February 2, 2009
Noble Plans, Noble Deeds
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:27 (NIV)
Recent spikes in gas prices. A collapsing housing market. A stock market that fluctuates dramatically. Record foreclosures. Inflation. Bank bailouts and eleventh hour negotiations. It’s hard not to notice the economic turmoil our nation has been facing in the last several months. It’s also hard not to feel anxiety when we see the latest news reports. When will we come out of this? How far will things go? And yet, Jesus told us not to worry about anything. Right now we might be asking ourselves: How can we not?
Isaiah 32:8 says, “But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” One part of learning to live without worry as Jesus commands is to begin making wise plans for our financial future. God doesn’t want us to leave things to chance or foolishly count on things to never change. Noble plans will bear up in the most shaky environment. Noble deeds will stand even when everything else is crumbling.
About five years ago, my husband and I made the decision to do whatever it took to eliminate our debt and live financially free. When we did, we began living a life that was drastically different from the status quo. I can’t say it was easy. But we set our sights on our plan and, with God’s help, worked towards the future. Today we are breathing a sigh of relief that we aren’t where we once were. There is no doubt in my mind that, had we not made the changes we made five years ago, we would be in serious financial trouble right now. Our monthly debt payments would have been too much on top of the significant increase in the cost of living.
Even though we are out of debt now, we still have to keep working our plan lest we fall back into old habits and rack up new debt. When we sold our home this past summer, some lenders told us we could afford a lot more home than we were anticipating. I will admit that it was tempting to buy the big “dream home” and throw caution to the wind, hoping that my husband would always make his commission and we would “get by.” As we prayed about our decision, we knew that wasn’t what God wanted us to do. We bought a house that was a much smarter choice financially. It wasn’t the “fun” solution and the house we bought wasn’t fancy or impressive. And yet, as we have watched the continually declining financial picture of our nation, we know with certainty that we made the right choice. By following God’s guidelines and seeking His will, we have experienced the freedom of being able to stand on solid financial ground. Left to our own devices, we would be in a big mess.
This time in our nation can be viewed as either devastating or as a needed wake-up call. Has it got your attention? Are you searching for solutions for your money issues? We can either let it shake us or let it serve as an impetus to make noble plans—plans that line up with God’s design for our spending, saving and tithing. We can sign up for a class at church or purchase resources to help us finally create that budget or assess our spending habits. We can talk to our children about scaling back our lifestyle. We can draw closer to our spouse and pray together for God’s guidance as we navigate these uncertain times. Most of all, we can discover a new reliance on God as our Provider, our Protector and the source of our peace, no matter what the financial reports say.
Dear Lord, I want to live a financially responsible life. I want to honor You with my financial choices and make plans that reflect Your purpose in my life. Help me to seek You in my finances just like in the rest of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Learning to Live Financially Free by Marybeth and Curt Whalen
Total Money Make-Over by Dave Ramsey
Visit Marybeth Whalen’s blog
Marybeth will be discussing ways to plan for your financial future on her blog today. Head on over there to join in the discussion.
What is one step you can take today that will help you plan for your financial future?
Is God nudging you to make changes in your spending habits or the way you view money?
Do you have a noble plan for your finances that can serve as a comfort in these uncertain times?
I Timothy 6:5, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (NIV)
Proverbs 20:18a, “Make plans by seeking advice.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 02 February 2009.