Wisdom for Financial Planning: James 4:13-17

My wife and I have been talking about our financial goals and what it means to be faithful with money, and as we have been reflecting on this topic the Spirit of the Lord continues to bring this word to my mind:

James 4:13–17 (CSB) — 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.

“You who say”: this is speaking to those of us who are stable enough to begin making financial plans for the future, which is in God’s hands!

“For you are like vapor”: the first principle of financial wisdom that God introduces to us is “humility”!

“If the Lord wills”: the next principle of financial wisdom is faith-based submission to God. We must wholly entrust our futures to God, making our best-laid plans in the reverence of the Lord!

“You boast in your arrogance”: for Christians, who are intimately acquainted with the Lord (v.17), it is an act of supreme arrogance to make financial plans for the future without first humbling themselves in his presence and entrusting their well-being entirely to the Lord!

“So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it”: the evidence of such arrogance in one’s life is the financial neglect of the righteous “good” that ought to occupy the fruits of our life as those who have been made new in Christ!

Therefore, may we prosper with heavenly wisdom that will bear fruit in eternity:

Proverbs 3:5–6 (CSB) — 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.

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