Windfalls and Downfalls


Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.

~Proverbs 13:11, NLT


If you don’t grow wealth gradually with hard work, you will not have the character to manage the wealth you gain.

~Timothy Keller

Years ago I attended a financial seminar that changed my life. Our instructor was a business man from Birmingham. I don’t remember a lot about him other than he had gray hair and ten children. It was a secular meeting so you can imagine my shock when I heard him teach these principles out of Proverbs. He said there are four ways to get money: [1] You can inherit money, [2] You can steal money like the government does, [3] You can earn money or you can [4] Save enough money that your money will earn money by investment. Then he shared the 10-10-80 RULE which was a revelation to me. You give the first 10% to the LORD before you do anything else. You give the second 10% to yourself {save} and then you discipline yourself to live on the other 80%. Of course the tithing thing was not new but I had never heard of giving yourself 10% and I had never saved a dime. Remember, I had four children and June was not in the work force at the time. I talked to man after the seminar and explained my plight. He simply said, “You have to get rid of everything that you don’t have to have and you have to treat the second 10% just like you do the first.” In other words, if you can discipline yourself to tithe, you can discipline yourself to save. It was not easy folks but I began this practice at age 35 and today I am grateful to this very wise man.

Avoid all get rich quick schemes. People who get rich quick don’t know how to manage their wealth where as those who have worked, saved and invested over time have developed the necessary character to manage wealth. Have you ever researched those who win the lottery. In most cases, not all but most, the sudden windfall ruins their life. Look at what happens to these celebrity athletes who come into wealth without hard work over time. Wealth has a way of distorting our perspective. The rich young ruler in the bible is a good example or should I say, a bad example. Jesus knew that his wealth was his undoing and He tried to save him from his greed and avarice. Of course the young man refused to let go, he worshiped his wealth and it cost him an abundant life here and eternal life in heaven. None of us want to be dependent on others and we sure do not want to depend on the government. It is wise to save to invest but it is unwise save to hoard. We use money but none of us will keep it–money is a temporal thing. We certainly don’t take it out of circulation. It was not created to be buried in the ground or in a jar. To do so is horrible stewardship and we will be held accountable.

Beautiful weather; no complaints in that department. We talked about hard work yesterday I think and then I helped Mandy with the Stew yesterday and I worked constantly without a break for about 4 hours and I was tired. I barely made it home for my shower and then we went to the POINT and preached on Psalm 62. I had every intention of letting them out early but I preached the entire sermon and I was worn out. Today Aunt-T has me a project lined up and she’s going to come over and help. She’s really coming to make sure I do it.


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