Open the book of Proverbs and discover teachings that provided wisdom and discipline for people from every possible background—from the noble to the peasant alike.
They weren’t promises in the sense that we think about biblical promises—guarantees that God would reward certain behaviors with specific results. Rather, they were principles. People who committed to learning from these instructions could expect to experience lives marked by wisdom, righteousness, and blessing.
People who committed to learning from these instructions could expect to experience lives marked by wisdom, righteousness, and blessing.
Planning for the Future
The book of Proverbs is full of helpful instruction concerning how to think about the future. Readers are reminded that “the plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (21:5). They’re told to prioritize their work so that everything is done at the right time and in the proper order: “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house” (24:27).
The tenth chapter features aphorisms from Solomon that not only operate as standalone maxims but are grouped into small units that give the reader a more complex understanding of topics. Throughout Proverbs 10 are bedrock principles for future financial planning. Here are five of those important lessons:
1. Acquire Legitimate Wealth
Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
but righteousness delivers from death.—Prov. 10:2
There are many opportunities to gather wealth illegitimately; and the more money you have, the more opportunities there are to abuse it. There isn’t any lasting value in growing wealth through gambling, fraud, theft, or exploitation. In the end, these ill-gotten treasures only testify against you (James 5:3).
Only a commitment to righteous accumulation can protect you from the deceitfulness of riches.
2. Wealth Comes From Industriousness
Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth.—Prov. 10:4
Diligence is more than simply working hard—it’s working hard with intensity and intention. You can put in a lot of random hard work and struggle to accomplish much. Diligent work is effort applied in a particular direction; it’s combining labor and focus to create success.
3. Work in Partnership With the Seasons
He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.—Prov. 10:5
As the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, there’s a season for everything (Ecc. 3:1). If you’re working in sync with those rhythms, you will be blessed. Here the prudent son is gathering crops during harvest so that when the winter months are upon him, he will have a full storehouse. The disgraceful son is not diligent enough in the season when it’s most important. He’s thinking of today and not the future.
While you might not have a job that requires seasonal focus, the principle applies. Diligent work and investment in the summer of life will fill your storehouse for life’s winter.
4. There is Security in Managing Your Wealth
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.—Prov. 10:15
The Bible has plenty to say about idolizing wealth. This doesn’t mean that being financially secure is wrong. In fact, Solomon instructs his disciple that careful investment and saving can protect you from many of life’s struggles.
The poor struggle with much more than just day-to-day living. They live under the constant threat of any financial setback. Any unexpected bill or expense can put them underwater, while those who have carefully saved are fortified against many of these tragedies.
5. The Lord Blesses the Diligent
The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
without painful toil for it.—Proverbs 10:22
Solomon is clear: Planning for the future requires a commitment to act righteously, to work hard and wisely, and to demonstrate a hope that ultimately doesn’t rest on material gain. It’s the Lord who gives the increase, but He is looking to bless those who are committed to His principles.
We can take joy that when the Lord blesses us, it’s not unwillingly or under judgment. He delights in blessing the fruit of our righteous labor.
What Does This Mean For Retirement?
You might read through these principles from Proverbs and think, I want to plan for the future like this. I want my retirement to glorify God and provide for me and my family.
If that crossed your mind, you should learn more about how CDF Capital uses IRAs to bless churches.