On the day before a lottery drawing for more than $600 million, a reporter announced that 40 percent of past lottery grand-prize winners were broke within five years. I was stunned by that figure—I expected it to be higher! That’s because I have personally seen this next money-management principle in action.
- If handled wisely, money can be the means of great encouragement, but if mishandled, great stress.
Adversity pursues sinners,
But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
Many unfortunate lottery winners discover they were not prepared to handle the demands of great wealth. They typically splurged it all away, fell prey to the unwise investment schemes of family and friends, and succumbed to the relentless appeals of charities. A few even committed suicide.
Who can measure the encouragement our money can bring to others? If reared correctly, our children can benefit from, and know the joy of, receiving an inheritance from their parents. God’s Word admonishes parents to provide for their families. Ministries of every kind are dependent upon the financial generosity of those who support them. The hungry can be fed, the poor can be clothed, the homeless can be sheltered, the abused can be comforted, the untaught can be educated . . . The list of possibilities is truly endless.
There is the flip side, however:
The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you? (22:7, 26–27)
Pause over those key words . . . especially slave. No other term better describes the feeling of being financially irresponsible! If this happens to be your “grind,” let me encourage you to ignore it no longer. Make no more excuses! Too many helpful books and reliable resources are available for you. You have no reason to continue in an irresponsible manner. Begin the process of change this week.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.