Gazelle intensity is scriptural
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?