Friday, December 23, 2016

Stop Before Stepping - Martin Wiles

Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. Proverbs 11:28 NLT 

You’d think he’d learn, but stepping on it once didn’t stop him from doing it again.

Our Chihuahua isn’t satisfied with our small back yard when it comes to bathroom breaks. He prefers the greater outdoors where fire ant beds abound and where using the bathroom on top of a mound is his favorite pastime. But what he does thereafter makes sense. When stung, he sits until I eliminate what’s stinging him. His dilemma, however, is not learning his lesson. Prior foolish actions don’t prevent him from repeating his folly. 

I’ve discovered the same about finances. Prior poor choices don’t necessarily keep me from stepping on the same painful mistake again…or similar ones. 

Repeatedly stepping on mounds of stinginess, selfishness, neglect, and foolish decisions are indications I need to stop and reconsider. 

God loves a cheerful giver; he also loves a generous one. God gave the best he had by allowing his Son to pay for my sins. No leftovers…no seconds. And while selfishness would be my norm if left to myself, my pattern should pattern God’s. 

And while love turns my attention outwardly, God’s Word also directs me away from unwise decisions such as co-signing for another person (Proverbs 17:18) and accepting bribes (Proverbs 17:23). God’s wisdom helps distinguish between assisting someone and enabling them to continue in unwise behavior. 

I also need to stop and consider the borrowing mound. Few people can make all purchases with cash, but when to borrow, how much, from whom, and for what purpose are important questions to consider. 

Ask God for wisdom with your financial decisions. Having our financial house in order reduces stress and allows us to use our money to help others. 

Prayer: Thank You, merciful Lord, for erecting financial stop signs that prevent us from treading on dangerous financial mounds that can leave us disappointed, destitute, and depressed. 

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