Well, those verses are to be taken seriously. But we can’t ignore the fact that other verses in the Bible instruct us to save. It appears that one way God provides is by giving us the ability to save.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Proverbs 13:22 (ESV)
God’s design is that we not only have enough to support ourselves and our family, but that we think about the future. We share our resources not only with our own children, but with their kids, too.
Think about how long a good man’s money lasts. He is looking out for his grandchildren. He doesn’t spend every dime on himself. He thinks about those who are coming after him.
I have to be honest, I have nothing from my grandparents. What will I leave for my grandchildren?
If you can’t leave much to your grandchildren in terms of money, you can leave intangible things that have lasting value. Prayers. Teachings. Example. Letters.
But let’s not water down the meaning of this verse. Let’s not over-spiritualize it. Take it at face value.
Some people say saving money is not spiritual. Yes, saving is wrong when it turns into hoarding (Luke 12:20-21). But saving money to meet a future need and to prepare for your later years is a sign of wisdom. Saving is one way that you provide for your family.
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
I Timothy 5:8
Saving so I won’t be a drain on my kids when I retire is a good thing. Saving so I can be free to “retire” to devote more time to serve Christ is a good thing. Saving so I can invest my savings in the kingdom someday is a good thing.
My friend, Gordon Heffern was past President of Society Bank, now Key Bank. He once told me, “I don’t want my kids waiting around for me to die to get my money. I’ll help with their education and a down payment on a house. After that, I’m giving the biggest portion of my wealth to the Lord’s work! So, he and several other leaders in NE Ohio, including our own Dwight Short, started HIS Foundation. It’s designed to be a place to invest your money and direct it to support those causes of Christ that are most important to you.
Listen, we ought to save so that there’s a surplus when we die. And then, we can put the church, God’s work, in our wills! Who said you have to give it all to your kids when you die? Around here, we talk about …
The 10-10-80 plan:
Sharing 10%. One tenth goes to support God’s work.
A tenth… belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
Leviticus 27:30 (NLT)
Give to God’s work. Give to the local church, the local storehouse. If I do that, the rest will be blessed. If I don’t, Malachi 3 says, the rest will be under a curse. I choose blessing. Sharing 10%.
Saving 10%. One tenth goes to your savings.
You worked hard for your paycheck. Pay yourself by putting some earnings into savings! This is not to be vacation fund money. It’s not a “mad-money fund.” This is to be put it somewhere so you will earn some interest. Too many people work until retirement and spend everything that they ever earned. They enter into their last years with nothing. They spent it all. How tragic. Don’t let that happen to you. Pay yourself!