Category Archives: Control Spending

Try This Simple Strategy To Eliminate Auto Loans

For many, debt is commonly used for a home or cars or other large purchases. It has become so commonplace, it is hard for some to even imagine avoiding it for major purchases. However, debt carries with it expense in the form of interest payments on the debt. These can significantly increase the expense of the item you are buying over time.

Debt also inherently carries a risk in the case that you are overextended with things like your home and car(s) you may lose them in the event of a short term income disruption or if you experience a life changing event like one that would incur significant medical cost. If you can’t make the payments monthly… someone may take the asset away from you and sell it.

Eliminating debt minimizes your cost because you don’t have to pay interest and provides some protection in case of short term loss of income or unexpected emergency expenses.

For those who are disciplined and want to avoid a major source of debt, try this strategy to start working toward buying future cars in cash… ok, you can write a check.

For those who don’t have the money just sitting around and need monthly payments to enable buying a car at this point here is how to get started.

  • Challenge yourself on the paradigm of how many cars you think you “need” vs. “want”. Not every person needs a car. Not every family needs 2 or more cars just because they have that many drivers. It is very convenient… but is it a need?
  • Control the car you purchase to a “need” for transportation and not a “want” for style  or showing off or competing with others. This can easily save over ten thousand dollars on a car purchase.
    • Buy used but reliable brand that will last but already has 50,000 miles on it. You may be surprised how much money you save. Depreciation (decrease in value) is your enemy when you buy new cars but your friend when you buy used cars.
    • Do not look for something with loaded options packages – it is transportation… not an arcade. You can save 3-5 thousand dollars in many cases. Do you “need” a seat warmer? or just “want” one because it is fun.
  • Treat your car like a tool, not a fad. Keep it until it is no longer safe to drive or at least until you have saved up money for your replacement car purchase in order to extract maximum value. Many of today’s cars should be able to go 200,000 miles.
    •  Perform routine maintenance along the way to ensure you give your vehicle the chance to last. It may be a short term expense, but it has a long term payoff in life of the vehicle.
  • If you have paid off your vehicle, or once you have… keep making monthly payments in your budget, but put them in a bank account and keep track of them (eg. spreadsheet or notebook) as funds set aside for your next auto purchase.
    • Want to pay off your current vehicle faster… pay extra toward it every month… whatever you can afford even just $25/mo
  • Do not spend this saved money on other expenses. You should already have an emergency fund and this should not be pillaged to create a vacation fund or you will not succeed. Just because you set aside money for future major planned expense does not mean you should take that money every time your base budget is tight.

You may not make it to fully transition to cash with your next car, but if you repeat the steps above, you will find yourself paying for your cars with cash you saved in advance. People will be amazed that you can do it, but it is really no different than paying monthly payments and not buying something too expensive

I have implemented this strategy myself and found it very rewarding. I think you will too.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Are You Digging a Hole, Investing, or Gambling?

There are always a lot of uncertainties in the world. Some may be global political conflict or wars or terrorism. Others may include domestic conflict between political parties with very different views. The world is still recovering from a recession with a lot of interference from central banks keeping interest rates lower than they should remain. You do not hear about it much anymore, but banks are not really back to historical interest rates, which indicates they are still manipulating the markets to the extend they can.

How do you handle your finances in a situation like this? Are you digging a hole, gambling, or investing with your finances?

Digging a hole refers to constantly spending more money than you earn. Even if you are not accumulating debt, if you are not saving money for future emergencies or future planned expenses (e.g. car, house, retirement, etc.) you are actually digging a hole for yourself that gets harder and harder to climb out of as you get older. This principle applies whether world events are volatile or calm. Remember, that if you want to retire someday or even if you have to retire due to medical issues… you may not always be able to continue bringing in new income.  That means that over the long range, you need to save ahead, not dig a hole or even break even paycheck to paycheck.

