Finances – Would You Consider Yourself Diligent or Reckless?

“The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit,
but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.”
Proverbs 21:5

If you were to do a self check-up on how you handle your finances, would you say that you lean mostly to the diligent or reckless side? What do either of those look like?

The Diligent

You’re a hard worker. You put your best effort into the work day. You know that you’ve earned that paycheck when it comes in. You can feel good about it. You realize that work is a good thing. Genesis shows you that God intended you to work from the very beginning. Adam was placed in the garden of Eden to manage all of creation for the Lord. Then the fall of man made the labour hard. But you know at the end of the day that working hard is good, even if your brain and body ache.

You serve your boss daily, regardless of the circumstances. Your efforts may not be recognized often, but you know they are to the Lord. You are working for Him and to provide for yourself and family. Your boss eventually takes notice that he’s got a lot of potential in you. He gives you a promotion which fuels your passion to learn as much as you can so that you can do this next position even better.

You receive phone calls from other companies wondering if you’d be interested in working for them. They see your qualities and know you’re worth investing in. You graciously thank them for considering you. You enjoy where you’re at, but keep the options in the back of your mind, always thinking about where the Lord wants you and what’s best for your family.

You tithe on your money first, realizing that it’s all coming from the Lord. Then you set a decent amount aside for savings, pay your bills, and then enjoy a few rewards for your hard-earned cash.

The Reckless

You work only because you want the benefit of money. You do what’s required at work when people are watching. You clock out as soon as you can, often minutes before you’re supposed to leave. Your breaks can drag on a few minutes past your allotted time each day. Bathroom breaks are frequent too. You’re doing your work, but checking your phone every time a notification pops up. You find yourself distracted and not really caring about the task at hand.

You come home and complain about everything and everyone in your workplace. You’d much rather be at home or out with friends than doing the ‘daily grind.’ You think about all the ways you could make money quickly without having to work. You pray you win the lottery daily.

Then, when the paycheck does come, you spend it all. You eat out every night, go to events, and take vacations. You consider tithing and think about getting around to it before your next pay, but never seem to have enough to give. Your one credit card company calls and says you’re pre-approved for a limit increase, while another one is calling to say they’re sending you to collections. You don’t care. Those companies make billions of dollars, so you keep getting new credit cards and maxing out other ones. Creditors threaten you, so you change your phone number.

The Outcomes

The Diligent – The diligent keeps working hard and saving up. Eventually, she’ll go on a nice vacation, give to the charities she’s been desiring to help, and even take some built up time off to do mission work. She gives generously and enjoys rest on the weekends with her family knowing she’s earned it. She feels at peace with life. She’ll retire in a few years and will live comfortably, not worrying that she won’t be able to afford it. She’ll serve in the ministries she desires and will take time to do the things she enjoys most.

The Reckless – The reckless will end up bankrupt. Her family will be tired of bailing her out of debt. She’ll finally get financial counselling, but it’ll be too late. She’ll lose her home and end up couch-surfing. She’ll get a chronic illness from all the stress but won’t be able to retire and take care of herself because she won’t be able to afford to stop working.

Some of these scenarios are a bit extreme, but I’m sure we can all relate or know people who can to both of these descriptions. The Lord calls us to be diligent with the money He provides us with.

Work is good and honourable. There’s a sense of confidence and satisfaction that comes from hard work. We all need a balance. It’s not saying to become a work-acholic and neglect everything else. It’s not saying to hoard your money for all those ‘just in case’ moments. Living a balance of work and rest are necessary.

However, by being a faithful steward of your money and caring about the effort you’re putting into your work brings blessings from the Lord. They may or may not come in monetary form. It may be by peace and contentment, or by employment growth opportunities. It could come in being able to be more generous, or to take more time serving in organizations that you’re passionate about.

Either way, there’s one major theme between the two. The Diligent look to the Lord in everything and the Reckless look to filling their own desires. The more we focus on Jesus, the more our hearts will grow in the things He desires for us.

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