Thursday, September 30, 2021

Money for Nothing and your Chicks for Free


Read Proverbs 13

Hey!  The Burger King in Elk City is getting close to being open.  Do you remember the 10-piece nuggets for $1.50? That was a deal right there.

Notice I didn’t say chicken nuggets.  I’m not sure what was in them, but that was a deal for sure.

I like to refer to much of Solomon’s wisdom as golden nuggets.  You don’t have to wonder what’s in them, but they do prompt your to think on how they affect your life.

Let’s try verse 10 on for size.

Where there is strife, there is pride,

    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

 What do we remember from before?  The fool must always be right.  The fool takes neither advice nor seeks counsel. If we act like the fool and insist on our own way, we should also expect strife.

But sometimes our way is right, right?

Wise people may disagree but they seek counsel.  You need to think for yourself but you should buttress your thinking with the counsel of other wise people.

That brings us to the inverted pyramid.  You know what a pyramid looks like.  It is triangular in nature—at least each of its sides is essentially a triangle.  It is large at the bottom and comes to something of a point at the top.

Now turn the pyramid upside down in your mind.  It won’t balance.  It’s not stable.  That dog don’t hunt but that image is just the image I wanted to convey to Marines.  The small end is the amount of actual combat experience that most Marines have.  The wide end is the amount for which they must be prepared.

This unstable image must be buttressed with reading, training, and counsel.  I used this image mostly to convince Marines to read books and professional periodicals that you didn’t have to rotate 90 degrees.

Use that image for wisdom.  If we are honest, we see that our life experience only takes us so far.  Our understanding of scripture takes us farther, but only in the context of receiving godly advice do we buttress this inverted pyramid with the small end being our own experience and understanding and the broad end being the wisdom that we need to navigate this world.

It should not be surprising that three millennia later, Paul would use the imagery of the body of Christ and how important each part is to the other.  We are not only to love one another.  We are advisors to one another. We sharpen one another.

Let’s tackle the next verse so we get a couple nuggets in our morning’s diet.

Dishonest money dwindles away,

    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

That brings us to Dire Straits.  Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free.

There is something in our human nature that seeks the allure of something for nothing, especially money for nothing.

Why do we still see emails from the imprisoned Kenyan prince who will give you a fourth of his 28-million-dollar fortune if you will just send them $128 for his bail and how easy is that, just send your credit card number and security code.  Who could pass that up?

Everyone who knows it is a scam, that’s who, but those emails just keep on coming.  Someone is taking the bait.  Someone is biting that shiny lure. They change in format year to year, but it’s still the allure of money for nothing.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  If you have to steal a fortune to be rich, your wealth will soon be gone.  It will dwindle away.

But if your eyes are not memorized by a mountain of gold, you can save a little each month and have what you need to retire and give your children’s children something of an inheritance. 

What is the applicable word here?  Discipline.

Just a little bit that you set aside each week can be enough when you need it.  Whether you have a 401K at your work or not, you can still set aside money each pay period.  Have it taken out automatically so you never see it.  Don’t make it so much that it stresses you out, but enough to make it worthwhile.

Then forget about it.  Now, if you are investing in the market and manage your own investment, you can’t forget about it.  So we are talking about something low risk with low to moderate payout at some future point.

Interest rates today stink.  It’s sort of like putting your money under the mattress, but it still grows, even if there is no interest.

Problems come when we want to turn a quick and impossible profit.  Problems come when we are willing to venture outside what is sensible.  Problems come when we use deceit to try to get ahead.

But the slow and steady week-to-week or month-to-month savings grows. It doesn’t grow fast but grows surely.

You might be wondering, “Why is Tom giving investment advice?”

The answer is, “I’m not.  Solomon is and the word on the street is that he is the wisest man who ever lived.”

Two nuggets for this morning.

·       Seek and take godly advice.

·       Practice saving some small amount every week and then just forget about it.

It’s sound advice from a wise man.


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