Ants and People!
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lay there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man," (Proverbs 6:6-11 NIV).
Let's look at ants.....yes, ants! Ants are busy little creatures, gathering their food for the long winter. They don't have a taskmaster making them work so hard. God has put it into their little hearts to gather provisions.
To save for the future requires us to work hard too. No one will stand over you, crack the whip, and force you to store money away for future needs and possible calamities. This is a choice you must make for yourself and your family.
If you shrug off the idea of saving for your future, you will come across trouble or financial hard times (we all do!) and find that you have no way to take care of yourself. Just as a thief comes unexpectedly, poverty, or lack of finances, will suddenly appear without warning if you are not prepared.
Cars breaking down, appliances dying, expensive medical tests, and other financial "surprises" should not really surprise us. Cars, appliances, and equipment all breaks down and/or needs to be replaced eventually. We must plan ahead to meet these financial needs. This should be part of our budget.
Our children will grow up and go to college and get married. Those things will cost money. If we want to take a vacation, it will cost money too. Again, these things must be planned for.
Ants gather little by little. This is a great way to save money. Save a little bit from your paycheck each month. Then, you will have a bit of money set aside to use for repairs and replacement. This money can also go toward vacations.
Another little bit can be taken from each paycheck to save for long-term needs such as college tuition, weddings, and retirement. It is important to NOT touch this money--no matter what happens!
"In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has," (Proverbs 21:20 NIV).
The only way to "store up" is to live below your income level. Not only do you need to avoid debt, but live on less. If you bring home $4,000.00 a month, tithe $400.00, save $400.00 and live on the rest. You will need to cut back somewhere to do this. Ask the Lord to show you what you need and what you can live without.
What Keeps us from Saving for the Future?
Lori was always complaining that they didn't have enough money to pay their bills and buy groceries. Her friend, Lisa, pointed out that she often stopped at 7-11 for a Big Gulp or hit a drive-thru for a quick meal.
"One Big Gulp and one Big Mac isn't the problem. Our finances are in a much bigger mess than that!"
"But, Lori," her friend explained,"This is the heart issue that causes the problem. You have to be willing to sacrifice temporary desires (for food and drink), for long-term needs."
"He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never become rich," (Proverbs 21:17 NIV).
Storing Requires Hard Work
If you spend more time working hard than you do right now, there will be two benefits.
The first benefit will be that you have more income that you can use to store for the future.
The second benefit is that you will have less time to spend money on things you don't need.
Hard work is a win-win situation.
"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty," (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).
God says that hard work will bring a profit. Maybe it will be gifts of training or equipment or clothing or food, rather than actual cash. That is fine.
Hard works brings a profit. A profit is more than enough to meet your needs. A profit will give you more money to store up for the future.
I want to challenge you to rethink your ideas on saving for the future. Make it a priority to start today!
In His Joy & Abundance,
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)