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Discovering Your Money Type (Part 1 of 2)

Air Date 04/16/2018

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Tommy Brown offers insights from his book, The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money. He outlines those seven types, unpacking their strengths and weaknesses, and offers couples advice for working through their financial disagreements. (Part 1 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Pastor Tommy Brown: So for me, before any budgeting, before any savings, ask yourself the question, why do I want to become financially free? And if that answer is strong enough, and if that answer is God-centered, then God will partner with you in order to take steps toward a financial future that is going to do great things for His kingdom.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Pastor Tommy Brown is with us today on "Focus on the Family" to help you understand how you're wired, from a spiritual perspective, to handle money. And your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: John, Tommy has taken such a unique angle on this topic of financial management, uh. I think we're all going to learn a lot about ourselves, our spouse and our children. 

Here at "Focus on the Family," we want to see you thrive in every aspect of your life, including how you steward money. We've had Dave Ramsey on, and many, many others, but this is a unique, uh, direction that we're going to talk about today with Tommy. He's actually taken the biblical characters - some of them - and, uh, applied them to our money management styles. And it is really - it sticks, and that's what's important. 

John: And, uh, that - that book is called, The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle Money, and it's available, as well as a CD or download of our entire conversation, at focusonthefamily.com/radio, or when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 

Tommy Brown is a pastor, writer, speaker and financial development strategist, and he and his wife Elizabeth live in Winston-Salem, N.C., and have two children. 

Body:

Tommy: We sure do. 

Jim: (Laughter) Tommy, welcome to Focus. 

Tommy: Yeah, thank you. 

Jim: I love that affirmation of the two kids. 

Tommy: Yeah, the last time I checked, there are two children in my household. 

John: Any pets? 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: And, uh, we have two pets, one of which I like. We'll, uh - we'll leave that up for... 

Jim: What about your kids? You like both of them (laughter)? 

Tommy: Both of my children. Yeah, they're both my favorite. That's what we tell them. 

Jim: Now how old are they, and what gender? 

Tommy: Yeah, so we have a daughter, Seri, uh, who is 11 years old. She's in sixth grade. And we have a son, Seth, who, uh, is in first grade. 

Jim: That's great. And you've probably applied some of these financial observations to them, and we'll get into that in a minute. 

Tommy: See it every day of my life. 

Jim: But let's, uh, get right to it. I mean, one of your goals is to help people not feel guilty around this area of money. 

Tommy: Sure, yeah. 

Jim: And we do. I mean, there is a lot of guilt that comes down on... 

Tommy: There is. 

Jim: ...Do you have a budget? Yes, I do. It's almost like, did you make it to the prom? 

Tommy: That's right. 

Jim: (Laughter) You know, we've got a budget, uh. But it's important, and how you manage money says a lot about who you are and your responsibility, and even your trust in God, right? And what you do with that money. But you did take a unique approach to this, and that's one of the reasons we wanted to have you on because, uh, you have kind of applied these biblical characters to it, and we're going to get to the definition of that in a minute. But what do you think is the key to financial well-being? 

Tommy: I want to align my deepest joy, my deepest desires, the things that are in my heart that nobody has to explain to me - I want to align those things with the way that I use money. And so money is one of those natural expressions of the things that are going on on the inside of us. And so there's a reason that Jesus talked so much, some would say more about money than love or hell or any other topic, and that's because those two are connected. So where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also. And I want to be able to align the desires of my heart - what I love, the things that I'm passionate about - and to be able to, uh, use money to express those things. 

Jim: Now back to the first point about the guilt that we carry in this area... 

Tommy: Sure. 

Jim: What do you hear from people? I mean... 

Tommy: Yeah. 

Jim: ...You've written this great book. What do people say about that guilt? 

Tommy: Money is one of those things to where it's, uh - it's a very, uh, tangible, um, indicator in our culture of how successful that you are. And I hear people say things all the time like, I'm just bad with money. Well, you start any sentence with the words, I'm just bad, fill in the blank. 

Jim: Right. 

Tommy: You have cut yourself off from growth. You've positioned yourself as a person who is going to be inferior, that lacks agency, that lacks the ability to change. And so generally, in a relationship even, you'll have one person who is, quote, unquote, "good with money," and then the other person who has to do what that other good person says with money. And I want to... 

