Finances are such tricky things. You budget, you don’t budget…you make a lot, you don’t make a lot. Where does a healthy balance come in? How do you keep yourself from worrying about them?
This subject has become one that is thorn in my side lately. I am paid a small salary (I like to think of myself as being in ministry) and am expected to live on it. I think I do pretty well. Yes, some months the cupboards are bare before the first hits…and some months I wonder if my car is going to make it back and forth to work until I get some money to put gas in it. But I was never bothered about that fact until this year.
This year I was informed that I should be living better. That I should be able to go out to eat once a week…pay for car repairs, etc…and still have money left over to put in a savings account. This got me to thinking that I must be doing something wrong. I try to budget – in fact, I’ve even tried to put money in the bank – and ended up having to take it out before the end of the month in order to live. So what am I doing wrong? I’ve gone over my purchases and now I start second-guessing myself when I’m even at the grocery store as to whether or not I actually need a certain food item to live – because if I don’t I shouldn’t buy it (maybe that way I’ll have enough to put in a savings account).
This really started to haunt me. Worry over finances can really cause a lot health problems. It’s not a good thing. I mean, the Lord said in Matthew that He clothes the sparrow so why do we worry about what we eat and wear? He always takes care of us. And I’ve seen Him do it more and more. As I sat and began to think over what people were saying to me I realized that their idea of dealing with finances was causing me to worry (which really is a sin). I was no longer relying on God because I was worried about what they thought of me. They think I don’t spend my money properly. But really, that’s between the Lord and I. In some ways I just want to tell them that it’s none of their business. If my car needs repairs and I can’t afford them, then I’ll park the car in the yard and walk to school. I will not degrade myself before others and bring my reputation into question because my finances are not enough to cover large expenses monthly. My Heavenly Father is quite capable of handling such things for me – and He always has. So, even though it bothers me immensely to think that people are talking about me and the ways that I handle my money. I need to learn to turn my thinking around and concentrate only on what the Lord thinks of me. And, I need to be sure that I truly am spending my money only on things that He would approve of. I want to use my money wisely for the Lord. I want to be a good steward of what He has given me. I am not looking to buy a $300,000 home, ever (although, they are usually really nice there is a lot of upkeep to them)…I don’t need a fancy car or the latest fashions (Salvation Army – or Frenchy’s for NS’s). I just want to know that I am honouring the Lord with what He is giving me. If I can concentrate on that I won’t worry – and when I’m not worrying I’m much happier in the Lord. =)