Time, Money, and Energy

Time, Money, and Energy

Here is a chart you may have seen on time money and energy on how it relates to the various stages of life. It may not be true for all people, but it is generally true for a lot of folks.

Whatever applies to you, it comes down to what are you doing with the resources you have been given at this time in your life?

Here is the parable of the talents that Jesus taught in Matthew 25. Let’s meditate upon this today.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(Mat 25:14-30)

 

God Has Given Them Work To Do

For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
(Ecclesiastes 2:26)

We all have work to do, whether we are righteous or wicked. God keeps us busy. But in the Scripture we see that God keeps the wicked busy preparing money and things that will in some way end up in the hands of righteous people. This is not to mean that we as God’s people sit around on our duffs and wait for God to take away money from others and give it to us. Nor is it to mean that because we are Christians we are going to be blessed with tons of money.

What it does mean is that God will take care of His people, and sometimes that means He takes care of His people by “transferring funds” from the wicked. How the Lord does that is up to Him, but we see lots of examples of this in Scripture.

What it also means is that the wicked think they are busy taking care of themselves and heaping up riches, but they are only busying themselves in vain. Their purpose in life is selfish and focused merely on getting more stuff. All that stuff eventually goes away, and it is through the merciful hand of God that He directs it toward caring for His children.

Though he heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like clay, he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver.
(Job 27:16-17)

Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
(Proverbs 13:21-22)

Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
(Proverbs 28:8)

The Israelites walked out of Egypt with the wealth of the Egyptians. It looks like a lot of that wealth ended up being used to build the Tabernacle (Genesis 15:14; Exodus 12:35-36; 35:21-22). God’s house was built with the wealth of the Gentiles (compare with Isaiah 60:5,11). Moses’ mother, Jochebed, was paid wages from Pharaoh’s house to nurse her own son (Exodus 2:1-10).

Let’s end with two more passages, one from Deuteronomy and one from the Psalms. Why did God pour out the wealth of the Gentiles upon Israel? Look at the following passages.

He brought out His people with joy, His chosen ones with gladness. He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, and they inherited the labor of the nations, that they might observe His statutes and keep His laws. Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 105:43-45)

Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest–when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end–then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God.
(Deuteronomy 8:11-20)

Let’s not forget our purpose! Let’s not forget why God put us on our earth. If we are busy, let’s remember God in the busy-ness! Otherwise, we are just busy heaping up stuff that will go to someone else.

An article from Dave Ramsey about teens investing

I read an article this week from Dave Ramsey’s website entitled “How Teens Can Become Millionaires.”

A little bit of a caveat first: Our most important emphasis is for our children to invest in their eternal souls, regardless of how much money they have here on earth. Please put this article in that Biblical perspective.

That being said, the Bible is very clear in its wisdom for us to save and invest and grow the talents/opportunities/blessings that God has given us.

What blew me away, was the point in the article that if a 19 year old invested $2,000 each year for only 8 years, and then left that money alone until he was 65, that money would grow to around $2.3 million at 12% interest. That is the amazing beauty of compound interest. Boy, do I wish I had that kind of mindset at 19!

The article contrasted the 19 year old with a 27 year old who invested $2,000 a year every year until he was 65 years old. When the 27 year old turned 65 he had around $1.5 million in the bank. The 19 year old invested $16,000 over 8 years and the 27 year old invested $78,000 over 39 years. In the end, the 19 year old ended up with $800,ooo more because he started early.

Here is the chart from that article:

That’s the lesson to burn into our young men and women right now. Start early! Don’t blow all that hard earned income on fancy clothes, restaurants and miscellaneous stuff that you can live without.

Here is the wisdom from Solomon (from God) on this subject:

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
(Proverbs 6:6-11)

 

His hunger urges him on

A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on (Proverbs 16:26).

Dads, don’t give your children everything. Allow them to “get hungry” as the above proverb advises. By hungry, I mean a strong desire to achieve some goal. We go to work because we are hungry; we want to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Money is put in a piggy bank or Mason jar because we are saving for a special thing, like a vacation or some extra luxury.

