"Be sure to know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds..."
"Discipline is doing what you ought to do so you can do what you want to do." Over the last two days, we have unpacked the first two parts of the "Give, Give, Live" plan – tithing and saving. Today, we're talking about how to "LIVE" on the remaining 80 percent. Are you ready for the big secret? It's all about budget and discipline. Budgeting is simply telling our money what to do and making sure we don't spend more than we earn. To have a successful budget, though, we have to be aware of the budget busters around every corner – sales, "once-in-a-lifetime" offers, impulse purchases, etc.! That's why discipline and budgeting go hand-in-hand. Spontaneous spending can cause a myriad of problems that can easily be avoided with just a little bit of discipline. Today's verse reminds us to pay careful attention to our money, because how we handle it is important to God. Everything we have is a gift from him, and how we manage those gifts matters. Remember, when we do the things we ought to do (i.e. stick to our budget), we can do the things we want to do (i.e. take that vacation we budgeted FOR!).
Do you have a budget? Start building one today. There are several online tools, including one by Dave Ramsey. Second, pull your latest bank statement to see where your money is actually going. If you are married, review it with your spouse and make any changes to your budget/spending so you can begin to live wisely with what God has blessed you with!
God, thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Help me be a good steward of those blessings so I can honor you with my finances. In Jesus's name I pray, Amen.