We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not lay that out for show which should be expended for the support of the family. (Matthew Henry)
This is a Just a little more follow-up called How to manage paying bills (Part One)
- Don’t rob God. Malachi 3:6-15
- Trust! God will supply our needs. Philippians 4:19
- Be good stewards. Luke 16:1-13
Don’t rob God. The world got its “wisdom” from somewhere, someone else. Often enough its counsel goes the exact opposite way to the wise counsel we find in God’s Word. Malachi says that man robbed God by keeping back the tithes. For many people, tithing — giving a portion “back” to God — does not make sense. They think in terms of Income – Tithe = Less left for myself. Sadly, even many Christians think this way. To give 10% or less of the income, before or after taxes, is not my point here. What I want to emphasize are two things: 1 Know that all belongs to God in the first place. 2 Give back from your heart.
Trust God. Trust that He will supply all your needs — isn’t that something that goes against our nature, too? Worldly questions about our welfare and prosperity cut like a knife, don’t they? If doubt kicks in we need to pray, be still, know that He is God and that He is perfectly able to provide!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Be good stewards. In our world everything has to happen in an instant. We send off an email, expecting an answer within minutes. We heat up something in the microwave, expecting it will be done in seconds. We want to own a car now. We want to buy a house right away. Waiting is a word we do not like. We are “in need” (want) of so many things.
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. (Proverbs 24:27)
This proverb suggests that we
- then build the house.
Let me share a list I have made going through the points that Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary:
- First necessaries, then conveniences.
- Be content with what you have instead of going in debt for things.
- Do not build/buy until you can afford it.
- Beware of spending money on things that bring nothing in.
- Make necessary preparations (e.g. saving up money) because you may end up spending more money than expected — and then you cannot finish what you have started.
Preferring necessaries before conveniences is not always easy to do but in the long run it will lead to more ownership and less debt. Being content with what we have is hard to do, especially when we see our wants no longer as wants but as needs. I mean, the world trains us to crave for certain kinds of food, to long for entertainment and communication essentials, doesn’t it? And then we go in debt for things we do not really need. We buy things that we cannot afford. If we cannot afford it, we’ll get a credit for it.
Watch this space because Monday I will give you more practical tips on budgeting finances.