Gambling reflects those who, often driven by greed, make disproportionately large investments, or bets, on things like oil or a particular stock that they think will make them “rich” if it moves in a particular direction. This approach may be acceptable as a speculative diversification in part of an investment portfolio but the typical investor should never assume any particular investment is “fool proof” and go “all in” on it. Sometimes it will work out, but it may also result in disaster.

A wise investor instead diversifies across multiple investments. He or she is prepared for unexpected moves in value of the investments in short term and long term. The wise investor does not always make the highest return on any one investment, but instead makes a steady and predictable return on investment regardless of circumstances.

So each of us should periodically reflect… “Am I digging a hole? gambling? or investing?”

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Take A Lesson From The Ants

Many times, Biblical wisdom regarding finances is wrapped up and integrated in scripture that speaks broadly to how we should (and should not) live our lives. I like to review and share these passages as they are in that it is very reflective of real life experiences. Often the issues associated with finances are integrated and inseparable from other issues which influence them. For example, earning money is tied to not being lazy. Similarly, treating people the right way, God’s way, may be a part of your financial decisions as opposed to “get more money at all cost” such as taking advantage of others or lying to them.

The wisdom in Proverbs 6 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Please read it slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid reading so fast you can not dwell on the message contained here. Allow God to speak to you for your life and the lives of those you may be able to help.

Proverbs 6

My child,[a] if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
    or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
    and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
    for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
    go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
    Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
    like a bird fleeing from a net.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
    Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
    or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
    gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
    When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family.

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
    and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
    Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
    When you sleep, they will protect you.
    When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
    and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
    is the way to life.
24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
    from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
    Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,[b]
    but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
    and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
    and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
    He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief
    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Such a clear and relevant passage, rather than add to it, I encourage you each to read it again, slowly… thinking about each line and how it may apply to you or those you may be able to help.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Biblical Guiding Framework For Financial Freedom

God lays out important principles for managing finances in the Bible. He wants His people to be wise stewards of the resources He provides.

In this article we lay out a high level framework that  provides valuable insight for those who take time to genuinely understand and apply it. I have paired the elements of the framework with some of the scriptures that support them, but there are many other scriptures that could be added.

You can also check out our Resources section of the website for other organizations with a great depth of material on this subject.

1 – Earn Money: Develop a skill and work hard to generate income.

  • Colossians 3:23 – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
  • Proverbs 6:9-11 – But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

2 – Control Spending:  Set a budget that matches your income and stick to it in order to control spending. This budget should include short term “monthly expenses” but also saving ahead for long term expenses like a house, university education, future medical expenses, retirement, and contingency funds for the unknown.

  • Proverbs 6:6-8 – 6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.

3 – Control Debt: Carefully consider any debt before committing.

  • Proverbs 22:7 – Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
  • Romans 13:8 – Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.

4 – Invest: Choose to invest your financial resources for growth. Don’t stuff your mattress with cash in hopes of avoiding risk.

  • Matthew 25:14-30 – Jesus teaches us through the parable of the talents. Click the link to read the scripture.
  • Ecclesiastes 11:1 – Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.

5 – Diversify Investments: Diversify investments to manage risks.

  • Ecclesiastes 11:2 – But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.

6 –Consider Carefully and Seek Wise Counsel: Whether choosing how you will earn income, how to control spending or debt, or how to invest to grow your finances you should carefully consider your strategy and seek wise counsel.

  • Proverbs 22:3 – A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
  • Proverbs 15:22 – Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success
  • Proverbs 14:15 – Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.

7 – Steward Your Financial Strategy: Once you establish your financial strategy you must periodically review and analyze all elements to ensure you are following it and it is effective. This applies to earning income, spending, debt, and investment.

  • Matthew 25:14-30 – Jesus teaches us through the parable of the talents not only that we should invest, but that a good steward periodically checks on the effectiveness of his investments and makes adjustments according to their performance.

8 – Ethics: Following God’s instruction in how we manage our finances is more important than the actual dollars themselves.

  • Proverbs 22:1 – Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
  • Proverbs 22:5 – Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 – That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.

9 – Do Not Be Greedy: To those who love money, they will never have enough. Money is a tool to serve God and to support yourself and your family. The draw to “get rich quick” brings much risk.

