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Friday, January 3, 2014

Why It's Important to Have A Budget

Having a budget is more than just good practice. It's smart. It helps protect you and your family. It creates a plan for your money that would, otherwise, just evaporate over time.

Moreover, did you know that budgeting is recommended in Scripture? Odd as it may seem to some, the Bible is rife with good advice—advice that most people accept as common sense today.

  • You've heard it said that misery loves company, that positive people are more uplifting to be around? Well Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

  • Most people are familiar with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. His dour outlook is exactly what Proverbs 28:27 says will happen to those who close their eyes to the poor.

  • Physical fitness is a big deal in our world today, but we know that over-emphasis on physical attributes tends to lead to shallow character. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 says physical fitness is all well and good, but it doesn't hold a candle to the eternal value of grooming good character.

  • We all know the value of a good reputation, yes? Well the Bible established that fact in Proverbs 22:1 where it says a good name is worth way more than great riches.

There are literally hundreds of other examples of modern, practical advice that we could glean from Scripture. This advice has been passed down from the Bible for centuries because it works.

So when the Bible starts telling us about the value of budgeting, that it's important to know the state of our wealth (Proverbs 27:23), our ears should tune in.

"Don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if he has enough money to pay the bills? Otherwise he might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh! 'See that fellow there?’ they would mock. ‘He started that building and ran out of money before it was finished!’" —Luke 14:28-30 (Living Bible)

In other words, don't go buy a car unless you know you can afford it! Do the math! Check the numbers! Being diligent about our finances is what God wants us to do.

And there's a dire warning in 1 Timothy 5:8 to those who don't take good care of their affairs:

"If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

Whoa. "Worse than an unbeliever." That's heavy. There should be no doubt in our minds that God thinks it's pretty important for us to not only know the state of our wealth, but form a plan for our finances. One reason for this might be because God knows that life has its ups and downs. Scripture advises us to "store up grain" so that "we may not perish during the famine," (Genesis 41:35-36).

Budgeting is something God suggests we do to help keep ourselves and our families safe. And, according to Proverbs 21:5, blessings abound for those who are diligent with what they have. So...

Keep pinchin' :-)

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