Burkett Says Misplaced Prioritiess at Crux of Debt Problem

  Larry Burkett is a leading financial advisor and heard on Christian radio stations across the nation.
(AgapePress)-A Christian financial counselor says believers need to get their priorities right if Christian households have any hope of getting on solid financial ground.

For more than 25 years, Larry Burkett has offered financial counseling from a Biblical perspective through his Georgia-based ministry. The Christian author and speaker says the Christian world is no different from the secular world when it comes to debt, bankruptcy, and divorce because priorities are misplaced.

Burkett says while the Bible does not condemn borrowing, it does lay out specific guidelines for Christians and debt. "God said very clearly (that) you can't be unfaithful in a small thing and faithful in a large - they come part and parcel together," Burkett says. "You can't be a bad money handler and be handling other things well. Money is just the outside indicator of what's going on in our lives spiritually."

According to the financial guru, the use of credit is not a problem among Christians -instead, he says, it is the misuse of credit. Burkett says most Christians do not have a firm grasp on the Biblical perspectives on debt. "Only 3% of Christians actually tithe today. Thirty-seven percent of those attending evangelical churches don't give anything at all to their local church in any way. And that's not a problem," he says, "That's an indicator of a problem. It's a spiritual problem being reflected through their finances."

He cites surprising statistics to prove his point. "Over the last decade, giving overall in Christianity has increased about 20% - but recreational spending increased almost 125% and debt spending increased 550%," Burkett says. "I think it's really time that God's people decided (that) God really does want us to live by a different set of rules."

Burkett says there are several steps to becoming dept-free - among them transfer ownership of everything to God, tithe on gross income, allow no more debt, develop a realistic balanced budget, and start retiring existing debt.

Recognition of Ministry

Burkett is now chairman of Crown Financial Ministries, the world's largest Christian financial ministry. He says his ministry is successful because it teaches Christians how to view money from God's perspective. "The giving that you have - or the lack of it - reflects the spiritual values that you have," he says. "If your priorities are right, you're going to give to God and you'll make adjustments in your spending - your living, literally - to be able to give to God's work. If that's the first priority in your life, it's going to be reflected (in your giving)."

Burkett was recently given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southeastern chapter of the National Religious Broadcasters. He says his ministry has had one main goal during the past 25 years: to teach God's people how to be better stewards of God's assets. He wants believers to become better stewards "first, over their finances, and then ultimately over their lives as well."

Burkett is the host of Money Matters, a daily radio show heard on more than 450 stations.