Building Financial Margin – Week 5, Day 4

Daily Scripture Reading:

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”                                                 

James 1:5 – “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.” 

It happened when I was a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill. My first credit card! The application came in the Student Stores shopping bag and I thought: why not? If everyone shopping was getting a credit card, then certainly I needed one too!

Oh the joy of the $200 credit limit. (Back then you could get a lot of “stuff” with $200.)

And so it begins – the card that gives you the freedom to have a little “retail therapy” whenever you want it, the card that only needs a minimum monthly payment of $10, the card that has an interest rate of 19% . . . and on it goes.

If only I had been wiser, if only I had stopped to think about the future, if only I had thought about my actual needs as opposed to my wants. But our culture seems to run on the financial plan of: “buy now, pay later”. Oh, we pay later, don’t we? And pay and pay and pay.

God has promised us that He will give us wisdom whenever we ask for it. He has promised to direct our paths. But first we need to turn to Him. He is the One that will whisper in our ear “do you really need this?” He is the One who will help us re-order our priorities. He is the One who will give direction in all things – including our finances.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you that you are the God of all wisdom. Direct, guide and speak to me regarding my finances. Forgive me when I’ve turned aside from you and gone after my own wants and desires. Help me re-order my financial life starting today. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Reflection/Application Question for the Day:

How would you describe your financial situation?

Are you in debt? If so, are you managing the debt or is the debt overshadowing your life?

If you are struggling in your debt, stop and take a realistic picture of what needs to change. Write down your expenses, set a budget, explore ways you can pay more than the minimum payment, or get help from a Christian financial program like Financial Peace University. Make a plan!

______________________________

Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

All rights reserved

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