I love Dave Ramsey. He has changed my life because he changed how I think about money. Another man who was instrumental in changing my life because he changed how I think about money is my friend Casey Graham. These are two of the wisest men I know when it comes to personal finances. The amazing thing to me is how much they sound like the wisest and richest man who ever lived… Solomon.
Solomon put pen to paper and wrote over 3,000 proverbs, many of which are recorded in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Many of these proverbs have to do with money! Dave, Casey, and many others have embraced the financial wisdom passed on to us from Solomon and have put it to good use. You can too!
We are in week five of a six week journey through the book of Proverbs in which we are highlighting some of the best practices outlined by Solomon. If you’ve missed the previous posts you can catch them here: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.
Today we’re going to cover the top five lessons learned in chapters 21-25 of Proverbs! Ready? Here we go!
#18 Plan and work the plan
Solomon says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT). This is one of my favorite money verses! People who have a plan and work the plan are WAY more likely to see prosperity than those who just work hard.
In the world of finances we call that plan a “spending plan” (aka a budget). Do you have one of those? John Maxwell says that a budget is you “telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Plan… and work the plan!
#19 Only a fool spends everything he gets
Look at this, “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get” (Proverbs 21:20 NLT). The reason the wise have “wealth and luxury” is because they have learned the value of delayed gratification. In other words, they know how to say “no” now so they can say “yes” later! (check this post out for more on this topic)
Ironically, just a couple of versese earlier Solomon wrote, “Those who love pleasure become poor; wine and luxury are not the way to riches” (Proverbs 21:17 NLT). He’s right in both instances! The issue here is one of timing. A poor man who craves luxury NOW and has not learned to say “No” to himself NOW will NEVER enjoy the lap of luxury! The wise man however, the one who has learned to say “no” to himself, will someday have everything the poor man wants… but cannot have. Solomon is right… only a fool spends all he has.
#20 You are a slave to the one to whom you owe money.
Some of you think you are free… but you are not. Not if you have debt. If you really think you are free then stop sending in money every month and see how quickly your life changes! Solomon said it like this, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 NLT).
Here’s a question, are you in charge of your life or is Sallie Mae? Bank of America? Best Buy? Mastercard?
#21 Skilled workers will live well.
I heard a story once about the president of an ivy league school who was talking to his faculty and staff. He reportedly said, “Be nice to your ‘A’ students for someday they will come back here and teach. Be really nice to your ‘C’ students, for they they are the ones who will come back and build the buildings in which you teach.” Whether or not that is a true story is debatable, but I know plenty of people who though perhaps not “A students” were highly skilled in their craft… and lived very well as a result.
Solomon made this point as well; he wrote, “Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than ordinary people” (Proverbs 22:29 NLT). So here’s a question, what are you doing to improve your valuable skill sets?
#22 Security comes before comfort
Hey, don’t go buying and building just because you THINK your business is going to pay for your pleasure! Remember this, hope pays for nothing! Get that money-maker up and running and then you can spend! Look at this nugget from Solomon, “Develop your business first before building your house” (Proverbs 24:27 NLT).
This is especially wise counsel for young people and newly married couples! Don’t let your first big decision be one that leads to big debt! A broke man with a big house and a new is much worse off than a broke man with a small house and an old car. Make sure to establish your financial security before you begin to splurge on comfort and luxury! You’ll be glad you listened to Solomon!
OK, next week we’re going to wrap up this six part series through Proverbs. I hope this has been as helpful to you as it has been for me. I love Proverbs!