  • 1 Timothy 6:10 –  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10 – Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!

10 – Store Up Treasure in Heaven

  • Matthew 6:20 – Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7 –  You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
  • Proverbs 22:9 – Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Fix Your Thoughts on What Is True, Honorable, and Right

There are many traps that can lead us to fail in executing our personal financial strategy. One of the most common mistakes is to take our thoughts off of what we are trying to accomplish and focus instead on the obstacles in our way or get distracted focusing on what others have that we may want.

We can easily get distracted by lies and frustrations that are not productive focus for accomplishing our goals.

“If I only have a better car, bigger house, newer phone, etc. then I will be happy.”

“I deserve (or need) a better job, and more expensive clothes, etc.”

“I will save more in the future, when I am making more money.”

“I don’t have the job skills I need, so I can never accomplish my goals.”

“Others had an easier road than me. I am just not lucky enough.”

Scripture tells us to avoid the trap of coveting what others have and comparing ourselves to them.

17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” [Exodus 20:17]

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he gives additional guidance to help us.  

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. [Philippians 4:8]

This instruction applies broadly to all aspects of our lives and is certainly applicable to how we manage our finances. We do best when we focus on what is true and honorable and right. Instead of focusing on what others have or what we think we deserve or our frustrations over obstacles we face, we stay focused on our financial plan and working toward achieving our goals.

Set goals, steward progress, remain focused. Yes, be aware of obstacles enough to plan a way around them… but don’t focus on them as permanent blocks in your path. Instead of focusing on what you think others do not deserve, focus on what you need to do to be successful.

  • Stay focused on and content with what God has provided.
  • Focus on the plans you set to accomplish our goals, or on developing good plans.
  • Steward progress toward those goals.
  • Avoid distractions and traps that could lead you astray.
  • Pray for God’ s help, praise Him as He works in your life, and give Him thanks!

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Victory Comes Through Wise Counsel

We are all at different experience levels and have different gifts in regards to many aspects of life that affect our finances. We have a certain perspective which contains some bias based on our prior experiences and personality. As an individual, we will not see and understand a situation as well as if we approach it from multiple perspectives including wise counsel from those we trust.

Proverbs 11:14

  14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

I remember a great example where my family was walking from a van to the entrance of some entertainment we were going to on vacation. I was focused on the destination, where is the gate, where do I buy tickets, and “marching” quickly with purpose. Yes I was focused on my goals. My wife, however, also interested in our shared goal, had a very different perspective. As I promptly walked passed a beautiful flower display she gently tugged at my arm and showed it to me. I am glad she did. We were approaching the same situation and had the same goals, but very different perspectives while doing so. Together we had a better view then individually.

This same concept is true for controlling debt, controlling our spending, behaving according to the ethics and guidelines that God has lined out for us in the Bible, making decisions with regards to generating income, saving, investing and stewarding our finances. Seek wise counsel from people you can trust or from professionals. To seek counsel does not mean you must follow it. It simply provides more background and understanding and perspective to help you make wise decisions and achieve victory on your goals. Of course, we should be cautious as to who we trust and how we weigh the opinions and insight of others. To listen to the counsel of a fool is to join him in his folly.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

The Greater Treasure

As we go forth in pursuit of our daily activities and priorities in life, such as providing for our families, let us not be deceived that monetary wealth is the greatest treasure. There are greater treasures… such as godly wisdom. Often when we pursue God, and thus godly wisdom, we will also find sufficient or even abundant finances. This may have more to do with how we view our finances and how we spend and not always how much we can earn. Of course, succeeding financially  is not the primary reason we should pursue a relationship with our Creator, but it a godly perspective on finances should come along with the relationship. Often we already have sufficient or abundant finances, but don’t recognize it because we lack true wisdom even in understanding “wants” vs. “needs”. There is always more money and always someone else with more stuff. We need not compare ourselves to them, but rather look first to God and find our peace and rest in Him.

Proverbs 8

     1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?

      2On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

      3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:

      4“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.

      5“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.

