“The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (Proverbs 14:8 TLB).
What did Jesus like about this guy? The man was dishonest, but he did three things right, and those three things reveal lessons that God wants you to learn and apply to your finances.
The manager looked ahead.
Most people never look ahead when it comes to their finances. We’re not saving anything, and that’s not smart.
Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB).
The manager made a plan.
How do you know if you’ve got a financial plan? It’s really simple: Do you have a budget? A budget is simply planned spending. A budget tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went. You’ve got to have a plan.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, “We should make plans—counting on God to direct us”(TLB).
The manager acted quickly.
Luke 16:4 says, “I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired” (NLT).
The manager didn’t procrastinate; he didn’t delay. He set his plan in motion. He didn’t say, “Someday I’m going to get my finances in order” or “Someday I’m going to start saving for retirement.”
Jesus didn’t commend the manager’s dishonesty but his attitude, which said, “I’m going to think ahead. I’m going to make a plan. And I’m going to invest in relationships that will benefit others and me in the future.”
That’s smart! And Jesus wants you to do the same when it comes to your finances. Are you spending your treasure here on Earth or looking ahead and storing up treasure in heaven.
How to Be Blessed
“God bless you.” It’s a phrase you hear all the time. But what does it mean? It’s such a vague generality that most people don’t have the slightest idea what it means to be blessed by God.
A blessing is a sovereign act of God, where he takes someone or something that is normal — and then he supernaturally produces that which is naturally impossible in order to meet your needs.
That’s what you pray when you ask God to bless your family. You’re saying, “God, I want you to bless every area of my family and meet the needs of each of my family members.”
I want you to be blessed by God this year and this decade. In fact, I want you to begin to look at this decade as your Decade of Destiny. If you are going to experience the blessings that God has stored up for you, you need to do two things: you have to ask for them and you have to keep God’s rules.
Financial Blessing Requires Careful Planning
If you want to be financially strong, you need to start writing down what you spend until you know where it’s all going. This is the principle of accounting. You’ve got to keep track of your finances!
Proverbs 21:5 says, “Plan carefully and you will have plenty” (TEV). If you don’t have plenty, you’re not planning carefully. You don’t have anybody to blame but yourself.
You may say, “But I had this emergency!” Everybody has emergencies. Everybody gets laid off or has unexpected expenses. The difference between the people who make it through and those who don’t is how they planned for those emergencies. If you don’t expect them, of course you’re going to be devastated by them.
Have you ever made it to the end of the month and wondered, “Where did all my money go?” Ignorance of your financial condition plus easy credit equals disaster. You’ve heard that phrase, “Money talks.” It does not. It just walks away quietly, and it doesn’t tell you where it’s going. So you have to keep good records so you know where your money is going.
Here are four things you need to keep good records of: what you own, what you owe, what you earn, and where it’s going. There are several ways to budget, and you need to figure out which one is best for you. You need to get online, get into your bank, get to your accountant’s office, get into your books — whatever it takes to get on track and understand your money so that it works for you and not against you.
Proverbs 23:5 says, “Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle” (TEV). That’s a pretty descriptive picture. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s just going to fly away like an eagle.
Fortunately, the U.S. government is kind enough to remind us by putting an eagle on every dollar bill. So every time you look at that bill, let it be a reminder that it’s going to fly away unless you tell it where to go.