Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
This passage of scripture lays out before us the laws of cause and effect as it pertains to poverty or prosperity. The Bible teaches us not to focus our attention primarily on the accumulation of wealth, however the Christian is instructed in many passages of scripture to be diligent and faithful in the temporal things of life, where much of our character-building actually takes place. The proper management of assets is not only advised in the scriptures, it is also a positive duty of the Christian. This is what caught the attention of Potiphar and ultimately led him to make Joseph the steward of all his possessions. Let's read:
Genesis 39:2 And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
This principle of good stewardship is what Christ was reiterating when He gave the parable of the steward who had wasted his master's goods. In the parable the employee of the wealthy man is called into account for the management of the mammon of unrighteousness, which is wealth, for after an internal audit it was found that the rich man's assets were dwindling instead of multiplying as it ought to have been. Let's read:
Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
The reason why the employee was finally removed from his position of stewadship is because he spent lavishly without thinking of the future, a problem that's all too common right here in America. During the financial melt down it was found that many Americans had spent profusely during the seven years of plenty, starting from the year 2000- 2007, and when the seven years of famine ensued, from 2008-2014, many went under financially because they had not made provision for the bad times. What ultimately caused many to go bankrupt was a disregard or ignorance of, a fundamental principle found in the first chapter of the Bible, namely replenishing, or restoring that which is used.
The habit of spending more money than is earned is productive of many unnecessary evils, and according to the passage in Proverbs, will inevitably drive a person into poverty. One of the reasons why this occurs is because many people abhor the fiscal discipline of budgeting, and therefore their spending is driven by spontaneous thought and action, instead of first deliberately, and soberly counting the cost, by thinking things through.
As a general rule of thumb, we should not spend if we do not have in place a plan to replenish, except in cases of real emergencies. And even when emergencies arise, there should already be in place a fund for the rainy day, for according to the Bible the "rainy days" will come sooner or later, for most of us will live through one or more recessions in our lifetime. It happened in Pharaoh's time and it happen again in ours. Let's read:
Genesis 41:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
It is God's will therefore that we apply in a practical manner the wisdom that comes from above, not only in the spiritual realm, but also in the temporal affairs of life. The way in which this is done is by bringing God into our thought processes and decisions, so that He may guide us with wisdom and discretion in all the affairs of life. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that should encourage us to do just that, and to apply the principles of righteousness in our everyday experiences. Let's read:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
May we begin to apply this scripture in our lives so that it may go well with us and our children forever. "Good night" and God bless!