Take a deep breath.
You just did something that you’ve been doing ever since you were born. You’ve been welcoming oxygen into your body.
You do this every day. You do it without knowing it.
You are who you are because you continue to unintentionally intake oxygen every few seconds of the day.
I believe we as human beings learn habits, customs, preferences, and priorities without even knowing it. We are like sponges sucking up (unconsciously) everything around us.
When my son was a couple of years old, he took his hand, slapped it on his head, and said, “Oh man!”
That simple act and phrase deeply stuck with me.
Because I do that when I forget something.
My son was learning. Unconsciously sucking up everything around him.
I was teaching. Unconsciously modeling behavior to my son.
That can be a very scary realization. It’s even more frightening when Paul says don’t be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed (Rom. 12:1-2).
That means we, as Christians, cannot be sponges that take everything in. We must develop a filter.
We need a system whereby we can consciously decided what things in our environment are healthy for our spiritual bodies and what things must be rejected.
This is especially true when it comes to topics such as personal finances, materialism, and consumerism.
I believe many Christians need to add a new level of intentionality and fresh filter to their finances. When Jesus entered the home of Zaccheus, the wee little man, he had one approach to finances. But by the time Jesus left, Zaccheus transformed how he looked at finances.
Have I been transformed? Have you been transformed?
- We buy houses based on how much money the bank will give us.
- We spend money based on how much salary our boss will extend to us.
- We buy items based on either what we can afford or what type of credit limit we have.
Do we integrate faith into our financial decisions?
Thus, the question becomes – how have your finances been transformed by Christ (rather than conforming to the world around you)?
- Are you a copy cat of the world in how you spend money?
- Do you have any type of Kingdom purpose in what you are doing with your money? Are you just taking cues from your neighbors?
- When you were baptized, did your wallet get wet, or did you leave it on the shore unaffected?
- Are you a drone money manager who is doing what every other John Doe is doing with his money?
My wife and I were struggling with all of these types of questions as we were trying to figure out our financial call and our financial purpose. We realized we had never intentionally decided what we should be spending money on or how we should be using our income.
Through prayer, study, and reflection we determined how much is enough. We embraced a frugal and simple lifestyle. We transformed how we think about money.
Then I wrote about book about what we learned.
The book, Transforming Your Financial Diet: 7 Steps to Simple Living and Generous Giving, is available for purchase effective today.