Jim: There's probably some wisdom in that - don't you think? 

Tommy: There is some wisdom, but I don't want people to think, I'm just bad with money, because it's often a cop-out and an excuse to not grow. And it is not rocket science. We can become better. And we can learn to use money in a way that is, uh, congruent with the way that God's designed us. And so I want to knock off that shame and say, there's not just one good way to think and feel and, therefore, act financially. I want to say that there's actually seven ways that God has created us in his image in order to use finances. 

Jim: Well, let's get to it. What is a money type? 

Tommy: So a money type is going to be my inclination. It's going to be the way that I think, the way that I feel, the way that I relate to money. So I wouldn't go so far as to say it's your financial personality type - that's a whole different area of science that I'm not going to go into. I'm not a scientist. Uh, I'm a trained pastor. But for me, your money type is your most natural inclination. What are your habits? What are your thoughts? What are your emotions? What are your desires? Because when you understand why you do what you do, you can actually change what you do. 

Jim: Mm. Let's hit those seven types... 

Tommy: Sure. 

Jim: ...That you've pulled from the Scripture, which I think it's a great hook for people to be able to identify. 

Tommy: Yeah. 

Jim: In fact, in your book, you have a little test - or survey that you can take it. I did it. It only took... 

Tommy: Yeah, little quiz. 

John: Assessment - I think... 

Jim: OK, whatever word I'm not saying, but, uh, it gives you an idea of your money type. 

Tommy: Sure. 

Jim: And then how to apply it. So let's go through the seven quickly. Just name them quickly, and we'll come back and go through them. 

Tommy: So the first is the Abraham type, and that's all about hospitality. The second is the Isaac type. They love to use money in ways that are disciplined. Uh, Jacob is beauty. Joseph is connection. Moses is endurance or order. Aaron is humility, and David is leadership. 

Jim: Huh, and those are all good. 

Tommy: All good. 

Jim: And what's really good about them is that there's some flexibility. 

Tommy: That's right. 

Jim: Because it does seem to be more like a switch - on or off. You're either good with money, or like you said, bad with money. 

Tommy: Right. 

Jim: But in this spectrum of money management, you allow people to be, uh, you know, somewhat personality-driven when it comes to their money. 

Tommy: That's right. So God created us in his own image, and the command was really twofold - be fruitful and multiply. OK, we understand that. But then take care of this place. Steward this place. And so money has come to be that tangible, most natural way that we can express what it means to be made in God's image. So what if the way that we're naturally relating to money - what if our money type is flowing out of an attribute or an aspect of God's image? At that point in time, things like good and bad go out the window because there is no bad inside of God. 

Jim: Yeah. 

Tommy: So your money type is something that God has given you. 

Jim: The only thing in that regard, though, is that any money type can get into trouble. 

Tommy: Sure, absolutely. 

Jim: Because, I mean, if you've got more going out than you got comin' in, then you've got a problem. 

Tommy: Absolutely, so - yeah. 

Jim: Regardless of your personality. 

Tommy: Understanding your money type is not going to be the switch that's just like, OK, suddenly I have my financial household in order. You're going to have to budget. You're gonna have to save. You're gonna have to invest for your future. But what I want to do - there's a lot of people who have their budget in place, they're saving, and they're still anxious. They're still fighting. There's greedy. I mean, that - so this is not about amounts. This is about awareness. 

Jim: OK. 

Tommy: If I can gain a deeper awareness of why I do what I do, and why my spouse, partner, loved one, boss, coworker, children - why they do what they do, that changes the game for me. That's not so much about amounts. That becomes about awareness. 

Jim: And I love the - again, the approach. So let's get into Abraham, uh. He's the first money type, um. What about Abraham caught your attention? 

