Gazelle intensity is scriptural

By glblguy

Cheetah chasing gazelles

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot on topic Gazelle Intensity from Dave Ramsey lately. There has been quit a bit of discussion about the topic on various personal finance blogs. I am very personally interested in the various aspects of it and have lots of questions, such as:  How realistic is it? What exactly does “bobbing and weaving” really mean? Should you take “gazelle intensity vacations“? How many people consider themselves gazelle intense and what exactly does it mean to them? The list of questions I have goes on, but strange or not, I am pretty fascinated with the concept. I have even been considering the concepts outside of the personal finance world and trying to apply them to my IT management job in the real world.

Gazelle intensity and book of proverbs

In researching and reading on the topic, I came across a fact that I should have known but didn’t. Gazelle Intensity is scriptural:

Proverbs 6:4-5 – Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Now, reading this literally would imply that you should never sleep. So as with any Bible verse you read, the verse has to be put in context. Proverbs 6 warns us of folly. Folly is the act of being foolish, or doing something in a foolish way. Dictionary.com also adds: a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure. A perfect example of this is credit card debt. Credit card debt meets all of the requirements for folly and I would doubt anyone would argue that unwise use of credit cards isn’t foolish.

Proverbs 6 in context

Proverbs 6: 1 – 3 provides the context for verses 4-5 saying:

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!

So basically if you have done something foolish or acted in folly, than you should “free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of hunger”. This is the core concept behind Gazelle intensity. The hunter is the credit card company, or at a higher level the “neighbor” that you owe. In Dave Ramsey’s analogy, the hunter is the cheetah and you are the gazelle.

A real world analogy

Can you sleep? Well sure, but the scriptural teaching is that we should VERY aggressively seek to rid ourselves from the hand of the hunter or like a bird from a snare. I was reminded of this a few nights ago. I was trying to catch this little blue damsel that is now the sole occupant of our 75 gallon saltwater aquarium. I was the hunter and he was the gazelle. This little guy was a nightmare to catch, he was in and out of rocks, darting backwards and forth doing everything he possibly could to avoid getting caught in the net. Even after I had him caught, he was thrashing about, jumping, still trying to escape. Although he tired, he never stopped fighting. While being caught, he let “no slumber come to his eyes”, and worked to free himself from the “hand of the hunter”.

This whole incident served to significantly clarify for me the whole meaning of gazelle intensity as described in Proverbs 6 and so often mentioned by Dave Ramsey. While I choose to not be fully gazelle intense as I could be and I also take gazelle intense vacations, I continue to try to free myself from the credit cards companies and work to avoid decisions of folly that would lead me again to being pray.

Are you gazelle intense and what does it mean to you exactly? Do you take “gazelle intense vacations”? If not, do you get tired? How has it worked for you? Something I’m even more interested in is have you applied the concept to Gazelle intensity to other areas of your life?


8 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Gazelle intensity is scriptural”

  1. Sean Says:

    All to often we expect God to just miracle us out of a situation. I believe that gazelle intensity is necessary for getting out of debt. Another scripture that relates to this situation is Proverbs (one of my favorite books, in case it doesn’t show!) 10:4 ” He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”

    We have got to keep plugging along until the task at hand is complete. Great post!

  2. Lynnae @ Being Frugal.net Says:

    I don’t think I’m very good at gazelle intensity in any area of my life. I can keep it up for the short term, but then burnout sets in. I wonder if gazelles have a lot of stamina? I sure don’t!

    I think I’m more of a slow and steady wins the race kind of person.

  3. glblguy Says:

    @Sean – I agree and I also think it’s applicable to many things in our lives.

    @Lynnae – It’s a struggle for me too. I don’t think Gazelle’s can be that intense for very long either (i.e. your stamina), they would get tired. The point is they are Gazelle intense in “spurts” when needed, but always on the lookout for the Cheetah, and constantly aware that the Cheetah is on the prowl.

  4. Jeff Says:

    One thing I have learned about Cheetah’s is they can only run at blazing speed going in a straight line. So the waving a Gazelle does throws them off.
    I fully agree with getting out of debt and am personally working on doing this as well. God does help us as we step up and make godly choices. Yet if you look closely at the verse quoted in the post it is specifically talking about making a pledge, or taking a loan on behalf of another. This is way more dangerous then being in debt yourself, and I believe not allowing sleep to come to you before getting out or a co-signed loan is a very wise action.

  5. Fielding Hurst Says:

    i hope it’s “spurts”. We had some Gazzelle getting out of debt, but have to admit to some coasting after that.

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