The Adventist Home


Chapter 65—Provision for the Future

Home Ownership and Savings Versus Spendthrift Habits—Brother and Sister B have not learned the lesson of economy.... They would use all as they pass along, were it ever so much. They would enjoy as they go and then, when affliction draws upon them, would be wholly unprepared.... Had Brother and Sister B been economical managers, denying themselves, they could ere this have had a home of their own and besides this have had means to draw upon in case of adversity. But they will not economize as others have done, upon whom they have sometimes been dependent. If they neglect to learn these lessons, their characters will not be found perfect in the day of God.1 AH 395.1

This Counsel May Help You—You have been in a business which would at times yield you large profits at once. After you have earned means, you have not studied to economize in reference to a time when means could not be earned so easily, but have expended much for imaginary wants. Had you and your wife understood it to be a duty that God enjoined upon you to deny your taste and your desires and make provision for the future instead of living merely for the present, you could now have had a competency and your family have had the comforts of life. You have a lesson to learn.... It is to make a little go the longest way.2 AH 395.2

To a Family That Should Save Systematically—You might today have had a capital of means to use in case of emergency and to aid the cause of God, if you had economized as you should. Every week a portion of your wages should be reserved and in no case touched unless suffering actual want, or to render back to the Giver in offerings to God.... AH 395.3

The means you have earned has not been wisely and economically expended so as to leave a margin should you be sick and your family deprived of the means you bring to sustain them. Your family should have something to rely upon if you should be brought into straitened places.3 AH 396.1

Another Family Advised Concerning a Savings Account—Every week you should lay by in some secure place five or ten dollars not to be used up unless in case of sickness. With economy you may place something at interest. With wise management you can save something after paying your debts.4 AH 396.2

I have known a family receiving twenty dollars a week to spend every penny of this amount, while another family of the same size, receiving but twelve dollars a week, laid aside one or two dollars a week, managing to do this by refraining from purchasing things which seemed to be necessary but which could be dispensed with.5 AH 396.3

Make Property Secure by Proper Will—Those who are faithful stewards of the Lord's means will know just how their business stands, and, like wise men, they will be prepared for any emergency. Should their probation close suddenly, they would not leave such great perplexity upon those who are called to settle their estate. AH 396.4

Many are not exercised upon the subject of making their wills while they are in apparent health. But this precaution should be taken by our brethren. They should know their financial standing and should not allow their business to become entangled. They should arrange their property in such a manner that they may leave it at any time. AH 396.5

Wills should be made in a manner to stand the test of law. After they are drawn, they may remain for years and do no harm, if donations continue to be made from time to time as the cause has need. Death will not come one day sooner, brethren, because you have made your will. In disposing of your property by will to your relatives, be sure that you do not forget God's cause. You are His agents, holding His property; and His claims should have your first consideration. Your wife and children, of course, should not be left destitute; provision should be made for them if they are needy. But do not, simply because it is customary, bring into your will a long line of relatives who are not needy.6 AH 397.1

Remember God's Cause While Living—Let no one think that he will meet the mind of Christ in hoarding up property through life and then at death making a bequest of a portion of it to some benevolent cause.7 AH 397.2

Some selfishly retain their means during their lifetime, trusting to make up for their neglect by remembering the cause in their wills. But not half the means thus bestowed in legacies ever benefits the object specified. Brethren and sisters, invest in the bank of heaven yourselves, and do not leave your stewardship upon another.8 AH 397.3

Stewardship Transferred to Children Is Often Unwise—Parents should have great fear in entrusting children with the talents of means that God has placed in their hands, unless they have the surest evidence that their children have greater interest in, love for, and devotion to the cause of God than they themselves possess, and that these children will be more earnest and zealous in forwarding the work of God and more benevolent in carrying forward the various enterprises connected with in which call for means. But many place their means in the hands of their children, thus throwing upon them the responsibility of their own stewardship because Satan prompts them to do it. In so doing they effectually place that means in the enemy's ranks. Satan works the matter to suit his own purpose and keeps from the cause of God the means which it needs, that it may be abundantly sustained.9 AH 397.4

The Curse of Hoarded Wealth—Those who acquire wealth for the purpose of hoarding it leave the curse of wealth to their children. It is a sin, an awful, soul-periling sin for fathers and mothers to do this, and this sin extends to their posterity. Often the children spend their means in foolish extravagance, in riotous living, so that they become beggars. They know not the value of the inheritance they have squandered. Had their fathers and mothers set them a proper example, not in hoarding but in imparting their wealth, they would have laid up for themselves treasure in heaven and received a return even in this world of peace and happiness and in the future life eternal riches.10 AH 398.1