Tommy: So when you look at the life of Abraham, he is known as the father of hospitality and Judaism, so much so that in the book of Hebrews, it actually says, do not forget to show hospitality to strangers because in so doing, you may be entertaining angels unaware. So you should be connecting the dots at that point in time. These messengers - or angels - come by Abraham's tent. He says, uh, let me get you a little bit of food and a little bit of water. He turns to his wife, he's like, quick, go kill the fatted calf. Let's make a full course meal for these guys. And he does that, and he shows hospitality. And - and forever more in the Jewish tradition, this is something that catches on. So they're there to show hospitality to the people. And the Christians picked up on it as well. So he uses his resources in order to make people feel special and noticed. Do you know that person in your life that they love to use money, their food, whatever it is - we say money for shorthand - but their - their time, their talent, their energy, even, in order to make other people feel special? You - that's the hospitality... 

John: You feel that. 

Tommy: You feel it, yeah. 

Jim: And - and your wife is the Abraham character, right? In terms of the... 

Tommy: Yeah, I lucked out for sure. 

Jim: Yeah, so that's a nice thing. But you also talk about kind of the shadow side of these personalities. You've got the upside, which is that hospitality. But each of the seven also have, um, some areas of improvement. 

Tommy: Sure. 

Jim: So what - for Abraham, what is that area of improvement? 

Tommy: That's going to be self-sufficiency. So twice in Abraham's, life we see somebody trying to give him something. There's a lot of context that we can unpack around that, but Abraham, for one reason or another, he's always saying, no, I'm good, I'm good. So you know the people in your life that they're always trying to do something for you or other people, but you try and do something for them, and they're like, ah, I - I'm good. And one of the reasons that, if it's really coming out the shadow side, that can be from insecurity, it could be from pride. I'm always going to give to you, that way I never owe you anything. So you have to make your Abraham types aware, hey, you need to take care of yourself. Let's do some self-care here. Let's set aside a little bit of money in the budget to spend on you, because you're always going to want to take care of everybody else. 

Jim: So how has that worked with your wife? 

(LAUGHTER) 

John: So she's not here to defend herself, so tell us, Tommy. 

Tommy: Well, she - trust me. At some point in time, she's going to be watching. She is the most other-centered person I know. And so if we get invited to a party, me, being the Isaac type, which we'll learn about a minute that loves to maximize - I'm going to see just how cheap I can get off. But not her, she wants a birthday present for every aunt, uncle and grandma and grandpa, graduation gifts - that's the type. And with unlimited resources, she would love to use it in that way. And for her, it's very difficult for me - if I were to say, hey, sweetheart, let me - I want to buy you a gift certificate to the local spa or something like that. I've been saving up my allowance, or whatever it might be. She would rather that go to anybody else. But if you're not careful, you'll burn out over time. 

Jim: So how do you not step on Abraham's oxygen hose here? How do you, in a married situation, like your wife, how do you balance that? You're trying to keep the budget, and she's trying to spend to bless people. 

Tommy: Yes. 

Jim: And to have a great gift of hospitality. 

Tommy: That's right. We have to affirm one another, first of all. And if I can affirm and say, I see an attribute of God's image - hospitality is an attribute of God. We are all hosted at the table of God's hospitality, first and foremost. So if I can say that gift that she brings to the table is teaching me something about the nature of God, then all of a sudden, I'm not trying to squash that. I'm trying to affirm that and create space for that, while at the same point in time, she has to understand that I'm tending toward a different attribute in a stronger way. So she's going to have to understand, OK, I have to affirm and create space for Tommy as well. So we can talk about how to do that in the dynamics of relationships - how to play nice in the same budget starts with affirmations. Then, it moves into creating this within boundaries for the other person. 

And so if you're coming together around that budget that God's entrusted you with as a couple, and you're creating space and affirming for one another, then the power comes to where you're able to actually synergize those two together to do things for good and for God. That's what it's all about. I want her to use money for God's glory, demonstrate hospitality for God's glory. She wants me to maximize resources - that Isaac type - for God's glory. This is not about us. This is not about building our own kingdoms. This is about the kingdom of God. And we've made it about amounts. We've made it about prosperity. We've made it about poverty, and it's not about that. It's about how we use money in a way that brings God glory in the Earth. That's all I'm caring about at the end of the day. And that will enrich your marriage, your parenting, your relationships at work. Whatever it is, start with the other person in mind and then go to them. 

Jim: There's a biblical concept. 

