- Personal Finance
God and money--Saving for hard times
Don't be left out in the cold
Be prepared is not just for Girl Scouts
There are a lot of reasons to save money, especially with the economy sitting on the floor for so long. But the Bible also promotes saving. You will never, I repeat never, never be wealthy if you don't establish the habit of saving money. A lot of people think that if you drive a luxury car and live in a big house and wear expensive jewelry, you must be rich. But if the car really belongs to the finance company and the house belongs to the mortgage company and the jewelry belongs to the bank, you are not rich, you are in debt. Being in debt is not being rich, it is being poor and trying to fake out the neighbors. Bad juju.
We can get into all sorts of philosophical debates about what it means to be rich. I think you can be rich without actually having a lot of money. (see my hub on alternative kinds of wealth) But for the purposes of this article, lets say you want to call rich having money. Well, that means you have to HAVE SOME MONEY. And you can't have some money unless you save some of what you have.
As I said above, the Bible will back me up on this. In fact the Holy Word tells the story of the first Emergency Fund. It is the story of Joseph. Joseph was this kid with a bright future. God showed him all kinds of neat things in dreams. But he was also in a dysfunctional family. His father had two wives and two side women. He had kids with all of them and Joseph was his favorite, which made the other kids angry and jealous. So one day, they all ganged up on Joseph and took him out in the desert and gave him away to some traveling salesmen. The salesmen turned around and sold him to this Army captain in another country to be his household servant. So Joseph tried to make the best of the situation and he soon got promoted from the houseboy to the head manager of the captain's estate. But then the captain's wife tried to proposition him while the captain was out of town. When Joseph told her "No" she got mad and accused him of raping her. (Isn't the Bible fun?)
So the captain was embarrassed and angry and had Joseph put in prison. (Which makes you wonder about him and hs wife, because he could have had Joseph executed.) While Joseph was in prison, he discovered he had a gift for interpreting dreams. So when Pharoah, who was like the head over the whole country, had a series of dreams nobody could understand, they had to go get Joseph out of jail. Joseph told the Pharoah that they were going to have seven years of abundance, then seven years of famine. Then he told the ruler that everyone should save some of their grain during the first seven years (abundance), so that they would have food in the second seven years (famine).
What a concept! Save during good times so you won't starve during hard times. We need Joseph in Washington!! He started a national savings program and saved everybody in the country and even people in other countries. When the famine came, they had food enough for everyone that wanted it. Of course, they didn't give it away, they sold it, but that's another story.
The point of this whole long story is that God teaches us to be prepared. Saving is a way to be prepared for the inevitable emergency. Saving is a way to prepare for the financial goals you want to reach. Saving is a way to prepare yourself for your future life as a rich mogul. Or at least a comfortable one. And by saving, I don't mean buying stuff on sale. Save 60%!!! My mom used to always say, "If you don't buy it you save 100%"
God is all about preparation. He prepared Joseph to save the day by putting him through all kinds of situations--that is God's form of on the job training. He prepared people and situations to maneuver Joseph to be in the right place at the right time. And he prepared Pharoah with the dreams, so he would listen to an immigrant slave prisoner. In then end, a whole lot of people's lives were saved. There's that "s" word again...save.
Even when you think you can't save money, you usually can. Not much at first, but some. If you are a Christian, pray for unexpected income. Then when you see that penny on the ground, pick it up. Look between the sofa cushions and under the car seat. Notice when the bill that is usually $59 is for some reason reduced to $47. And take the penny, the cushion and car seat money, and the I-didn't-have-to-spend-it-on-the-bill money and put it in a jar, in the bank, somewhere. It adds up. Save every unexpected penny, nickel, dime, quarter or dollar that comes your way. "Be prepared" is more than a Girl Scout motto. It is a Bible principle of money. Jesus saves...so should you.