Just like with all of the parables that Jesus used to teach valuable lessons, there is some wisdom to be gained from the parable of the 10 virgins. As with most things in life, some were wise, some were foolish, and both reaped what they sowed. I have posted the whole parable below as a refresher…
The parable of the ten virgins
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Five wise virgins
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this parable, but to me, the biggest lesson I have learned from it is to get prepared! I think this can be applied to all areas of life – including our finances. With things being as uncertain as they currently are in the U.S., I think now is as good of time as any to get ready for what’s ahead.
In my own life, I have noticed that since gas prices have dropped back down below $2 (after being at $4) I feel like I have more money to spend. Yes gas prices have dropped and have freed up some additional cash that has been tied up for a few of the previous months, but should I really be spending it? Wouldn’t the wise thing be to save a bit of it up in preparation for $5 gas? I honestly have no idea what is going to happen with gas prices, but I think this parable makes it very clear that the wise thing to do is to be prepared.
So what should you get prepared for?
I have noticed that most people drastically under-prepare for situations or they over-prepare. The key is to stay balanced. Preparation is not to be something that is guided by fear, but by wisdom. The Bible says that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7) Therefore our decisions shouldn’t be made based on fear. So, if you are preparing for situations, first make sure that you are trusting god and not doing it because you are afraid.
These are just a few things that the parable of the virgins has helped inspire me to prepare for…
This is one of the first things that Dave Ramsey recommends to do in the Total Money Makeover and I completely agree. In order to have a fighting chance of getting out of debt you should have an emergency fund started. The purpose, of course, is to allow you to handle car problems, a blown water heater, or any other urgent and unexpected expense.
We shouldn’t be saving everything up for retirement, but we probably all should be saving something. The goal isn’t to hoard wealth for the last 30 years of our lives, but to share it! Whether you plan on staying in your current job until you die, preparation allows you to have options. When I am 70 I want to be getting paid for doing something I love, rather than being forced to go to work to pay the bills.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast a few years back, I decided to take some steps to prepare for a natural disaster. After the hurricane, some of our neighbors in the south had a few weeks of living in the “wild west.” They didn’t have water, power, an easy way to get food, or ATMs they could run to.
As we near the end times, we are going to be seeing more of these types of occurrences, and it would be wise of us to be prepared.
Obviously preparing a disaster kit is a good way to be prepared. We also have stashed some cash in case ATM networks would not be functioning.
The foolish virgins
The five foolish virgins missed out on a great opportunity. The reason they missed out was because they were not prepared! I think we should take heed to this warning and take action by preparing for the things we know we should.
Remember that Joseph prepared for the seven years of famine (Genesis 41), because he knew it was coming. What would have happened if He had decided not to prepare, saying to himself, “I don’t need to prepare. God will take care of me.”? I don’t know the answer, but it is interesting to think about…
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