Tommy: Yeah, instead of saying, hey, how can you do it more like me... 

Jim: Yeah. 

Tommy: ...Say what can I learn from you? And then how do we work together in the same budget? 

Jim: Well, your wife just texted me. And she said, OK, let's talk about Tommy. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Tommy: First of all, why does she have your phone number? 

Jim: Well, we've plotted against you. 

John: (Laughter). 

Jim: So the next personality type is the Isaac, which you have self-described... 

Tommy: Yeah, I know Isaac. 

Jim: ...Is your result of the survey. So what's the Isaac personality? 

Tommy: So you have Abraham and then Abraham's son being - one of Abraham's sons being Isaac. And he's really a mirror, or intends to do the same things that Abraham did. So in that day, they didn't have indoor plumbing, right? So they had to dig wells. Abraham dug wells. The Philistines came behind, and they stopped up those wells, those resources that Isaac needed. There was a famine in the land and all of that. And Isaac goes behind, and he re-digs the wells. And more than that, he gives them the name that his father Abraham had given them. So your Isaac types are about recovery, restoration, seeing potential. There's more. He sowed in the midst of a famine and reaped a hundred fold in that same year. They're very opportunistic. And they're going, OK, I see something that other people are passing over, and I'm going to maximize my resources. So if I could put the Isaac type, which is about discipline, in one word, I would say maximization. They're going to show persistence in the face of resistance. They're always going to keep going. 

They're very hard to stop. And they can be the type of person that they want to make the most out of the resources to the point that they forget to enjoy. They forget to have a good time. They're going to be high savers. And that really, in some ways, can actually flow out of the shadow side of an Isaac type, which is fear. And so Isaac is the first person in the scripture to whom God ever said, do not be afraid. And I don't think that God wastes words. And I don't think that the chroniclers of Scripture were just going, oh, we'll just throw that in there. Fear was present, and so God spoke to it, right? So your Isaac types are going to be those people that, because they're afraid they may not have enough in the future, they're going to make sure that they do. And they're going to maximize - say they have to get the best deal. They have to win. If they don't win in getting the best deal, they feel like something has died inside of them. If they get taken advantage of, they're going to beat themself up for a long time. 

Jim: How cluttered is your garage? 

Tommy: Oh, uh... 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: ...I would actually say... 

Jim: I'm thinking the Isaac type could be a hoarder. 

Tommy: Well... 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: ...I think, for me, because I want to make the most out of the space. 

Jim: There you go (laughter). 

Tommy: Now, I don't know all Isaac types in the world. And that's worth saying - that not every Isaac type is cut from the same cloth. 

Jim: Sure. 

Tommy: Not every Abraham type is the same. But, for me, I'm going to maximize whatever I have, if that's systems, if that's a team, if that's money. I'm always saying, how can I get the most out of it so we can do more? 

Jim: Well, and I love the reference you made a moment ago to how these types play out in the marital relationship. 

Tommy: Right. 

Jim: So giving each other space. I just want you to recalculate that and say it again because of your wife being an Abraham and you being an Isaac. 

Tommy: Yup. 

Jim: And you probably, early on, struggled with money. In fact, I... 

Tommy: Sure 

Jim: ...Think you had some debt to overcome. 

Tommy: We did. 

Jim: How did that pillow talk go (laughter) when you lied your head down? 

Tommy: (Laughter). 

Jim: Did you, Isaac, say to Abraham, honey, come on, you've got to stop spending money on other people? 

Tommy: You know, for us, it was, uh... 

(LAUGHTER) 

Tommy: We had more than one argument. 

Jim: OK. 

Tommy: So we were $32,000 in debt as a young married couple. 

John: Wow. 

Jim: What age were you roughly? 

Tommy: You know, I - so... 

Jim: In your late 20s... 

Tommy: About, let's say... 

Jim: ...Early 30s. 

Tommy: ...Twenty-two - something like that. 

Jim: Twenty-two. 

Tommy: Yeah. 

Jim: OK. 

Tommy: So we were newly graduated from, uh, college. Whenever we graduated... 

Jim: So student loans. 

Tommy: ...They gave us a gift, you know, in the form of a student loan bill. 

Jim: Yeah, right. 

