Live Within Your Means

by Stan Mitchell

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field; and after that build your house” (Proverbs 24:27, ESV).

Every chance I got I would go into that store and gaze at the display case. There they were, four Matchbox cars, replicas of vintage cars, a perfect set. Every time I entered the dark interior of the store, and waited for my eyes to adjust to the indoor light, I was fearful. Had somebody already bought the set?

In the meantime, I was saving my allowance money as fast as I could, astonishing parents and neighbors with offers to do jobs for a little extra. It took months to save up enough money. The wait was excruciating.

Today we live in a world of instant gratification. Lay a credit card down! Don’t wait until you can afford the item you dream of, get it instantly, pay for it eternally!

When do you pay it back? Anybody with a credit card debt knows that monthly payments are like lightly salting the ocean — it takes forever, and cripples the family finances in the meantime.

The wise man understood this. Ensure the source of your income first, before paying for a luxurious house.

Live within your means. Save up to buy the objects of your desire.

By the way, I bought those Matchbox cars eventually. They were worth the wait!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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One thought on “Live Within Your Means

  1. So then, what ever became of the match box cars? For I too, saved for items: some which I still have and cherish, others which I have passed to others for their pleasure, and the remaining, well who knows, for I have no clue…

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