Pretend for a minute that you started a company called YOU, Inc., and it's your job to manage every cent that passes through the company. If you managed money for YOU, Inc., the same way you manage money for you now, would you fire you?
Ouch! That's a tough question, but it's necessary. That's because you really are charged with handling important finances. You may not be the CFO of a huge company, but you are responsible for managing the money God's entrusted to you—and that's even moreimportant!
So how do you make sure YOU, Inc., stays on solid financial footing? First, you've got to know your stuff!
See, money is active. It's always moving, always flowing from one thing to another. That makes it really hard to manage, but you've got to take control. Money always flows away from those who don't manage it and toward those who do. The biggest part of managing it is simply knowing what you have and what you're doing with it.
Proverbs 27:23 challenges us to "know the state of [our] flocks." In ancient days, flocks and herds were a common currency. They were the measure of personal wealth and the foundation for a family inheritance. Individuals who wanted to build wealth knew all there was to know about their stuff.
It's no different today. If you want to experience financial peace, you've got to learn to manage what you have. You've got to build a zero-based budget on paper, on purpose, at the start of every month. You've got to get out of debt. You've got to build a three- to six-month emergency fund that keeps you out of "crisis mode." You've got to save and invest now so you can be secure in the future.
Money is sort of like a thoroughbred horse. When it's properly trained, it combines beauty and power like few things on earth. But left on its own, it becomes wild—even dangerous.
Know the condition of your flocks and pay attention to your herds. If you don't manage your money, the lack of money will always manage you!