Tommy: I borrowed it. I have to pay it back, right? So that's the way that it works. And, uh, we had a little bit of car payments, maybe a little bit of medical and all that. 

Jim: But 32,000... 

Tommy: 32 grand - that's a lot of money. 

Jim: ...As a newly married couple's a lot. 

Tommy: So for us, we just worked some very biblical principles. So we lived off of a budget. We lived intentionally. We did the debt snowball. And in 11 months, with God's help, we were actually able to retire 100 percent of that debt. But even after we got out of debt, we didn't stop fighting about one line item in the budget, and that was gifts. So she - I thought that $20 a month was enough... 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: Why are you laughing? That's enough. 

Jim: I think I may lean toward Abraham here. 

John: (Unintelligible) conversation here. 

Tommy: So $20 a month is more than enough in a budget to be able to buy birthday gifts if we get invited to a party or something like that. 

Jim: Yeah. 

Tommy: And, uh, you know, I'm just maximizing. We're saving for retirement and all of that. And so it may have been - she might have said, you know, affirming and nurturing things to me like, you are a tightwad, and you're killing me. 

Jim: (Laughter) I'm thinking Walmart gift card. 

Tommy: Walmart - so why don't we have our children - let's have them draw a picture and get a coupon and tuck it in with a $5 gift card to their favorite restaurant. It's like a $30 value with my children's art, right? 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: So that's great. So we had to... 

Jim: (Laughter) with the art. 

Tommy: With the art. You know, it's priceless. So for us, it was like, we have to figure out - how do we come together? And so I was eventually - as I started - I wrote this book for me, at the end of the day. It wasn't out there. There's a lot of books out there about how-to. But there are not a lot from a Christ-centered, biblical perspective about why. And so I just started studying this because I realized that it was going to foul up my marriage. It's going to foul up my ministry. And it's a topic that I believe that God uses to get our attention. And so in my marriage, I had to say, OK, sweetheart, clearly, you are inclined differently than me. Clearly, this is something that God wants to use to bless other people. So we need to create more space. How does $26 a month sound? 

(LAUGHTER) 

Tommy: So we'd - as we've become more financially responsible, we've been able to increase it. And she knows that's a playground that she gets to play with that. So in your relationship, you need to be real clear about where the boundaries are. Draw a circle around each of your allowances. And I can go out and buy bubble gum or play golf with it. It doesn't matter. She can do whatever she wants. And then in the space of gifts, we're going to have to come together. But it has to be something that she can use in a way that makes her come to life. 

Jim: Yeah, that's very practical. 

John: And our guest today on "Focus on the Family" is Tommy Brown. We're talking about money types. And his book is The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle Money. I really like this book because it does get into the why am I approaching money this way? Get a copy of the book and a CD or download of our program at focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Tommy, we covered Abraham and Isaac. We got to go to the next fellow - Jacob. What caught your attention in terms of his money type, the way his personality would handle money? 

Tommy: So Jacob is known for beauty. And I'll say right out of the gate that beauty is not just about appearances. So beauty is where the depth of life comes to the surface. And so it might not be something that's always extravagant or something like that. But beauty in the Jewish tradition is known as - something is known as beautiful if it endures. And we see this a few times in his life. But I want to really focus, because in practical day to day relationships, your Jacob type loves to use money to create beautiful experiences and moments. And they do have a little bit of flair for the extravagant. Uh, in Jacob's life, we see the coat of many colors that he created for his son. 

Jim: That's true. 

Tommy: We see, in his relationship, you know, he had to work 14 years, uh, for the woman's hand in marriage that he loved. Now, I'm not saying that, you know, women should be pawned off, like you have to work for them... 

Jim: Right, that was the culture of the day. 

Tommy: Yeah, it's the culture. You know, in my home, you're going to have to work about 50 years in order to earn my daughter's hand in marriage, not because of the cultural element because you're not worthy to marry my daughter. 