Children need to get that lesson early and often. We as parents love to make our children’s world better than our own. The opportunities that we were not afforded we desire to give to them. That is natural, and can be good at times, but too much of it can create some really spoiled and unappreciative kids.

If they want a new phone, make them save for it, dads. Don’t just hand them a new smartphone. It’s called a job, kids. Get one. “Save your own money and pay for it.” Are they really going to appreciate things if everything is handed to them on a silver platter?

His hunger urges him on

We have such an entitlement driven society, and part of that is encouraged by how our government is run. But parents are also to blame. It is tempting to think that our children are “suffering” by doing without, but they will survive if they don’t get the latest toy or gadget.

Have you ever watched your children save for something over time? Did you notice the joy, fulfillment and self-esteem that came when they finally purchased the item for which they were saving? There is no dollar value you can affix to that life lesson. If your children haven’t experienced the value of saving and being hungry for a goal, then it is time to start, dads. By taking away all hunger you deprive your children of some valuable character building.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied (Proverbs 13:4).

He who loves wine and oil

He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich (Proverbs 21:17).

There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up (Proverbs 21:20).

A very good friend of mine says often, “You have time and money to do what you want to do.” Folks don’t like it when he says it, but he is right. Surely we can find exceptions to that principle, but it is generally true, especially here in America. People have money, they simply choose to spend it on a lot of frivolous stuff. Video games, going out to eat, movies, impulse purchases, etc., all can drain a bank account in a hurry.

What happens often is that we spend $5 here and $10 there and we think, “No big deal, its only $5.” But all those small purchases add up, don’t they? Before long, you look back at your account – you spent $100 to $200 on “wine and oil.”

And then…a repair comes up. You might be tempted to say, “I don’t have any money for that,” but you might want to look back at what you have spent for the past two or three months.

Financial restraint

The Proverbs referenced above show ancient wisdom that is still relevant today. If you love pleasure (wine and oil), you will be bankrupt. A wise person saves and shows financial restraint, while a foolish person spends all that he has. There is no end to the things on which we can spend money. Yes, put aside money for fun things, but show self-control. Learning to say “No” is a vital tool when it comes to our finances.

Fathers, this is a valuable lesson from Proverbs not only to live for ourselves, but to teach to our children.

Opportunity Cost

“An opportunity cost is defined as the value of a forgone activity or alternative when another item or activity is chosen” (referenceforbusiness.com).

No, I am certainly not an economist, and most certainly not an expert on personal finances, but this concept I learned in high school economics about opportunity cost often comes to my mind. Recently, I used this principle in teaching one of our teenagers.

If you have multiple children, you will most likely have children who have very different mindsets/personalities about everything, including money. Just like adults, some are savers, some are spenders. We have to help the savers learn how to have a little fun sometimes and enjoy the fruits of their labors, and we have to help the spenders to restrain themselves from having all the fun at once. Their personalities usually reflect those of their parents. Yes…I’m the spender.

So, here is a simple example on opportunity cost that I used recently and for this particular teenager it proved to be very effective. When you spend in a month $10 on a shirt, $15 on music, $15 on going out to eat, and $10 on candy bars, pop etc., what other things could you have done with that $50? $50 may not be much to an adult that makes a lot of money, but to a teenager who is making minimum wage that is a significant portion of his or her check. There are a lot of directions you could go with this, but here are a few.

  • Remember that concert you wanted to attend? Well, that $50 is your ticket to that concert.
  • Remember that part you needed for your vehicle? That $50 would cover it.
  • Get online and search for an investment calculator and figure out how much $50 invested every month at a certain interest rate will be worth in 20 years. This exercise was a jaw-dropping experience for this particular teenager of mine. By the way, saving and investing is a very Biblical concept (Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25).

I wish that I would have had this kind of mentality earlier in life!

Now, this is not intended to pile and heap up guilt on your son or daughter, and if we are not very careful that will be the result. We certainly do not want them to feel guilty anytime they do something fun with the money they have earned (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13). However, especially for those personalities that love to have all the fun all at once, we have to enlighten their pathway to help them see how those little expenses on various things really add up quickly.

Another quick point, allowing them the freedom to make those financial choices, whether wise or not, provides them with the experience they need to learn wisdom and discretion.

I hope this helps.