      6“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.

      7“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

      8“All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.

      9“They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

      10“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.

      11“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

      12“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.

      13“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.

      14“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.

      15“By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.

      16“By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.

      17“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.

      18“Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.

      19“My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.

      20“I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,

      21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

      22“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.

      23“From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.

      24“When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.

      25“Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;

      26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.

      27“When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,

      28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,

      29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;

      30Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,

      31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.

      32“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.

      33“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.

      34“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.

      35“For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.

      36“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

Not sure how to get started in pursuit of godly wisdom? Fear the Lord and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all that you need will be added to you.

Proverbs 9:10

      10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Matthew 6:31-33

31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Are You As Smart As An Ant?

Are you as smart as an ant? Yes, I mean “a-n-t”, not “a-u-n-t”. This may seem like quite a silly question, but sadly many do not fare well in a practical comparison of the wisdom of the ant compared to their own behavior.

Proverbs 6:6-11

     6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

      7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

      8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

      9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

      10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

      11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

While I have great compassion for those to whom bad situations or poverty has come, we do well to recognize that there are many times when it is of our own doing. If we blame others, we do not address the situation. Let us take a lesson from the ant and remind ourselves to plan ahead. Let us not live only in the “now”. Let us give up some pleasure now and trade it for hard work and self discipline. In many cases we can be much more prepared to deal with the challenges which may come our way.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Gaining the Right Perspective on Finances

1 Timothy 6 contains timeless wisdom for us to consider and apply in our lives. As you begin to read, consider that though the slave / master guidance may seem obsolete, perhaps you should consider it in regards to employee / employer perspective as I believe it still applies in that context or others where you are subject to proper authority. The whole of this scripture is worth reflecting on for our lives and applies well beyond finances. However, I have taken the liberty to bold the lines in particular that apply to how we act in regards to working relationships and finances.

1 Timothy 6

     1All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

      3If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

      11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

      17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

      20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you.

We are to treat one another with respect and not enmity, whether boss or employee, slave or master. We do so to shine the light of Christ for others.

We brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out. Let us be rich in good works. Let us be content, even joyful, with what we have. Let us guard ourselves against the love of money, which is the root of all sorts of evil.

Store up treasure in heaven rather than a bank, though this is not saying to spend and give away all you have. Indeed, we will have nothing to help others if we give all we have away. We should steward it carefully and thus do many good works in the name of Christ.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Parental Counsel From Solomon

For those who do not know Solomon, he was a man uniquely gifted with wisdom by God. He wrote proverbs a few thousand years ago now and his observations and counsel are as valid today as they were then.

We should be very cautious when we pledge, with our money or resources to back it up, on behalf of someone else who is struggling to manage their money. (If they were not struggling, they would not need our help.) Do not risk in this way anything you are not willing to lose if circumstances do not work out.

Proverbs 6:1-5

      1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

      2If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

      3Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

      4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

      5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

We must be diligent and take personal responsibility for our future needs. Do not rely on someone else or make excuses to put off getting started. The most important aspect of completing a journey is beginning it properly and at the right time. In this way we prepare wisely for our future and will also be better prepared to help others along the way.

Proverbs 6:6-8

      6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

      7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

      8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

Sloth, or laziness, is a sure way to end in poverty and need. There are other ways to find poverty, but sloth is one that almost assures it.

Proverbs 6:9-11

      9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

      10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

      11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

God considers those who are wicked and perverse to be worthless. They may feel like they are “winning” and “being successful” at their wicked endeavors, but in the end they will face God’s judgment. Often there deceitful ways catch up with them in this life as well, bringing calamity without healing.

Proverbs 6:11-15

      12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

      13Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;

      14Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.

      15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

Be wise in the ways of God rather than man. Seek to reflect on this wisdom from Solomon and apply it in your life. Do not just read it and say… “that is true, someone needs to hear that”. Instead, prayerfully ask God to help reveal to you any areas that you need to address personally in your life… and go start to fix them. Then consider if there are others you know that need help in this area. They will learn more from your example than from your words.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .