Money…we always had it, we never seemed to lack it, and we rarely talked about it.
This is how I describe my family of origin and what I grew up thinking about money.
As we began our married life, I carried that same understanding of money into the early years of starting a family. This presented some challenging life issues and brought us to a point of needing some help from others.
There were some very important lessons about money that were learned during that time. God provided wise counselors in our lives so that we could learn to “seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness.” God used these counselors to graciously show us the error of our ways and provided us with discipline and new financial freedoms. God also blessed us with many things that we did not deserve, and showed us how to bless others and steward what he has so wonderfully provided for us.
One of the hardest things we all face is dealing with pride. It is hard to admit to others when we have made poor choices. It is hard to let others in when we think that we can handle it on our own. It is just plain hard to ask for help even when it seems so obvious that we need the help.
Proverbs speaks over and over about the wisdom that is found in seeking to connect with those that are wiser than us. Following these wise people and learning from them not only helps us, but also grows us so we can help others.
Dealing with money is a progressive journey. We are still growing in our understanding of how to manage it well. We are still seeking to learn from others and are trying to be generous with what God continues to lavish on us.
I would encourage you to seek guidance from others in understanding how money impacts your life. Talk to a close friend who also follows Jesus. Be open with your community group. Seek out a mentor, be a mentor. Let others in and be authentic with others who you trust. Let God show you all that He has in store for you as you seek to honor him with your life and your money.
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6,7 (NIV)
Day Thirty: Vistas of Wisdom
I am very near the end of this little writing experiment called “31 Proverbs.” While I’m unsure how helpful it has been to how ever many have read it, I know that the process of sitting down six days each week to read, ponder, and then ponder some more by plunking on a keyboard has helped me grow in my understanding of wisdom.
Day Thirty-Two: A Mother's Wisdom (part two)
Yesterday, we heard from what was likely King Solomon’s mother imparting worthy words of wisdom in the area of leadership. For the sayings of wisdom we find here are those “which his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). And she now turns her attention to the search for a woman of virtue and noble character, suitable to be a wife and mother.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.
Day Twenty-Six: A Morning Conversation With King Solomon
A conversation that happened this morning as I came upon a visitor in our fireplace room….
Day Nineteen: God Chose Her, Not You
The doctrine of God’s rule and reign in and over all things comes crashing into the human conception of the self-made man. We are tempted to think we have so much to do with our happinesses. But the wisdom found from James speaks a wakefulness into the pondering of our circumstances—the good gifts we have come not from our own hands, but by the grace and providence of our heavenly Father. And the wisdom of Solomon makes clear—one of man’s greatest gifts is something only God can give, an understanding wife.
Day Seventeen: The Great Gain Of Godly Contentment
We live in a world where the temptation is constant to believe the amount of our wealth and possessions directly translates to our joy and happiness. The Bible, once again, confronts our culture and holds out another possibility. Namely, “better” does not imply “more,” “bigger,” or “expensive.” It suggests that the reason you still haven’t found what you are looking for is because you’ve been searching in all the wrong places. Wisdom opens our eyes and hearts to deeper wells of contentment.
Day Fifteen: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
I always feel like somebody's watching me. And I have no privacy. Woh, I always feel like somebody's watching me. Tell me is it just a dream? So sang Rockwell in the dawning of my high school years back in 1984. All the cool kids were singing it at the time, and its the tune that sprang to mind when I read this similar sentiment this morning: Yahweh is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3, New Living Translation)
Day Fourteen: Death By Living
For those of us desirous to live a good life, we’ve known since the very beginning of this book that it begins with a healthy awe, reverence, and trembling before the God of the universe whose name is Yahweh (Proverbs 1:7). And here we are again reminded that this humble posture before the Holy One is a fountain overflowing with life.