John D. Rockefeller was the wealthiest man of his time and was often asked about the secret of his wealth. His answer became known as the 10-10-80 principle. He’d tell people that he got wealthy by giving away the first 10 percent of whatever he made; the second 10 percent went into savings, and he lived on the remaining 80 percent.
Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (TLB).
Saving is one way that God tests you in your finances — to see if you will be responsible with what he’s given you. If you’re saving for the future right now, that’s smart. If you’re not saving anything, that’s just foolish. God wants you to tithe (to give the first 10 percent of your income through your church), and then he wants you to save for the future.
You may think you can’t live on 80 percent of your income, but if you can’t, you’re likely just living beyond your means. You’re not managing your money well; you are spending more than you actually have. Remember, God tests you through your finances. Do you want God to find you faithful with your money?
The 10-10-80 principle is the exact opposite of what most cultures teach. Culture says to pay all your bills first — but then you may not have any money for saving and tithing. God says, “Pay me first, then pay yourself second (savings), and then pay your bills after that.” That is the order God blesses — and he wants you to set up a budget that makes that order possible.
If you’re not saving anything, you have a “live for today” mentality. That kind of mindset says, “I’ve got it now, so I’ll spend it now. Forget about tomorrow!” God doesn’t just want you to think about tomorrow. He wants you to plan for tomorrow so that you have enough to do the things he wants you to do.
It’s smart to put off a purchase today that will better allow you to live your purpose tomorrow. And you can do it! Saving is a spiritual discipline, and God will give you all the grace you need to take the hard steps.
Don’t live just for today. Learn to do whatever it takes to save money for the future. This is God’s way of doing things. When you ignore God’s principles, you’re asking for financial stress. When you do it God’s way, you’ll be at peace.
Lord, show me the way to be responsible with the things You give me so that I may glorify Your name in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.