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Apocalypse – No, Money Lessons from Proverbs – Yes

May 27, 2011

No earthquake this time.

May 21 has come and gone and it appears it was not the apocalypse. No earthquake went across the world at 6 p.m., and for those of us who did not die on May 21, we have a little more time here.

For hundreds of years, the Bible has been debated and deciphered. Numerous people feel they have found a certain Bible code that has unlocked mysteries such as when we will experience the end of days. I have learned that if you just read it, the Bible can provide a lot of good advice.

Around 3,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote the Proverbs in which he passed along advice. I chose some Proverbs in the tenth and eleventh chapters that are still wise counsel today. I am going to share a few verses (inspired) and then add my perspective (not inspired).

Proverbs 10:2: “Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.” and Proverbs 10:16: “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.”

Do you wonder why most professional athletes end up bankrupt? Have you read anything uplifting from drug dealers lately? Money is nice as it does provide for a variety of earthly comforts and needs, but how you live your life is going to make a bigger difference to you and others than how much you earn. Use money to live the life you want; do not let the pursuit of money and what it can buy control you.

Proverbs 11:15: “There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.”

Why would a bank ask for a co-signer? Because they know the borrower probably will not be paying them back. If you co-sign, just plan on paying for the debt. If you really want to help a friend or family member, decline on being a co-signer, but maybe see if there are other ways you can help the person taking out the loan.

Proverbs 11:24-25: “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

If you look around Sterling, you can see many generous donations that have enriched the community. It is easy to think, “If I had that much money, I could give a lot, too.” This may be true, but it seems like the best givers start out giving from not much and then work to accumulate wealth and continue to give. Habits formed when people are getting started in business tend to continue.

Proverbs 11:4: “Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.” Proverbs 11:28: “Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.”

I do not know when the world will end. I do not know when I am going to die. I am not even really sure what I will have for lunch today. I do know that money in itself is not going to bring me happiness and I know when I die my savings and investments are not going to mean anything to me.

That does not mean I should not care about money and what it can do; it just should not shape who I am. Hopefully, I can use money to provide for my family, give to others, and have some great experiences while I am on earth. If that is the case, when it is my time to go, I hope the funeral director puts a smile on my face. (This might sound a little morbid, but I grew up in a funeral home).

I will not spend my days trying to crack the code on when the end of the world will occur. I will continue to spend time reading my Bible. Besides strengthening my faith, it also gives me practical advice on how to handle my money.

 

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