“It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” (Ecc 5:5 NASB)
Our integrity is always demonstrated by what we say. Do we offer more than we can deliver? Do we paint a picture that is overly rosy? Do we dangle a carrot in front of our staff that will be hard to meet? The Scripture says our yes should be yes and our no, no (see Mat 5:37). There is no grey, just black and white.
Sometimes it is not easy to say it like it is. Often when circumstances change, we struggle to meet our commitments. Perhaps we should do what we said we will do and let God sort out the consequences. He will honor a stand that is done in line with His requirements of us.
We can live by the Word of God, keep our promises, and run a successful, growing, profitable, influential business.
Quick Prayer: Jesus, You always demonstrated absolute integrity. Help me to walk like You. Amen.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (Rom 13:8)
Sometimes the Scriptures are deliberately vague. We have to dig deep for the truth, and there are layers of understanding. Other times things are so obvious in black-and-white that we almost miss them.
Let no debts remain outstanding. If we look into the ancient text, reference the commentators of the time, seek out all the different interpretations of the Scripture, and assemble it all together, it makes no difference. The Word still says to let no debt remain outstanding.
If you have debts remaining, let them not remain outstanding.
Quick Prayer: Help me get me out of debt please, Lord. Amen.
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’” (2 Kin 4:1)
My God is a generous God. He does supply all my needs. But if I squander his provision, if I am flippant with His generosity, or if I do not have an attitude of stewardship, I will quickly live beyond my means.
The temptation to keep up with the Joneses is a strong one. We live in a material world where we are continually bombarded with messages of the new and the greatest.
While God is fully aware of the society in which we live and what we need to partake in society and be effective, must be careful to be wise with what He has given us. The price we can pay for being out of control and falling into the hands of creditors is too high.
Quick Prayer: I know there is a price to pay for living outside my means. Give me wisdom. Amen.
“Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you.” (Pro 3:28)
I like this description because it demonstrates the heart of God. There is something very right and proper about spontaneously meeting a need. If we have something in hand that can meet a need of others, we shouldn’t even hesitate to give.
There is something inherently wrong with having resources and not meeting the need. Even in business, in the brutal cut and thrust of the commercial world, the principles of generosity apply.
If we can pay bills now, why not pay them now? This could cut across the prevailing culture and demonstrate a transformed life. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?
Quick Prayer: Help me to be prompt in my payments. Amen.
“She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.’” (2 Kin 4:7)
There is a spiritual principle that affects our physical existence; we reap what we sow. What we put in, we get out. Often the type of seed we sow is the fruit we reap. These things are the provision of God. Sometimes He goes abundantly beyond all we can think.
When it has all gone horribly wrong and what we have feared has come to pass, God is still able to provide. He may well provide in a truly supernatural fashion. He can open doors no man can shut. He can provide in ways we cannot even imagine. He can provide a way when there is no way.
Let’s not forget that He is an omnipotent God. He is the Creator of all things, and He is without limit. He is bigger than our need, and He can and will provide.
Quick Prayer: Thank You that You can provide supernaturally. Amen.
“When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.” (Neh 10:31)
We sometimes forget that our economy is not necessarily built on godly principles. While I truly believe that the democratic free-market capitalist system is as good as it gets, there are certain godly principles that are not inherent in the way we do commerce.
In the ancient world, there was a seven-year cycle of forgiving debts. What a wonderful demonstration of forgiveness and grace and mercy. What an acknowledgment that all belongs to God.
We have been forgiven much. Let’s not forget where we were when God found us. We who have received mercy should be merciful.
Quick Prayer: Help me to be merciful with those who owe me money. Amen.
“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.” (Pro 6:1–2)
The essence of this proverb occurs a number of times in Scripture. It’s obviously an important financial principle, particularly for those of us who are in business.
If we are in onerous contracts or agreements or have guaranteed another entity or person, we need to renegotiate. Don’t put off, don’t delay, and don’t get distracted or be put off by the inconvenience or how it may be perceived; go and get it changed.
The Bible describes it as a trap, that we have been ensnared by the words of our mouth. If it is God’s will that we not enter into such an agreement, He will give us a way of escape.
Quick Prayer: Give me favor to renegotiate where I need to please, Lord. Amen.