About 2 years ago, my husband and I decided to buckle down and create a budget. Not only did this allow us to become better stewards of the money God had given us, we were also able to begin to tithe faithfully, WHILE setting ourselves up for success to get out of debt. While there was a bit of a learning curve, the relief was immediate. No longer was there the undercurrent of “fear and reckless spending” that seemed to have crept into our lives. Since then, we have made incredible strides towards getting out of debt and are, in fact, almost debt-free!
Being a responsible steward means living out the truth that “our” money does not belong to us in the first place. Money, time, our abilities… it all belongs to God! We don’t spend money on something just because “we want it.” Having everything we want is no longer our goal! In fact, being on a budget has forced us to better distinguish our “wants” from our needs. It has reminded us to be thankful. It has helped us prioritize giving back to God. And, thus, we spend/save what is necessary with gratitude.
Good stewardship also steers us away from the temptations of laziness and foolish spending, which not only affects us, but also has negative, long term results for our family. When we live in financial freedom, we are able to rejoice in Him as our provider and set our family up for success by creating a healthy attitude towards money. AND, in the long run, wise decisions will perhaps allow us to be a vessel of financial blessing for those around us!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s generosity? We have. What a blessing! It inspired us to want to get out of debt even MORE, so we could also be a blessing someday. As Dave Ramsey so famously says: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else.”
Financial freedom is possible and it starts with surrender. It all belongs to God! And, are we not called to surrender? Today, choose to serve God. Do not let yourself be controlled by money here on earth. Live with eyes set on the eternal.
You can set yourself up for financial freedom by attending a Financial Peace University class at Grace (http://woostergrace.org/events/financial-peace-university-9/), or by reading Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover.