5 Lessons From Proverbs Dealing With Money and Debt
Debt is a good thing?
American's are in the lead when it comes to using credit to make purchases. Each day millions of people spend money they don't have to buy an amazing amount of stuff they don't really need. Everything from houses to stuff to fill the houses.
What this means is that millions of people are living one disaster away from losing everything they own. Debt is not a thing to be desired it is something you need to avoid at all costs.
With that idea in mind here is an article on what the book of Proverbs has to say about money and debt
Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
Always sunny In the rich man's world
Aha aha All the things I could do
If I had a little money It's a rich man's world— ABBA
Money, Money, Money
"Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.", Proverbs 13:11 ESV
What is your attitude towards money?
When you come right down to it your feelings towards money will shape your attitude towards credit and debt. Solomon in Proverbs 13:11 says "wealth gained hastily will dwindle." What he means is when you seek to gain things quickly, as through using a credit card, just because you want to appear before others as better off than you are there will be consequences to pay. I.E. your monthly credit card payment which can suck the life out of you.
The second part of Proverbs 13:11 states "but whoever gathers little by little will increase it." There is an old saying. "Work for what want, but make sure to want or need what you work for." As a Christian you need to know the value of the things in your life. That means it is better to have a better attitude toward money.
Part of having a good attitude towards money is when see something you truly want to have but don't really need at the moment you take a step back, don’t use a credit card and save up to purchase the items. Ditch the credit cards paying for things with cash you be better off.
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” Proverbs 27:23-24
Solomon tells the reader to,"be sure you know the condition of your flocks." What he is hinting at is that don't take for granted how you are financially. Make sure if something were to happen you would be okay financially.
Closely tied to earning money is saving money. The rule of thumb is to save up enough money to survive a hardship for six months so you may evade getting into financial trouble. For some this may be hard to do because you're living paycheck to paycheck.
Still if you're able don't spend the extra money that may come along put it away someplace where it is not easily attainable so it will be there when you need it. New toys do not pay the bills in hard times.
Buying On Credit
"Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor." Proverbs 13:7
Each day mail boxes across America are stuffed with letters which begin with the words. “You have been per-approved for this card,” simply fill in the application,” and mail it back. If you receive these application write in big letters, “No thanks” and just mail them all back. Unless you’re enticed to have more credit cards and more debt than you need,
The main problem with credit it is very enticing. Hey what's not like about being able to buy what you want when you don't have the cash. The negative side of credit is the fact the payment plan is structured such that if you only pat the minimum about you may be paying payments for a really long time.
As Solomon states in Proverbs 22:7, the borrower becomes a slave to the lender. If you are currently paying on student loans then you know what this all means. The best course of action is to not use a credit card. Keep the mindset that if you don't have cash you don't need to buy.
Car, Home, and Student Loans
”Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” Proverbs 22:26-27
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender." Proverbs 22:7
There is nothing like being in debt and paying not only credit cards but also a house payment and car payments, especially when you can't afford them. This means you will spend at least the next three years paying car payments and maybe up to thirty years paying house payment.
This will put you in bondage to the mortgage company for the next three decades. Everything you do will center around insuring the house payment is paid. In Proverbs 22:26-27 Solomon tells the reader not to enter into in any agreements unless they have the ability to pay. If not you may loose everything.
While it is hard to buy a home or go to college without obtaining help Proverbs is a reminder to make sure to save up as much as possible to put down on any purchase attached to a loan as possible in order pay it back faster.
Paying What You Owe
"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty," Proverbs 21:5
While using credit to maintain a high lifestyle will surely cause you to accumulate debt not paying off what you owe in a timely manner can cause you to stay in debt lot longer.
Solomon states the, “plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.”
What this means for those who are bogged down in debt is simply,as was said already, be diligent to pay back what you owe in a timely manner in order to avoid excessive interest to what you already owe.
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”— Proverbs 12:11
One final thought
Solomon was a wise and rich man but he did not listen to his own advice and watched as the kingdom around him started to crumble. The same is true of the one who lets debt take over their life.
The chief thing to learn is something Solomon wrote not in Proverbs but in his other book Ecclesiastes. In Chapter 5 verse 10 he wrote this, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money."
What this means is seeking money, a degree, a new house or anything else before God is a recipe for an unhappy life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Timothy Whitt