Jim: So you're more a Jacob than an Isaac. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Tommy: So there's no man that's worthy to marry my daughter. But, uh, at the end of it all, what we see in his life is just this flair for the extravagant. So whenever he finally worked long enough to earn the - uh, his wife's hand in marriage, whenever he very first saw her, he fell headlong in love with her. And she's one of the very few women in the scripture that the writer actually takes the time to chronicle her physical beauty. And that's important to realize - is in that day and age, they're not looking at women, necessarily, in that way and making note of them - but her physical beauty - Jacob, you just track his life. He's very emotive, very over-the-top. He's very much about beautiful, pleasurable experiences, not the least of which is creating that coat of many colors for his son. So your Jacob types, they're the ones that they're going to be emotionally driven, uh, with their financial decisions. They can be a little bit impulsive. If they're going to throw a birthday party, uh, it's probably just not going to be matching plates and cups. It's going to be Cirque du Soleil in the backyard. 

Jim: (Laughter). 

Tommy: And so nothing is ever good enough just as it is. You're going - it's going to have to pop. 

Jim: Yeah. 

Tommy: And Jacob types bring God's beauty into the Earth. They help us see and appreciate (unintelligible)... 

Jim: Yeah, it's awesome. And your daughter is a Jacob type. 

Tommy: Oh, yeah. 

Jim: Now, she's only 11. 

Tommy: She's 11, yeah. 

Jim: So how do you see this already? 

Tommy: Yeah, I've been... 

Jim: What does she do that catches your attention? 

Tommy: I've been her dad for 11 years. And I can say, as long as I've been her father, she's always had this inclination, uh, toward using the arts, toward using creativity. There's some stories that I tell in the book about how she would take sticks and actually shave them down and paint them and decorate them with people's favorite sports team and colors and write - you know, bejewel them or write names on them. And then she would sell them. And she took the money to actually send children in the foster care system to summer camp. So she sent two children that summer. And she could see potential. And that's where I go back to they have the ability to see beauty beneath the surface. So they're not just looking at this thing as drab, they're going oh, we can do this, we could do this, and we can do that. You walk into a Jacob type's home, even if they don't have a lot of money, it's going to be on point. You look at them when they're dressed, they're going to be on point. They can take things on a shoestring budget, and they can make it pop. And so Jacob, by the way, is a mix of Abraham and Isaac. So you have that free-flowing generosity of hospitality. You have that restraint of maximization and discipline. And so Jacob's, on their shadow side, can be a little too self-indulgent. But when they're at their best, they're able to balance it so they're not breaking the budget. And you want the Jacob type in your life. They make life fun. They make life interesting. They make it pop. 

Jim: And with your daughter, in that regard, how much spiritual training do you have to nudge your child, in that direction, to do what she did with the sticks, and painting the sticks and helping foster care children in that way? 

Tommy: Yeah...

Jim: Is it... does it come rather...

Tommy: For her...

Jim: ...naturally or do you have to shape that gift so it doesn't get out of kilter?

Tommy: It's both. Right? So, first, we could say just a quick thing about nature or nuture. One is, I have two children, they resonate with two different types. So my son resonates with Isaac, my daughter resonates strongly with Jacob.

And for her, ever since, really, she was old enough to use resources, those types of things, she's always used them to make it pop. But I have to make sure, okay, Seri, this her name, Seri. This is not all about you. We have to be other-centered in the way that we use money, as well. 

And I've thankfully, with her, she's very generous. She's very overflowing. And I'm just trying to tend it, and almost stay out of the way and watch God do it. I don't want to screw this up with her, right?

Jim: So you just kind of...

Tommy: I want to maximize it.

Jim: So you just kind of manage it lightly.

Tommy: You're tending it. You know, it... for me it's "Train up a child in the way that they should go, when they're old they will not depart from it." And that's so much about taking the natural inclination of the child and being able to steward those tendencies, just like we steward resources and other things.

John: OK, Tommy, I'm still thinking back. Just a moment ago, you said that one of the downsides of this personality is becoming too self-indulgent. But there are some personality types that say self-indulgence, in itself, is wrong. So what does too self-indulgent mean? 

Tommy: You know, we're commanded to love our neighbor as yourself. And I start with the fact that if I can't love myself and show kindness with my resources to myself, then I am going to continually bankrupt my inner life and not be able to give. And so I have to be able to first and foremost receive. And if I can't receive, then I'm not going to be able to give. So at some point, where's the line, right? At some point... 

