Americans are among the world's most cash-strapped people, according to the latest semi-annual survey from ACNielsen released Tuesday.
Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Americans have no money left once they've paid for their essential living expenses and spent their discretionary dollars. That puts the United States at the top of a list of 42 countries for saving futility. The United States is neck and neck with Portugal.
As an American and a Christian, this survey has caused me to stop and think about my saving habits as well as the witness I leave as a result of my use of money. Here are a few things that the Bible says about saving and money:
"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" (Proverbs 6:6-8).
"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8).
"Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf" (Proverbs 11:28).
"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
I've heard all of these verses before (and will need to hear them again), but it reminds me how all of my life, including my use of money, should glorify God. "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
This is one of the reasons I enjoy listening to the "Dave Ramsey Show." While he may not be a theologian, he does strive to give listeners biblical wisdom regarding our finances. I commend him for his work.
I also pray that many believers will devote themselves to the proper use of the money which God has given us. Let us glorify our Savior in all that we do.