Seven Wise Sayings
THE sayings below are found in an ancient book filled with maxims that have proved to be practical and up-to-date. Consider how these may be helpful in managing your money.
1. “A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10) Those are not the words of an envious man of little means. One of the richest men who ever lived, King Solomon of Israel, wrote them based on his personal experience and observation. Wealthy men of more recent times have made similar remarks.
2. “If we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation.” (1 Timothy 6:8, 9, NET Bible) Those words were written by the apostle Paul, who gave up a prominent career and became a follower of Jesus Christ. Unlike some religious leaders today, Paul firmly resisted any temptation to take material advantage of his students or associates. Instead, he could honestly say: “I have coveted no man’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands have attended to the needs of me and of those with me.”—Acts 20:33, 34.
3. “Who of you that wants to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the expense, to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28) Jesus’ illustration might be applied to a situation you may face: When making a purchase, especially with a credit card, will you buy impulsively or be patient and count the cost? Do you really need the item, and can you afford it?
4. “Those who borrow are slaves of moneylenders.” (Proverbs 22:7, Contemporary English Version) The recent world financial crisis has exposed the folly of credit-card and other forms of debt. “It is common for a person today to have, on average, over $9,000 in credit card debt on four or more credit cards,” states Michael Wagner in his 2009 book Your Money, Day One.
5. “The wicked one is borrowing and does not pay back, but the righteous one is showing favor and is making gifts.” (Psalm 37:21) Declaring bankruptcy is viewed by some as an easy way out of paying back what they owe. On the other hand, those who value a good relationship with God are not only conscientious about paying back what they owe, if they can possibly do so, but also generous with what they have.
6. “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.” (Psalm 37:25) Those words were written by a man who suffered unjust treatment. For years he was a fugitive, sometimes living in caves and sometimes seeking refuge in a foreign land. Eventually, this fugitive, David, became ancient Israel’s king. During his life he experienced for himself the truthfulness of the above words.
7. “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) Those words were spoken by the greatest man who ever lived. “For the joy that was set before him,” Jesus spent his life on earth in the service of others. Now he enjoys immortal spirit life in heaven at the right hand of “the happy God,” Jehovah.—Hebrews 12:2; 1 Timothy 1:11.
We can have no greater purpose in life than to imitate the example of Jesus by doing all within our power to be in a position to serve the interest of others. No doubt you will agree that it is better to be a cautious saver, so as to be able to be a generous giver, than to be a selfish spender.