A prudent person is one who is capable of exercising sound judgment in practical matters. He or she is cautious and discreet in conduct, careful, and sensible. We often describe a prudent person by saying that he or she has common sense. A prudent person can foresee the consequences of possible actions and behaves accordingly. A godly and wise person can be prudent because God’s Word helps us see the usual consequences of our actions before we commit them. Here are three warnings like a fog horn to an approaching ship to avoid the consequences of perilous actions.
- Don’t borrow money you can’t repay.
Debt has a way of destroying the debtor. It enslaves people. It puts them in bondage to their credit-dominated lifestyle. One debtor once said: “I feel like permanently engraving on the bumper of my car the bumper sticker that reads ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.’” Debt’s real service charge is freedom—financial, spiritual, and relational. No one who is financially bound can be spiritually and emotionally free.
Debt, however, is not the problem. Debt is the indication of something deeper. Debt is the symptom of overspending and under saving, which often is brought on by greed, self-indulgence, impatience, fear, poor self-image, lack of self-worth, and a lack of self-discipline. One financial advisor stated: “Being $40,000 in debt is like being 40 pounds overweight. It is a result of over consumptive behavior.”
So what’s the answer? Stop it. Don’t get into debt. Avoid it. Remember: “When your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep is your downfall.” The prudent person sees the consequences of debt and avoids it at all costs.
2. Don’t make pledges you can’t keep.
A proverb reinforces this sentiment, “It is a trap for anyone to dedicate something rashly and later to reconsider his vows” (Prov. 20:25). A trap is designed to injure, impair, impale, and to kill. Regarding debt, it is making a promise without pondering the possibilities; it is making a decision without considering about the consequences.
Debt’s trap is attractive, easy to step into, and almost impossible to escape from. Advertisers often claim that we can purchase cars and furniture by making “36 easy payments.” It is easy to sign the paper, making the commitment. But there is nothing easy about making monthly payments, especially if they are beyond our means.
It is always easier to get into financial binds than it is to get out of them. Extracting oneself from these obligations is hard. So what’s the solution? Don’t make commitments you can’t keep. The prudent person avoids the financial traps that are beyond their ability to repay.
3. Don’t procrastinate in getting out of financial debt.
If you are in debt, I urge you to get out of debt. If you find yourself in a financial obligation that is about to ensnare you, do everything you can to get out of it before you discover that you are in even worse trouble.
It’s been said: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is today.” That same adage applies to financial enslavement. Begin today freeing yourself from financial bondage.
What’s the answer? Don’t wait. Don’t waste any time. Get yourself out of financial slavery today. The prudent person sees the coming danger and flees as quickly as possible.
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