People say weird things.
- I want to change.
- I want to get out of debt.
- I want to create financial margin.
- I want to invest.
- I want to give more.
I guess those aren’t weird things to say. People do weird things.
After saying those phrases, they’ll:
- Go out and buy a new vehicle with payments they can’t afford.
- Spend $250 on a special night out.
- Buy a new vacuum when the old one works just fine.
- Say they are too busy to budget.
How are we to interpret the difference between what we say and what we do? What does that reveal about us? Certainly, what we say and what we do are creating conflicting narratives, so which is the true one?
I’d venture to say that our actions are the truer indication.
Have you broken your New Year’s resolution yet? I haven’t (only because I didn’t set any.) :)
James Bryan Smith claims that the will is “more like a beast of burden that simply responds to the impulses of others. A horse does not choose where to go, but goes in whatever direction the rider tells it to go. The will works like that. Instead of one rider, it has several. The three primary influences on the will are the mind, the body, and the social context”.
What do you think about that?
Perhaps the reason why your actions aren’t consistent with that you say is because deep down you actually want something more than you want financial health.
- Despite what you say, you might want the new car more than you want to be out of debt.
- Despite what you say, you might rather have fun, memorable experiences more than you want financial margin.
- Despite what you say, you might actually rather have a new vacuum than the ability to invest.
- Despite what you say, you might have the time to budget, but you simply don’t want to give more.
Jesus says it this way, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21).
That’s why I think creating a passion for giving is more valuable than pressure and guilt.
Follow the trajectory of your spending. Where is your money going? Now try and convince someone that those things aren’t important to you.
Our money goes to the things and places we value. Our will follows our greatest desires.
Americans spend exorbitant amounts of money on entertainment. Do you think we value entertainment or just lack willpower?
Americans spend huge sums of money on technology. Do you think we value speed and efficiency or just lack willpower?
How then do we change a habit? How do we add some consistency between what we do and what we say?
Returning to Smith, he’d say we change the influencers: the mind, the body, the social context.
James Alen says, “the body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed.”
Thus, it seems that it isn’t just that you don’t have the will power; instead, there might be a lingering desire for something that overpowers what you thought you truly desired.