Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Proper planning is essential to do anything well. Without a plan, there is no clear way to execute the thing that you want to do. This is why we plan for events, business strategies, and other things that are important to us. While we are natural planners, one thing that some of us do not often plan for is how we will spend our money. Because of this, Solomon, the man responsible for writing most of Proverbs, instructs readers to make a plan for their finances.
In Proverbs 21:5, Solomon writes, "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." This verse is a reminder for believers to make a plan for their finances. One of the best ways to do this is to create a budget. Your budget can help you gain control of your spending habits and help you make monetary decisions wisely. You can be careful not to overspend, and you can see if there is anything you are currently paying for that is unwise.
Do you currently have a budget? If not, it's time to make a budget. As you budget, you can be wise and intentional with the ways you spend your finances. Perhaps you will realize that you need to cancel the subscription plan you have subscribed to or find a roommate to help alleviate the cost of your home or apartment. Maybe you will be aware of just how much you are buying with your Amazon account. Everything we own belongs to the Lord. Our money is no exception. Because we are simply stewards of His money, we must act with wisdom as we spend it. Let's honor Him with our finances by making a budget, careful to spend our money intentionally, not ignorantly.
Sit down today and look at your finances. Take note of all of your monthly expenses. Is your spending aligned with how much you are earning each month or are you spending as much or more than you are earning? When you consider your monthly expenses and your monthly earning, make a budget. As you do this, it may be helpful to use one of the resources mentioned during the weekend services. What is a reasonable amount of money to spend for you every month? When you decide how much you should reasonably spend each month, set that amount as your monthly budget and stick to your budget. If you would like extra help as you consider how to steward your finances well, make plans to attend the Dollars and Sense workshop at the Riverside campus this weekend, which is a free seminar on how to handle your finances. You can register for this seminar here. As you take control of your monthly spending habits, God will be honored as you steward the finances He has given you well.
Read Proverbs 21:1-20 (NLT)
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;
he guides it wherever he pleases.
People may be right in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their heart.
The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
than when we offer him sacrifices.
Haughty eyes, a proud heart,
and evil actions are all sin.
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Wealth created by a lying tongue
is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
The guilty walk a crooked path;
the innocent travel a straight road.
It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
Evil people desire evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;
if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked;
he will bring disaster on them.
Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
will be ignored in their own time of need.
A secret gift calms anger;
a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
Justice is a joy to the godly,
but it terrifies evildoers.
The person who strays from common sense
will end up in the company of the dead.
Those who love pleasure become poor;
those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
The wicked are punished in place of the godly,
and traitors in place of the honest.
It’s better to live alone in the desert
than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
The wise have wealth and luxury,
but fools spend whatever they get.