Sunday, July 23, 2017

Living Financially Smart, Proverb 23:4-5

Here is some good advice I found years ago and saved in a file. Not sure where I gathered it from, but it's good advice on finances on how to survive during good, bad, and especially uncertain times by preparing for the future. It is never too late to change one's ways, since you know not when God will bring you home. So if you are nearing retirement with the understanding that none of your ancestors lived past 85, beware, you could be the one who lives to be 110. that would be 25 years longer than you believe you will live. However, God could also call you home today.

The idea is to always be willing to accept good advice, and never believe it is too late to prepare for the future. One never knows what tomorrow may bring. I am nearing 61, and unemployed. 5 years ago I believed my job was secure and I would retire when I hit 65, or maybe later if I desired to continue working. The company I had worked the last 25 years for was forced to close down from the financial burdens of Obamacre.

Today my future is uncertain, but I knew things could go wrong. Mainly because we live in a fallen world, and at anytime things can go from being stable today to uncertain tomorrow. My home is paid off, I have only $3000 total debt, and enough money to live for about 3 years, before I would be forced to sell my home. My faith is that God will provide, and I know because I followed God's advice. Much of it came from listening to wise individuals who themselves put their faith in God, like the commentary on financial advice below.

These Principles Work - But Not Always: Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens (Proverbs 23:4-5). In this fallen, unstable world, wealth can disappear quickly. You set your eyes on it and it disappears. It makes itself wings and flies away like an eagle - fast, high, and for a long time! Expect sudden financial reversals. So, hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

Pretend To Be Poor: There is one who pretends to be rich, and has nothing. Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth (Proverbs 13:7). The one who pretends to be rich has the newest car, clothes and gadgets; he enjoys a lot of entertainments, but he has nothing saved. Everything is leased; the house is mortgaged (and he has extracted the equity); he has maxed out his credit cards and has little or no money. The one who pretends to be poor lives below his means and invests his money wisely, which increases in wealth. The more you pretend to be poor, live below your means, save and then invest wisely (and in my opinion, the best investment is gold and silver in your own possession - especially silver), the more you will have. Adam Hamilton wrote: “Building wealth is hard work. Few, if any, shortcuts exist and it takes diligence, persistence, and sacrifice over years or decades to amass significant amounts of capital. The only way for a nation, company, or individual to become wealthy is to consume less than they earn. Savings is the key to wealth accumulation.”

Educate Yourself: Buy truth and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding (Proverbs 23:23). Throughout America's history college graduates have made significantly more money than those who do not have a college degree. However, the gap is not as wide as it once was, and it's getting narrower by the decade. With educational standards deteriorating due to the emphasis put on indoctrination and political correctness, many college graduates in the West are finding that their degrees aren't worth the paper they are printed on. Parents need to make sure their children are getting degrees that will turn into job opportunities, instead of political fodder.

Have A Financial Plan: The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty (Proverbs 21:5). Those who have a good economic plan, who think ahead about how to improve their situation, will have an advantage over those who make hasty, thoughtless financial decisions.

Go To Work: He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty (Proverbs 28:19). Tilling land is hard work. Do you want plenty of food? Go to work and work hard. If you do, you will generally have more than enough to meet your needs. Diligent, hard work is the basic way to create wealth.

Work Ambitiously: Where no oxen are the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox (Proverbs 14:4). Extra effort is the price of growth. People can increase their wealth by working harder, expanding a business and investing in better tools and technology.

Don’t Pursue Pleasure: He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich (Proverbs 21:17). Wine and oil represent the finer things of life. By pursuing a life of luxury, pleasures and entertainment, you may live beyond your means and your responsibilities may be neglected, which may result in poverty. It is the person who is careful about indulging in luxuries and pleasures and who lives carefully in the present who makes his life more prosperous in the future.

Work Honestly: Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it (Proverbs 13:11). How you get your wealth is important. Wealth acquired by illegal or immoral methods can diminish. Don't cheat or steal. Don't go for something-for-nothing or get-rich-quick schemes even if they seem to be "spiritually" based (sending in "seed money" to prosperity teachers and expecting a 30-, 60- or 100-fold return). Don't gamble or play the lottery. Wealth that is not the result of honest work, saving and wise investment is not likely to be permanent.

Don’t Live On Borrowed Money: The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave (Proverbs 22:7). Living beyond your means, borrowing money that you absolutely don’t need, is the way to financial enslavement.

Beware Of Guaranteeing The Debt Of Others: Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger, hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider (Proverbs 27:13). The garment is used as collateral. It’s taken from the one who has guaranteed someone’s debt and that someone is unable to pay his debt. It’s not wise to risk your financial well-being because you have guaranteed another’s debt, since so many people live beyond their means and mismanage their finances.

Live Right: Adversity pursues sinners but the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity (Proverbs 13:21). A person who is convicted of a felony can severely limit his financial opportunities. Bad habits and sinful activities can be expensive. If, instead of smoking one pack of cigarettes a day ($5 a pack), you invested the money at 5 percent interest, at the end of 10 years you would have approximately $23,000! Besides destroying your will, mind, body and relationships, drug and alcohol abuse will ruin your finances. For most people, a divorce is financially devastating. Having children outside of marriage and having them raised by a single mother is financially challenging. Families led by a single woman have a higher poverty rate than families led by a married couple.

Financial Management Works: A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children (Proverbs 13:22) A good man who lives within his means, saves and invests, and who teaches his children to follow his example, is able to leave an inheritance to his children's children because of his godly character and hard work.

These principles are true. And they should apply to both individuals and nations alike.
Proverb 23 (NKJV)

Listen to Your Father

01 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
00 Consider carefully what is before you;
02 And put a knife to your throat
00 If you are a man given to appetite.
03 Do not desire his delicacies,
00 For they are deceptive food.

04 Do not overwork to be rich;
00 Because of your own understanding, cease!
05 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
00 For riches certainly make themselves wings;
00 They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

06 Do not eat the bread of a miser,
00 Nor desire his delicacies;
07 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
00 "Eat and drink!" he says to you,
00 But his heart is not with you.
08 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
00 And waste your pleasant words.

09 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
00 For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
00 Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
00 He will plead their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
00 And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
00 For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
00 And deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
00 My heart will rejoice--indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
00 When your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
00 But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
00 And your hope will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
00 And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
00 Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
00 And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
00 And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
00 Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
00 And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
00 And let her who bore you rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,
00 And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 And a seductress is a narrow well.
00 And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
00 And increases the unfaithful among men.

29 Who has woe?
00 Who has sorrow?
00 Who has contentions?
00 Who has complaints?
00 Who has wounds without cause?
00 Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
00 Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
00 When it sparkles in the cup,
00 When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
00 And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
00 And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
00 Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
00 They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
00 When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"

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