Alternatives to the Fix

Because one of the things I do is to help individuals and couples with their finances, including budgeting, getting out of debt, and investing for retirement, I am often seeing things that need to be fixed. Their finances are broken. Rarely does someone come to me with all of their finances in order. Almost everyone seems to want to get rid of their debt and to save for the future, but they have done little or nothing to take care of either. Sadly, more spend time planning a vacation or a holiday gathering than they do thinking about their stewardship of the things God has placed in their hands.

The “fix” is wisdom.

I often direct those who are willing to listen to the book of Proverbs. It isn’t surprising to see that King Solomon, who was very wealthy, speaking about every aspect of life, including the use of financial resources. But we should remember one thing: when God asked Solomon what he wanted, he didn’t ask for power or a bigger castle. He asked for a discerning mind – for knowledge that is applied with wisdom.

1 Kings 3:5-14 (ESV) gives us the account of Solomon’s dream. We have the same opportunity. It is found in James 1:5. If we ask for wisdom, then we can start right the first time and don’t need to fix a mess later on.

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’ And Solomon said, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?

“It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.’” 1 Kings 3:5-14 (ESV)

Perhaps the biggest fix we need in our lives is to remember we are not the owners of anything we have. We are the ones who have been given some of God’s riches. We ought not take that lightly. Start by asking him for wisdom.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.