George Kinder, author of the personal financial planning book, “Seven Stages of Money Maturity,” asks his clients the following three questions to help focus the client’s goal planning.
Question 1. Imagine that you have all the money you need now and in the future. What will you do with this financial abundance? How will you live your life? What if anything will you change in your lifestyle? Let yourself dream by describing a life that for you is complete and richly yours.
Question 2. You have just come from a doctor appointment and your physician told you that you have five years to live. The good part is you won’t ever feel sick. The bad part is that you will have no notice of your death. How will you live your life in light of this knowledge? What, if anything, will you change?
Question 3. You have just come from a doctor appointment and this time your physician tells you that you have only one day left in your life. The question you have now is not how to spend the hours that remain. Instead, ask yourself what am I feeling? What are my regrets and longings? What dreams will be left unfulfilled? What do I wish I had finished that is incomplete?
As I reflected on these three life scenarios my thoughts turned to Jesus’ parable found in Luke 12:16-21 of the rich man who decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones, with the intent to take it easy; eat, drink and enjoy himself. God says to the man “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself.” This is a tragic consequence of storing up treasure purely for self while not being rich toward God.
The Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff is honored to assist numerous Kentucky Baptists that have sought God’s direction on how they should consider planning their financial matters in order to provide for their families, their church and other Baptist ministry causes. These thoughtful Christian stewards have followed a very different life path to that of the rich man in Jesus’ parable.
If you have questions about Christian estate planning topics or want to request a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.
Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P.O. Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.