Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough. (Proverbs 21:5 TEV)
A budget is simply a plan. It's telling your money where you want it to go, rather than wondering where it went. And the problem many of us have today is that we don't know where our money is going because we don't have a budget.
But if you want to get out of debt, you have to nip it in the budget. Do you remember Barney Fife, from The Andy Griffith Show? He used to say, “Nip it, nip it, nip it in the bud.” We need to nip it in the budget.
Notice today’s verse says, “Plan carefully.” That means budgeting; a budget is simply planned spending. Planning carefully means you say, “This is what we're going to spend next year and next month,” and by doing that, the Bible says, “You will have plenty.” It's a promise of God.
On the other hand, as today's verse says, “[I]f you act too quickly, you will never have enough.” This refers to what advertisers, marketers and retailers call impulse buying. You know what impulse buying is? Have you ever gone into a store without planning to buy something, but you bought it on an impulse? You didn't think about the purchase; it was totally emotion-based. You saw it, you wanted it, and you bought it.
And if you act too quickly, impulse buying plus no budget equals financial disaster. Have you ever bought something without thinking and later regretted it? Most of us have! And that's why you've got to have a plan.
When you make purchases this week, ask yourself if what you are buying is something you really need. Ask, “Is this an impulse buy?”
Learn More About a Biblical Approach to Your Budget
Your finances are important to God. Saddleback Resources offers Managing Our Finances God’s Way, a 7-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that will inspire you to live debt-free and/or manage finances in a way that enables you to respond to God’s calling on your life.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.