothing. We budget for mainstays and save aside for special splurges. We hope for raises, look for better-paying jobs, or fear getting hurt and losing our incomes. We get bombarded with ads for sales, especially this time of year. We consider the worthy causes that could use our donations.
Money is such a tricky topic. How can we use our money wisely? Do we think about money too much or too little? Are financial issues getting in the way of our relationships? With these thoughts in mind, we wanted to discuss different aspects of how our financial life and our spiritual life affect one another.
We wanted to hear from a person whose career has given him perspective on the ways people handle their finances, so we asked some questions of Lance Francis. Lance is a founding principal of Nandina, Inc., a professional service company offering high-value engineering, project management, and other professional services. Currently he is serving Point University as Chief Operating Officer.
What made you go into this field of work, and what blessings have you received from it?
Lance: Engineering is a great opportunity to solve problems—in retrospect perhaps that’s why I gravitated to that profession. Serving at Point University has been a blessing in being able to use my previous work experience in engineering, project management, retail, and higher education to efficiently steward the assets of the university into extending kingdom work.
What effects do you see money having on people’s spiritual lives, both positively and negatively?
Lance: I have had the opportunity to see both sides of this equation—tremendously generous and faithful stewards and also those not content who are slaves to the mastery of net worth. It is apparent in both Scripture and actions viewed in the marketplace that how individuals handle their money directly impacts their relationship with God. It’s not the amount but the management of the amount.
What pitfalls have you observed that commonly trip people up in their finances?
Lance: Contentment is one—but it all stems from the understanding of God’s economy vs. the economy of the world. With the proper understanding of possessions and our role as stewards of God’s property vs. us as owners, that keeps a perspective that can eliminate financial pitfalls.
As a dad and as one who works at a university, please offer us this perspective: what strategies can people pass on to younger generations to help them walk wisely down the path of financial responsibility?
Lance: We need to teach biblical principles regarding possessions and then act them out accordingly. It’s like other life skills necessary to live in this world. In my experience generational stewardship seems to occur when generations pass down biblical principles to their offspring—particularly a proper view of God’s economy. These principles, in turn, seem to blossom and flourish into financial responsibility, contentment, and a more fruitful relationship with God, which is an uplifting cycle.