Home > Uncategorized > Saving – It’s not just for a rainy day.

Saving – It’s not just for a rainy day.


* * *

Mother had decided to
trim her household budget wherever possible, so instead of having a
dress dry-cleaned she washed it by hand. Proud of her savings, she
boasted to my father,Just think, Fred, we are five dollars richer
because I washed this dress by hand. Good, my dad quickly replied.
Wash it again!

* * *

OK, so money isn’t our most favorite
thing to talk about.  Especially when we are going to be discussing
possible changes in our use of money…or our possible abuse of cash.
It’s personal isn’t it?  That’s what it is.  We are so closely
tied to our cash…and cash to our lives…that when we discuss it in
‘church’ settings it gets very awkward.  And don’t worry, it’s
awkward for me as well.  Money is one of the most talked about
subjects in our Bible.  And very often the Bible asks us to do things
differently than we are probably doing.  Don’t worry though.  This is
an uplifting article…I hope.

Savings.  How many of us save?  Now
when the Bible talks about savings, it talks not only about money,
but about resources.  Food, drink, cash.  Two items that are vital to
human life, and one that is vital to human life in our society.

Here’s a principle I’d like for us to
consider.  Hopefully you can follow me here.  I think we’d all agree
that God’s purpose for our lives is to have us grow into the likeness
of his son Jesus.  And we know that Jesus’ character is exactly like
that of his father’s.  We are to then to have the love of God shining
through our lives…our actions and words and thoughts.  Money and
resources have to fit in that somewhere.  Here’s my
understanding…and I’m not an expert…I’m just learning as I get
older and as I gain more wisdom from the Bible.

God takes care of his children.  When
we actively search for him and his wisdom and his resources, as we
follow his daily plan for our life, he provides.  In fact, if you
remember our discussion some time back from the Sermon on the Mount,
he asks us to seek and knock…promising us that we will find and the
doors will be opened.  He takes care of us.  As children of God we
are to act like him.  We are to care for family and take care of
others…just like he does.  Love God.  Love your neighbor as
yourself.

Saving isn’t just something that our
grandparents and great grandparents learned through and from the
Great Depression.  It’s Biblical.  Actually, its a choice and an
attitude towards life.  It’s not just ‘sound’ financial wisdom, its a
way of living.  It’s not about getting rich or getting ahead.  Its
about doing life God’s way and with his wisdom.

Saving money.  Saving resources.  In
the Bible, in Proverbs 21:20, Solomon writes that wise people store
food and oil, but foolish people use up everything they have
constantly.  The wisdom of God calls us to store up food and oil.
Genesis 41 tells us of a time when God used a young man by the name
of Joseph to help save a “non-God-following” country called
Egypt.  Egypt was the power house of nations, yet through a dream,
Joseph helped the Pharaoh know that there was a 7 year famine on the
way.  It was coming after 7 years of incredible abundance.  God,
through Joseph, helped Egypt put away 20% of their harvest, 7 years
over, so that they would have food through the famine.  Well, not
only so Egypt could have food, but that they could literally be a
place others would come to to buy food and resources.  Through this
thoughtful, strategic, change of lifestyle for seven years, Egypt
literally saved itself and more than likely many nations around them.
That’s God’s nature.  He uses open and willing servants to work in
the world to show his goodness a nature as a provider.  Question is,
are you one of those servants?

Sure, saving is for the rainy day that
often comes to our household unexpectedly.  Sickness happens.
Accidents happen.  The roof gives way when we least expect it.  Cars
break down.  But those things happen to people round us too.  God
wants us to be open handed with our savings as well.  I’m not saying
to give it all away to the first person we see who needs a new car,
but to be smart with our generosity so that people will truly see
God’s provision…through us.

If we have the attitude that many
people in our world have that promotes buying the latest, newest and
hottest ‘thing’…whatever that thing is…then we can’t be fully
about our Father’s business.  But guess what?  We can change.  Maybe
we can set our budget up so that all of our purchase decisions are
based on 80% of our income (tithing 10% and saving 10%).  But change
stinks doesn’t it?  But guess what?  If we get this right, we will be
available for God to use in our own family and to our neighbors as
well!  We all know people like this don’t we?  The are so
giving…even when it looks like they don’t have much to give.  And
they’re happy.  I think that’s what God looks like.  I want to look
more like that.

Can you save?  All of us can.  If we
are paycheck to paycheck because of past purchases or simply because
of circumstances out of our reach, we can make little decisions to
make dollars stretch further.  Will it kill us? No, but it will feel
different.

Another thing here.  A few years we had
the remnants of a hurricane come through Ohio.  Some of you will
remember this.  Some of you, like us, had branches and trees come
down around us and knock us out of electric for days.  I think some
of us were out for many days.  We were lucky.  We had purchased a
generator from a friend and it helped keep our refrigerator cold and
an electric heater going to keep our pipes from freezing.  We were
out about 3-4 days.  Not huge.  We had family who provided meals for
us because they had electric.  But what would have happened if our
whole county were to be out of electric?  Gas stations shut
down…oops…there goes the generator (unless I had stores of gas).
Grocery stores would not be able to keep things cold.  McD’s would
not be able to prepare food.  Question, would your pantry provide you
with food for 3 days without electric?  Do you have water that could
last for 3 days for you and your family?

You see this saving thing isn’t just
about money.  It’s about being smart with resources for life.  Buy an
extra couple cans of veggies when you go to the store to not
use…but to store away.  Buy a gallon of water every so often to not
use, but to store away.  You never know what may happen.  Our daily
life is surrounded by electric.  If it goes out, have you saved
sufficiently to feed your family…and maybe help neighbors who
didn’t?  Remember God’s character as a provider.  He wants that to
shine through us.  And he can.  This is something we all can do.  As
a church family, if we all saved, think about the resources we would
have collectively to help each other and our neighbors!

Proverbs 21:20 – “In the house of the
wise are stores of choice foods and oil, but a foolish man devours
all he has.”

Questions for growth:

  • Does your bank account have enough
    to cover for your next emergency?  Oh, yes…there will be a next
    one.
  • What is your attitude towards
    saving/spending?
  • Have you ever been helped by
    someone else when you had a emergency that you didn’t have enough
    money/food/resources for?  How did that feel?  Can you look back now
    and see God in the situation?
  • Do you want to be that for other
    people as well?
  • Can you be that for others with
    your current saving and “stores” of resources?
  • What can you do this week…even
    within the next couple days…to be more wise with your savings of
    cash and resources?  Will you do it?  🙂
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