"Honey, you didn't lose it. You just can't remember where you left it. Let's retrace your steps." Mike always has a plan.
As you get to know me, you'll find that I like to use cash for some things, including grocery money. However, this had been a crazy day and Mike had handed me the grocery money as soon as he walked in the door and I had been busy, so I had put it down somewhere....
"That's it!" I shouted, finding the money exactly where I had left it.
My husband is a pastor. We have walked many couples through financial management as part of our ministry. It isn't easy to change our mindset and habits when it comes to money.
Our Mindset about Money
All of us wish we had enough money to get whatever we want at the moment without having to worry about how to pay for it. We never admit that, but it's true.
It's hard to make choices.
- Fast food or college tuition?
- Going out to a movie or paying our tithe?
- Buying it now at full price or waiting to see if it goes on sale?
- What's the big deal about debt?
- Why save if nobody else does?
- Surely the government will take care of us too?
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay. If not now, someone will pay later.
Get Real with God
Most of us want to make changes in our spending habits. For some, it's so that we can save money and for others it's to make ends meet. We often don't realize all the various ways that we spend money: a soda from a vending machine, a quick snack from a drive-thru, a birthday card, missing ingredients for dinner at the last minute, the office birthday fund, or a sale item we simply must have. These things add up quickly
A few years ago, my husband and I were teaching a couple in our church to manage their money. They could not understand what was going on with their finances. They had made a budget and were following it strictly, or so they thought. As we walked them to their car, we saw the culprit to their budget. Their car was filled with fast food bags. They were grabbing something almost daily and not realizing how much they were spending.
Keep a daily log for 2 weeks of everything you spend! Whether it's a little bit of change for a pack of gum or an expensive bill, write it down. This way you can have a clear picture of what your spending habits are really like.
When you are finished with your log, find some time to get alone with God. Ask for transformation in the area of finances--first in your heart and mind! Humble yourself before the Lord and ask for His help. Do not be discouraged if your spending habits are out of control. The Lord delights in teaching His children.
"For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts," (I Chronicles 28:9 NIV).
Ask Jesus to search your heart and reveal your motives in spending. Prepare for Him to answer this prayer. Get real with God and allow Him to reveal the secrets of your heart so that you can change first in your heart, second in your behavior.
Until next time, put your hope in God!
For the Joy Set Before Us!
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)