Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.
Solomon was the wealthiest man of his day, so he knew firsthand the benefits of money. But he also understood that money can be easily lost (Proverbs 23:4-5), can increase stress (Ecclesiastes 5:12), and can rob us of joy (5:13). Given the benefits and limitations of wealth, he offered a reasonable goal: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8-9). The financial goal of every Christian should be to have enough money to do what God has called us to do.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon revealed how to accomplish that goal. First, adjust your spending below your income. In Proverbs 21:20, Solomon observed, “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.” The fool spends every penny he earns. Solomon was saying the person who chooses to live from paycheck to paycheck is foolish.
Second, be careful of debt. In Proverbs 22:7, Solomon observed, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Today, millions of people are slaves to MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. But God does not want us to be a slave to anyone except Himself.
Third, consistently save part of your income. The earlier you begin to save, the better off you will be because of compound interest. In Proverbs 6:6-8, Solomon wrote, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” An ant has a brain so small you cannot see it under a microscope, but even an ant has the common sense to know that the plentiful food available in the summer and the fall will not last forever. The ant has the wisdom to take some food during the summer and fall and store it away for the winter. Regardless of what you haven’t done in the past, today is the best time to start saving for future needs.
The final principle of financial freedom is to devote a portion of your income to God. Solomon said, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine” (3:9-10). This is not a blanket promise that if you give to God, you will be wealthy. Nevertheless, more often than not, God promises to bless those who give.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The ABCs To Be Financially Free” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.