Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 8 : Keep Your Word | Day 52

Don't Presume Upon the Future!

We may make promises, fully intending to keep them, however, if those promises depend on uncertain conditions, we are in danger of breaking our word. God warns: “Go to now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13-14).

“For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil” (James 4:15-16).

Notice that this warning to not presume upon the future is applied to a proposed business venture. Not keeping our word regarding financial matters is an area in which there is great potential for damage.

A respected man began to build a very large and impressive building. He did not have enough cash, so he borrowed money to build it. Both he and the bank were certain he could pay the money back, because he owned a valuable orange grove in Florida, which he put up as collateral. Unexpectedly, one night the area experienced unusually low temperatures and all of his trees died. This drastically reduced the value of the property, and the bank called for payment of the loan.

The financial and emotional strain on this man was intense, and the half-finished building stood for several years as a public monument of rebuke and shame for his presumption upon the future. By taking out a loan, we are assuming that certain things will happen or remain the same so that we can pay it back.

When our needs or plans go beyond our resources, it is time to call on the Lord, not the bank.

A marriage counselor reported to me that most of the divorces he saw came as a result of the husband's mismanagement of finances. If we need expensive items, there are many creative options that can be explored, such as negotiating a lower price, selling unneeded possessions, buying a used item, asking parents and others for counsel, learning to do without the item until the money is saved to buy it, or crying out to God to meet the need so He can demonstrate His power to you and your family.

A financial need that you think requires borrowing money may actually be a tremendous opportunity to develop faith and creativity. We rob ourselves and others of the powerful working of God through faith when we put our trust in "good credit" instead of relying on God to meet our financial needs. I appeal to you to make getting out of debt a priority and to resolve not to borrow money. This commitment is foundational for daily success.

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Matthew 5:37).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard