“Put first things first. Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home” – Proverbs 24:27 (The Bible, Amplified Version)
We see building or buying a house as a symbol of security. So we tell our young people, “Get a job. Get married. Get a home loan/mortgage. Build or buy a house as soon as you can.”
As a society, we are used to pushing young people to take these big steps as soon as they start their career. But we forget that building a house early in life without any financial foundation gets them into ‘debt’ early in life.
As IT and other well-paying career options become more prevalent, banks are happy to give loans to young people. So even before they have had the time to think about their career, calling or purpose and make adjustments to their work-life, they are pushed into a mortgage situations (home loans, in India), which will take at least 15 to 20 years of paying monthly instalments. And month-on-month it keeps adding pressure to young minds. They are compelled to keep working for years without any choice or option, simply because they need to keep paying the EMIs.
Building a house is good. But when?
I am not against buying a house or land or property investment. As an ex-banker and having worked in the financial services industry, I know that property is a good investment. And a house is, to some extent, a way of adding security to your life. But the question is ‘when’ do you take that step? One needs to think about this carefully, especially when it involves getting into Debt and repaying a loan for years.
And it is not about how old you are, but it is about how far you have come in life with planning and preparing your field (your work life) before you focus on building your house. (Here’s an older blog that explains the field – work life analogy). If it happens in your 20s, if you know that you have laid the foundation of your work-life strongly so early on in life, then it’s perfectly fine to start building a house early.
Build your work-life and business before building your house:
It was in 2007 that I first heard that scripture verse (Proverbs 24:27) from a wise and successful person. He was a businessman and I was visiting his house with another friend. He was one of the most successful businessmen in that nation, with an awesome story of building a business empire from scratch. It was one of the finest houses I have ever been to. He had built the house custom-made to suit all his needs, with all comforts and facilities (it had a swimming pool, gym and even an elevator!) And while he was giving us a tour of the house, he mentioned something so profound that I will never forget all my life. He said, “I first built my business before I built this house. It took a few years of living in rented places, but it was well worth it” and then he quoted this verse from The Bible.
“Put first things first. Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.”
4 Benefits of building your work before building your house:
There are many benefits of following this scriptural advice, here are the 4 important ones.
1.Freedom to enjoy peace of mind:
God hates anything that binds or traps us and ties us down. One of the reasons I love applying workplace wisdom from The Bible is that it always ensure that we are FREE. The prime purpose of the cross was to ensure our freedom and peace.
Being free is crucial if we are going to accomplish all that God has called us to accomplish in this world. And financial freedom is essential for peace of mind.
When you focus on building your work life first, without any liabilities, then you can enjoy the freedom & peace that come with it. Freedom increases creativity, which in turn will help you grow further in your career and business.
2. Freedom to experiment with your work-life:
When you build a house after building your career or business, even if you take a home loan to service it, it will not burden you since you have already created a base for finances using your career or business. You are able to take care of your expenses and financial needs comfortably even when you decide to take a sabbatical, to try the startup idea that you always had, to try a career change, to move to a new town or country.
3. Freedom to help others:
Any career must be about helping people. Focussing on building that type of career should be the no.1 priority.
It also has other benefits: Whenever you help others, you needs will be met automatically. That’s the natural law of seed and harvest. The more people you help, the more help will come for you. That is the secret of wealth creation.
4. Freedom to focus on your calling:
We are all called by God to accomplish great things. We need to focus on that calling and not focus on making money to pay EMIs or pay off loans. So your freedom is not just about you, it is about being free to obey God. Many people know they have a great calling to accomplish great things, but they are stuck in the system of ’I need to earn to pay off the loans’.
But when you build your work, career and business before you think of building the house, then you have the freedom to focus on your calling and serve God in a much more efficient way.
So build your career and business first, before you build your house.
Leave a comment about your thoughts or questions on this. Thank you!