I feel certain that most readers of my blog are good stewards of the resources the Lord has given them. But there are always areas of improvement for all of us.
One of the most significant issue families, couples, and individuals struggle with is attempting to live within their means. The ability to properly separate what we truly need from what we want is very difficult. It is in that realm where most of the problem lies.
I found this story on Yahoo about a young family who has almost completed paying off $118,000 of debt in 4 years. You can read about it here.
Without question, what this family did was severe and may be beyond the reach of many people. But there are important lessons to be learned:
1) Look long and hard at your career choices before you jump into something that provides little usefulness and benefit. A certain career may be your heart’s desire but it may not be the best direction to provide a life of financial stability for yourself and your family. I believe in trusting in the Lord in all things but He also wants me to use what I call “sanctified common sense” in using the wisdom and knowledge of mature individuals to assist me in making career choices.
2) As distasteful as it may appear, I believe husbands and wives need to look first to a single income to be their model for their financial base. Why? If you can discipline yourself to live life simply and as a good steward of what God is giving you, the long term benefits are tremendous. Our human nature wants to spend to the limit of our resources (and beyond) but if some serious thought and planning is involved, many more families could find out that they really don’t require two incomes to live comfortably. It may be that some radical change will be part of the solution but again, the results will be God pleasing.
3) Instead of always asking, “What will I get out this?” we should be asking, “What is the best decision for my family?” We have had too many generations of Americans live a very ego-centric way of life. When we learn to put the needs of others before our own, things will be seen in a much different light. This is especially true when it comes to financial choices.
Just some thoughts for the new year to help us all see our need to be good stewards of God’s blessings in our lives.