Are You Planning Well?
2021 is fast coming to an end. We will have the normal celebrations and activities – Thanksgiving & Christmas & New Year’s Day. In the midst of ending and reflecting on one year, thoughts come that consider and plan for another. We all do it, the question is – do we do it well?
Planning is a process of assessing our past, considering our present, and preparing for our future. We here at Overman & Parks clearly do this in the arena of finance. We are hunkered down right now with tax planning as the year comes to a close. We help clients assess and make decisions for the future based on past and present circumstances.
“As it stands, you will owe this much next year in federal and state taxes.” (Yikes!)
“If you do this, you can reduce your tax burden by this much.” (Yippee!!)
“If that is your goal, then go ahead and do it. This will be the tax situation as a result.” (Yep…)
The fact of the matter – every decision, even making NO decision, is planning. It considers the past and the present and acts to impact the future.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite ‘coffee mug’ verse for a lot of folks. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like the positive vibes of this verse, and rightfully so! It’s especially helpful when we think about the context in which it was spoken and how it connects to planning.
God’s plan for His people here, made clear through His Word, encouraged assessing the past - a calamitous exile following a long season of poor decisions about life and God.
The plan forced the people to consider the present – in Babylon now, and for a while to come…
His plan then pressed the people to plan for their future – hard though the past and present may be! They were encouraged to build homes, work and produce where they were for the good of Babylon itself, and to live and love their families in this new circumstance. No despondency over the past, no paralysis in the present. Take what you have and move forward for your own good and for the blessing of all around you.
Here’s the beauty of it all – the wise application of the plan made in the present came with a hopeful promise! In time, the people would return home! All that had been lost due to poor decisions and bad circumstances would be made right!
While this principle has merit for our financial planning, it is met with certainty in the realm of our relationship with God. Right assessment of our past (sinners abandoning God) coupled with consideration of our present (alienation from God) drives us to hold on to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11. He has a future planned for us with Him through the cross work of Jesus on our behalf. That plan is executed when we trust His plan and place our hope for a forever future in His person and work.
2022 is coming! Make those tax plans. Execute them wisely. And as you do, consider the most important planning of all – forever planning!