This is the second installment of a 10 part series I have entitled Financial Freedom. The first is entitled “Tithe”.
My wife lost her job in our second year of marriage. We were not sure how we were going to manage. She has always been our main source of income. I simply did not make enough to support us. To add insult to injury we had expensive repairs to do on my car. I recall leaving work to find her outside in tears. She was devastated. There was no money to pay for it and we needed our vehicle. We felt helpless! It’s a terrible feeling to need something and not be able to get it. We survived the storm but it could have been so much easier. (Familiarize yourself with the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis) The nation of Egypt was experiencing a time of plenty but there was a storm brewing. They were forewarned of a time of famine. They placed their faith in Jospeh who followed God’s leading. Instead of making themselves fat on their abundance they saved up enough to get them through the emergency. Not only did God provide their need but there was enough left to help their neighbors as well. As an added bonus, Egypt grew rich while other peoples were failing under the strain. Egypt survived because they trusted someone who trusted God.
Everyone experiences troubles in life. Car repairs, illness and joblessness to name a few. When it happens, trust God to have your best interest in mind. (Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.) But before an emergency happens, take the advice Joseph gave to the Egyptians and act likewise. (Proverbs 21:20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but foolish men swallow it up.) Emergencies will happen but if you are prepared they can be much easier to ride out with a little preparation. Most people do not prepare well enough. Indeed, Bankrate did a survey which found that only 39% of Americans have $1000 saved for emergencies. According to The Atlantic an average emergency room visit costs $2168. This could be devastating for those without insurance.
Here is what I suggest. Try to save at least 3 months of income. Even a little is a lot. My mother gave me good advice once. I wish I had listened sooner. Even if it is just $10 a month it adds up. Make whatever adjustment you are able. Be creative. Perhaps you could save pocket change or change you get from bottle returns. Our plan was to save in times of plenty. Whenever we had some windfall or extra leftover it would get put away for a rainy day. Raises and bonuses were put away until we got our 3 month backup. Do it however you want but do something not nothing. A little bit will add up but don’t be tempted to spend your emergency money on just anything.
A. Pray for guidance as you make your plan. Put it in writing. Share this plan.
B. Be thankful that God has provided the resources to save up for emergencies.
C. Pray that God keeps you faithful in saving and gives you strength to resist the temptation to spend your emergency stash.
I was a amazed at how easy it was to save once we had committed ourselves to it! We had 3 months safety net within 2 years! Over many years we were able to save up 6 months. Praise God that we were no longer devastated by emergency car repairs. We were experiencing a freedom from the minor storms that life brings by faithfully acting on the concepts exhibited in the Bible. It exhilarated me to realize something about the Bible. It works! By following simple truths put forth thousands of years ago, I could be free from bondage today. I believed in the Bible but had I really seen these concepts at work so plainly like this? I always just wanted my problems to magically disappear or for money to magically appear. Thank God that he was thinking of me when he breathed words into a book for generations to learn from. I was motivated to seek more knowledge about not only money but life in general. Our new found freedom in faithfully saving was yielding dividends in other areas of life. Not only did it allow us to experience less stress in the lean times but it made us more effective Christians. Only God can do that! (Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.”) He will multiply our simple obedience in ways you would not have imagined.
My prayer for you is that God would motivate you to save for a rainy day and to let the Holy Spirit reveal truth about saving that will spill over into other aspects of your life.