Today’s Scripture:┬áBe thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?┬áProverbs 27:23-24

A department-store cashier finished ringing up the customer’s purchase and asked how payment was going to be made. The customer declared her intention to open a store credit card. In accordance with store policy, the cashier asked to see some identification and proof of residency.

Unconcerned, the customer fished around in her purse and quickly presented her driver’s license and a letter bearing her name and address. The cashier took one look at the letter and immediately broke down into fits of laughter.

The letter was a notice of insufficient funds from her bank.

As humorous as the above situation is, it highlights a very real struggle that most people face in life: the struggle of finance. Nothing can be quite so stressful or personal as the management of money. The great thing is that finance doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult if it is managed according to the wisdom and guidance of God’s Word. Since the Bible has instruction for all of life’s difficulties and problems, then it should have instruction for our finances as well.

One of the Biblical principles of finance is to know what the state of your finances are. While knowing what your finances are seems like a simple and obvious thing to do, I routinely come across individuals who simply haven’t taken the time to work out what they have, what they earn and what they owe. They live like the fictional lady from our opening illustration: blissfully unaware of their situation until it is too late.

I urge you not to wait until things become desperate to know the state of your flocks and herds. Setting up a budget is a great way to itemize your money and discover what you have to work with throughout the month. While most people believe that a budget is constraining or restrictive, the truth is that utilizing a budget is quite liberating. A budget is a plan for how you will spend your money throughout the month, and knowing where your finances are going provides a lot of peace of mind and comfort throughout your life.

Perhaps you haven’t been diligent to know what your financial state is, or you’ve just relied upon your present bank balance to tell you what you can and cannot do. I urge you to exercise some Biblical principles of wise money management. Discover what the state of your wealth is and you’ll find that peace of mind is the result.

Devotional by C.J. Armstrong