Jim: Yes, that's the question. 

Tommy: ...How much can I spend on myself? And this is why, again, stewardship is not about amounts but awareness. And only the Spirit is going to be able to direct you in such a way that you're able to go, you know what? I'm actually over the line here. You're Abraham types - you don't have to worry about it. You're Jacob types - you're going to have to watch it a little bit more because they can blow the budget in order to create appearances. Uh, they can be living full throttle and yet running on empty financially. So we see this - you could almost describe them as a star - as a rock star. 

Jim: But how does a Jacob get that self-awareness? Because you can be delusional in there. You know, the... 

Tommy: Sure. 

Jim: ...Scripture talks about knowing truth. 

Tommy: Yeah. 

Jim: How does a Jacob, who may not see it, know where the line is? 

Tommy: To me, the - my self-awareness has always come by my interaction with Scripture, has come by my interaction with people who are further down the line with me. And I'll ask people questions - what am I not seeing? What am I doing that you think may be a little bit out of line? And I do think that the spirit is very involved in the formation of the disciple. So for me, in order to grow in self-awareness, you're going to have to spend time in the Scripture and study the life of Jacob. He isn't just out freewheeling and blowing it. There are times where he is more gregarious, more over-the-top. But there are also times where he is very on point, as well. So I'm always looking to the Scripture to help direct my path in that regard. 

Jim: Tommy, this has been fantastic. I mean, it's a whole different way of looking at financial responsibility, and I love presenting it in that way. You've given us so many great ideas to think about. We've only covered a little under half of the seven. We've done three. We've got four more to cover, so let's come back next time, if you're willing... 

Tommy: That would be great. 

Closing:

Jim: ...And let's cover the other four. Uh, if you see yourself in one of these personality types, uh, man, this is a resource for you to get and to better understand, not just your, uh, personality in how you manage money but your spouse's as well as your kids. I'm looking forward to having Trent and Troy take this test. (Laughter) It could be fun. I've got one big saver and then one who's maybe not as good at saving. And it's going to be a great conversation to have with them - just a wonderful way to look at this.  

And as we've been talking today about finances, you know, here at "Focus on the Family," we're trying to put that great resource out in front of you. And if this is something that you would like, send us a gift for any amount. And our way of saying thank you will be to send a copy of Tommy's book, The Seven Money Types, to you. And, uh, I think it will get you started into a wonderful new discussion. 

John: And let me note that when you donate to the work here at Focus you're allowing us to bring this broadcast to over 6 million listeners every week in the US, and another 131 million listeners around the world. Uh... these broadcasts rely on your generous financial support, so please make a donation today and get a copy of The Seven Money Types and a CD or download of our conversation, as well, and information, too, about MVelopes, that money management tool that we have here at Focus. 

Uh... the website is focusonthefamily.com/radio and our toll free number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Tommy, just before we end, I do have one more question for you, and that is, beyond the personality types, what advice do you have for the person just related to money? When you look at all of Scripture, forget what type I am, what would you say to me if I'm in trouble? 

Tommy: I would say to you, don't focus on where you are right now. Find your why for moving into a new future. If you have a strong enough why, you can endure whatever comes your way. So many times, we stay stuck because we don't have clarity about what we want and what God wants for us. 

So for me, before any budgeting, before any savings, ask yourself the question, why do I want to become financially free? And if that answer is strong enough, and if that answer is God-centered, then God will partner with you in order to take steps toward a financial future that is going to do great things for His kingdom. 

John: Well, thanks so much for listening today to "Focus on the Family." On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, join us again next time. We'll have more with Pastor Tommy Brown and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. 

 

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Guest

Tommy Brown

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Tommy Brown is the author of the best-selling book The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money. The wisdom he shares in this book was earned as he and his wife, Elizabeth, struggled to pay off a $32,000 debt after they graduated from bible college. They did so within a year and began teaching the principles they learned to others. This marked the beginning of Tommy's exploration of the seven money types he explores in his book. He is also an ordained minister and holds master's degrees in divinity and management. He and Elizabeth reside in North Carolina and have two children. Learn more about Tommy at his website, tommybrown.org.