This is the second installment on the series of being all in. If we had a chance to be who we were created to be, who would we be? While we examine ourselves and maybe some things that we are feeling lead to do by the Lord, another thing that comes to mind is money. If we had enough money what would we do? What is enough money? How would our life be different? Some people come into a large amount of money and get into trouble with it. If we have contentment along with thankfulness we are often able to handle life with less money and less debt and feel more complete.
I know in my life debt was a burden that I got myself into making decisions based on a lack of contentment and a lack of being thankful for what I had. I think this is one reason why our Lord Jesus always gave thanks at meals. He only gave thanks and never asked for things. I have found that giving thanks shows how blessed we truly are without the Lord doing anything else for us. I always thought that a life where I didn’t go somewhere every weekend was horrible. I always thought that my life was based off of things. It wasn’t until after my accident that I learned that the more that one had in their head, the less this person needed to own. My family and I began a slow process of getting rid of things and we found out that we really didn’t need all the things that we thought we did. Later in life I realized that skills far exceeded items. If there was a person with great skill and limited items and a person with the greatest item and limited skill, the person with the greatest item will often only be lulled into a false sense of security with it. As an example picture someone with a basic vehicle. The vehicle could have highway tires and not even be equipped with four wheel drive. Someone else could have the best off road vehicle with the best tires, the most power and get stuck in the mud because he or she drove it incorrectly. This is only an example to illustrate that skills always are superior to possessions. The Lord tells us in His Word that we should owe nothing but love. The Lord also tells us that it is wicked to barrow and not repay. If we add both of these verses up I believe it shows that we should always barrow with the idea of minimum debt and a plan to pay it off. I heard something one time that stuck with me and it went like this. Gold is the currency of kings. Silver is the currency of princes. Barter is the currency of commoners and debt is the currency of slaves. A good illustration of this last concept is found in 2 Kings 4:1, where a woman is crying out to Elisha because a creditor is coming to take her sons to be slaves. I believe that when we get into debt we steal from our future. When I started to understand these concepts the way that I do everything changed. What I want and what I need, the way that I wanted to talk about possessions with my children, everything.
I understand in this day and age that there are some things that we need to get into debt for, but I also understand that there are many things that we want to get into debt for. Wants and needs are what I am talking about. I was struck when I realized that every day the average American is alive he or she is spending money. I hope that is striking for some of you who read this as well. Let me mention it again. Every day the average American is alive he or she is spending money. Some can say “Hey I don’t shop every day!” I still stand by my statement. The problem lies in convenience. I used to work in customer service for a company and I would often be scolded by customers because they were being inconvenienced. Think about it we keep things plugged in that we think we need or rarely use. Many of these items pull current constantly. If electricity is being consumed we are being billed.
Electricity is just one example of constant spending on a perceived need. If we spend time looking around our life we can find others. The best question that I have asked myself is the one where I try to find out wants and needs. Some of the needs that we possess are often wants. We have just had our second yard sale and it feels so good to not be chained to some of these possessions anymore. Most of the things that we sold were things that we thought we needed at the time. In fact a major pitfall that exists is we think we need something to be happy. My family and I have power outage days where we try to not use electricity at all. This takes planning due to the fact that our house is completely electric. We have to figure out how to cook (we often choose Dutch ovens outside), how we will have light (we chose hurricane lamps), how far we want to go and keep it fun (our neighborhood gets water from an electric pump and a well). I believe attitude is very important as we explore what we need and what we think we need. I encourage you to be hopeful and conscientious. If we can be creative and fun oriented with finding our wants verses needs, it can be more easily dealt with.