Monday, February 3, 2014

The Spending Trap







One of the most common pitfalls, concerning finances, in our society today is living beyond our means; to put it simply spending more than you make. Our society with all its technology and “things” make it easy to spend money we don’t really have, plus we are inundated with commercials making sure we know what we can buy. Most of us, me included, have at one time or another fallen into this trap. We see a new gadget and rather than pay the bills; we want to buy that new “toy”. Most of the time is a problem of pride. We don’t want our neighbors and friends to know that we can’t afford everything that they can, and we don’t want to admit that they may be doing better financially than us. So we purchase a house way more expensive that we can afford, or we buy a “high end” smartphone simply because everyone else has one. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to have any of these things a nice house, a new car, or even a smart phone or computer if you can afford them. The problem arises when we really can’t afford it, but we buy it anyway. Often, the root of this problem is coveting. We want our neighbor’s things. However, we are “nice” and would never consider stealing, but we would overextend ourselves financially to get what they have. Then the problems begin to escalate. You may have to take an extra job, or work longer hours just to pay for those things; you may end up arguing with your spouse about how you’re going to pay for these things, or you may find yourself giving up time with your family or God just so you can have the “toys”. Perhaps by owning all those things, you’re missing the chance to store up treasure in heaven because you can’t afford to give because of all the other things your money has to go for. I want to encourage you, as much as it depends on you, not to spend money you do not have to spend. God already knows what you need; will he not take care of what you need! He will not let you starve or leave you hungry and homeless. I know what I’m going to say goes against what society teaches, but if we have food, shelter and clothes anything beyond that is a bonus. When the children were young, I worried that we might not have food, or clothes or a place to stay. God always provided what we needed. He didn't always provide steak, but he always provided food.  From that, I learned that I can trust God. He loves me enough to give me what I need, but not always what I want. Are we honoring him by spending money for things we don’t need while we are not taking care of the necessities? My guess is that this is not pleasing to God. Prioritize! Know the difference between what you need and what you want. Having things is not bad, and the God I serve is not a cruel taskmaster who wants us to be poor. He may not be able to bless us as much as he wants because he is waiting for us to be faithful in the area of being careful with what we spend. Don’t spend so much money you get caught in a trap you set yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRAG5NM6MXQ
                                                                     "I Gave Up"

I gave up all my striving
I gave up living lies
I gave up analyzing
if I measure up or if I’m right?
I gave up criticizing
I gave up being right
I gave up always trying
to be good enough in some people’s eyes

[Chorus:]
Well I don’t need a house on top of the world
I like the car I’m driving
Everything I got ain’t what I’m worth
That’s not the reason I’m living
I don’t need to see my name in lights
or leave any grand impression
I’ve got everything I need in life
‘cause love’s all we’re taking to heaven

I gave up comprising
I gave up all my pride
I gave up justifying
and found who I was in my Savior’s eyes

[Chorus]

Always working, never stopping, talking on the cell phone
Never find the time to get away and leave the work load
Run around in circles just to keep up with the Joneses
Even in the 9 to 5 all I really know is ...

I don’t need a house on top of the world
I like the car I’m driving
Everything I got ain’t what I’m worth
That’s not the reason I’m living

I don’t need a house on top of the world
I like the car I’m driving
Everything I got ain’t what I’m worth
That’s not the reason I’m living
I don’t need to see my name in lights
or leave any grand impression
I’ve got everything I need in life
‘cause love’s all we’re taking to heaven

I gave up all my striving
I gave up living lies
I gave up justifying
and found who I was in my Savior’s eyes