Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Money, money, money!

Money is a problem! Or at least the lack of it... well, actually, the perceived lack of it... By any standard we Americans are the wealthiest people in the world - and yet we are in a bucket load of debt! Not just our nation, but individually! And January is the time when those financial chickens come home to roost! Whatever overspending we did in December to provide the presents for Christmas now stares us in the face as those bills start coming in this month! I almost was sick to my stomach this morning as I went to pay bills online!

I don’t know about you, but I love to shop for my girls and my grandchildren! It is so much fun! But I do know that I am not meeting their “needs” with my gifts, but rather taking care of my own “wants” by indulging them. Before Don retired, I never really thought much about the Christmas bills - just paid them. But now that we are living pretty much just on my dwindling teacher salary, I need to learn to budget! And I find myself thinking more about money than I used to... This is not good! In fact, focusing on money at all can be a spiritual problem.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Now, I don’t consider myself a “lover” of money. But just having it consume more of my thoughts than before shows me I’m in a struggle over it, and I need to guard myself from letting it entrap me! Don and I have never fought over money - it has never been an issue - even when we were first married and I was an at-home mommy and we could just barely cover our bills. But now that we are heading into those years when the financial stream becomes a trickle, I can see that I’m going to have to make some intentional choices to not let “financial security” become a stumbling block!

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Any worrying is a lack of faith, and worrying over finances is certainly a sign that we are not trusting God. He has promised that He will take care of ALL of our needs when we put Him first. As stewards of all God has given us, we DO have to take responsibility for our finances and plan for our future in a reasonable way, but we need to always remember that what God gives us is meant for His glory - not for our gratification.

What is the best way to keep a balanced approach to all things financial? I’m excited to see what Proverbs tells us about this topic! Tomorrow, we’ll look at the first few verses in Proverbs 6 to see what God says about lending. Interesting stuff!  

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