Christmas time is coming upon us fast and we can see people start getting worried about purchasing gifts in which there is not enough income coming in to pay for them. People hold on to money and they fight if you try to convince them to let go of it. Some people let go with ease for giving to a good cause or let go only when they reap a benefit from it. Others keep it for themselves for security. Call it what you will but all of us struggle for the love of money. We always have people coming up to us and asking us about budgeting, saving, investing or borrowing. Money plays a big part in all of our lives. I am thankful that my husband knows and has wisdom about money because if it was left up to me, I am the spender. I think it is important that marriages and families live in reality when it comes to spending. There should be an agreement between husband and wife along with no secrets in spending, credit or debt. My mother is very frugal because she had to be. My father did not make much money during the winter months, so she had to manage and save for the winter. She knows how to live off the bare necessities without splurging and finding herself in debt. Some people do a good job as this planning short-term but not long-term. My parents did not save for retirement, therefore they live off of their SS and dad’s disability. Many people think tomorrow will be the day to start planning and saving however tomorrow is pushed ahead each day until years have passed then they find themselves either in debt or continue to live without.
Debt is another issue. We know several people who have credit cards that have a balance in which there is no way in a life time to get them reduced or paid off with the income they have now. It is sad and selfish but true. Here’s a big problem, the USA is a nation of spenders, not savers. The personal savings rate is negative, meaning Americans spend more than they earn. And the portion of disposable income going toward paying down debt — including mortgage and credit card debt — is near a record high. Households with at least one credit card carried an average of $9,498 in card debt in 2005, nearly twice the level of a decade ago, according to CardWeb.com. The love of money is infiltrating on wisdom in how we spend. Here is a recent article I found to be true.
On one hand, we love money because:
• we need it for basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing
• our financial security and well-being depends on it
• it gives us freedom to do whatever we like
• it is a powerful tool to help others
On the other hand, we hate money because:
• we feel it controls our life
• we do not have enough of it
• we believe that money changes people and brings out all the negative qualities in them
• it forces us to get a job that we hate and robs us of our freedom
This love-hate attitude is very similar to the one we have with food.
A moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips…
When we eat a big piece of cake it gives us a sense of an instant gratification. We truly enjoy the feeling of rich warm chocolate melting in our mouth. Mmmm…If someone puts a bowl of chocolates that we like in front of us, we will eat most of them! And we will do it not because we are hungry, but because we can have them now! This would not be so bad if we had not taken that money out of our emergency funds, our children’s education or other things that we actually needed to buy.
But 10 minutes later, after the cake is gone, the pleasure gives in to bitterness, regret and guilt. The cake we so strongly desired just a few minutes earlier turns into a reminder of our weakness and flabby belly. Again it is lack of discipline.
Our relationship with money is very similar. We love the feeling of exchanging it for something we really want! On our way home the “instant gratification” that lies in our shopping bag feels heavy and wonderful! But the next day when our initial excitement wears off a nasty feeling of guilt creeps into our soul. We realize that we have wasted our hard-earned money on something that we did not need in the first place. And we mentally beat ourselves up for our wastefulness.
What if I do not get any?
Thousands of years ago, when supermarkets did not exist, our ancestors had to apply enormous effort to procure their food. The survival principle was very simple – “If you find food – eat it all while you can, because there is no guarantee that tomorrow it will still be there”. Up to this day we all have this hard-wired mechanism in our brain that urges us to take it all every time we get the feeling of ’scarcity’.
It is ok to splurge sometimes when you have an extra little money but only if you plan the day and the amount you want to spend. I know people who go out every week-end after the paycheck to spend that extra instead of paying off the credit card or putting it into savings. Selfishness verses discipline!
Think about the next time you spend a dollar…. it is because you want to, need to or just put no thought into it. What can you do with that dollar? Self benefit or for the benefit of others should be the question and it will be determined in your heart.
Jesus spoke in the Bible dealing with money. Throughout the entire Bible there are roughly 2,350 verses concerning money. This is roughly twice as many as faith and prayer combined. Fifteen percent of everything Jesus said related to money and possessions. He spoke about money and possessions more than heaven and hell combined. The only subject Jesus spoke of more often is the Kingdom of God. Why? Because the Scriptures make clear there is a fundamental connection between a person’s spiritual life and his attitudes and actions concerning money and possessions. If you want to study more on money and the Bible here are the Scriptures you can look up.
- The Rich Fool — Luke 12:16-21
- The Shrewd Manager — Luke 16:1-8
- The Talents/The Minas — Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11 -27
- The Cost of Discipleship — Luke 14:28 -33
- The Faithful and Wise Servant — Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48
- The Great Banquet — Luke 14:16 -24
- The Master and His Servant — Luke 17:7-10
- The Shepherd and His Flock — John 10:1-18
- The Tenants — Matthew 21:33 -44; Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-18
- The Thief — Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 12:39-40
- The Two Sons — Matthew 21:28 -32
- The Unfruitful Fig Tree — Luke 13:6-9
- The Unmerciful Servant — Matthew 18:23 -35
- The Watchful Servants — Mark 13:34-37; Luke 12:35-40
- The Wedding Banquet — Matthew 22:2-14
- The Lost Sheep — Matthew 18:12 -14; Luke 15:4-7
- The Rich Man and Lazarus — Luke 16:19 -31
- The Workers in the Vineyard — Matthew 20:1-16
- New Cloth on an Old Garment — Matthew 9:16 ; Mark 2:21 ; Luke 5:36
- New Wine in Old Wineskins — Matthew 9:17 ; Mark 2:22 ; Luke 5:37 -38
- The Pharisee and the Tax Collector — Luke 18:9-14
- The Friend in Need — Luke 11:5-8
- The Good Samaritan — Luke 10:30 -37
- The Moneylender — Luke 7:41 -43
- The Owner of a House — Matthew 13:52
- The Prodigal Son — Luke 15:11 -32
- The Son’s Request — Matthew 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13
- The Growing Seed — Mark 4:26 -29
- The Kernel of Wheat — John 12:24
- The Mustard Seed — Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19
- The Yeast — Matthew 13:33 ; Luke 13:20 -21
- The Discarded Salt — Matthew 5:13 ; Mark 9:50 ; Luke 14:34 -35
- The Fig Tree — Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-31
- The Lamp under a Bowl — Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-22; Luke 8:16 , 11:33 -36
- The Lost Coin — Luke 15:8-10
- The Hidden Treasure — Matthew 13:44
- The Lowest Seat at the Feast — Luke 14:7-14
- The Sheep and Goats — Matthew 25:31-46
- The Valuable Pearl — Matthew 13:45-46
- The Wise and Foolish Builders — Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49
The Treasure Principle by Randy Acorn is a great book to read when it comes to dealing with money and I highly recommend it! Just click on the link for more information.