Isn’t that a bit hasty?

Pr. 21:5:  “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” 

If you are riding in a car with my kids for any length of time, you will hear them listing off the things they want.  “I wish we could go to the park.”  “I want to go to McDonald’s.”  “I wish God would move our house to that field with all that land so we could have animals.”  “I want a lightsaber.”  “I wish we could get ice cream.”  Seriously, it just goes on and on.  The longer the ride, the more wishes that are voiced.  They aren’t demanding these things, mind you; just thinking out loud.

They aren’t the only ones.  I’m not a big window shopper.  If I don’t go to stores, then I’m not aware of what I’m missing.  Once I step foot inside a store, I see all kinds of things I didn’t even know I “needed.”  HA!  I’m sure I could come up with a list of things I want to buy or do right now if I thought enough about it.

Solomon warns that being hasty leads to poverty.  How true.  If my kids, or I (the one with the check book), just started doing all the things they say they want, we wouldn’t have enough money for the things we need.  We can’t go to McDonald’s, Sweet Frog, the beach, etc. every single trip and still have money for electricity, food, or savings.  More than that, if we spent all our money on those impulsive ideas they have, we wouldn’t have the money to do the other things that they really like even more.  They simply don’t have the brain capacity just yet to understand that some things are worth Not doing so that you can do the things you really want to do.

We have to teach our kids how to be diligent planners.  How?  Well, we don’t give in to their every whim…or our own.  We don’t go out impulsively buying or doing things that catch our eye or our fancy.  Before I grocery shop with my kids, I even make a point to pray with them that we will make wise decisions and that God will direct us with wisdom.

It’s really a good reminder for all of us.  It’s good to let an idea or an impulse marinate over night once in a while to make sure you have peace about it, or to make sure you actually “need” it.  And there is nothing wrong with planning to save up for something or planning to do it another time as a reward.  Sometimes that can even be more exciting!  We are reminded that the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.  Sounds like we will have exactly what we need.

Guarding my wallet,

jamie

Can money bring salvation?

Pr. 28:25:  “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.”

The NLV translates it this way:  “Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.”  This verse is pretty self explanatory.   What else do we really need?  We are so consumed with consuming that we have trouble distinguishing wants from needs.

Do we really need shoes to match that outfit or will another pair of shoes we already own actually be fine?  Do we really need a new boat or does the boat we currently own get the job done just fine?  Do we really need that food we saw in the food magazine or will the food in our cabinets suffice?  The truth is that in our society the lines get easily blurred.  We can justify all the reasons we “need” something that we want, but at the end of the day most of us have all we need and more.  Certainly the Lord provides.

If you’ve ever had a time when you actually had no food or a bill you truly couldn’t pay, then you’ve probably seen the Lord provide.  When we get caught up in greed we can truly trouble our own houses and spend our money unwisely.  We have to find the courage and faith to be good stewards of the money and possessions God provides us.  When we do that, we will not only have all we need, but we will be grateful children and have enough to help others.  God gives to us not for our own greed and gain, but to reach out, as His hands, and give to those around us with true needs.

The believers in Acts 2:45-47, “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

When we create our budget, spend our money, or decide on purchases, let’s keep in mind the fact that there are some around us that truly have needs.  “The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved”…He is the same God today.  Let’s make our decisions about money based on the knowledge that the way we use our money can be the tool God uses for someone else’s salvation.  Now that’s a good reason to pinch a penny!

Frugally,

jamie