Finally!!! I have a quiet moment to say the last about fixing the Money Thing I plan to say.
Until you are ready to be honest with yourself and ready to make radical budget changes, fixing the Money Thing will not happen. It takes work, it takes determination, it takes saying “NO!” to distractions. Tears will probably be shed, moments may be tense, the cost may seem high. IT IS WORTH IT!!! There is no way to fix the Money Thing without a budget.
Honestly evaluate what you make, your bills, and what you actually spend. It’s scary how fast $10 here and there adds up! The pain of changing is nothing compared to the joy of being free from the deceitfulness of riches. I’m going to leave what I could spend the rest of my life talking about with a few bullet points of lessons learned.
- It is not easy but worth it
- Budget is a must
- Giving and tithing and are critical
- You can NOT out give God
- Eating out is a budget trap
- “I deserve to spend it” is a lie
- Your kids will survive it
- Television and internet are NOT critical utilities
- Christmas is not a license for credit card debt and careless spending
- Emergencies happen without warning
- A roll of quarters is not as easy to spend as a $10 bill
- Envelopes are your friends
- “It’s not in the budget” sounds more intelligent than “we can’t afford it”
- Don’t stop because it’s hard
- If we can do it, you can too
- Start NOW, tomorrow never comes
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness must have never had any money. Money buys things that brings happiness. Having money is a much happier scenario than being broke.
Money can not buy joy, contentment, loving relationships, faith and other matters that are of a heart nature. The deceitfulness of riches will make us believe that having more money could buy those things. The truth is the way we handle the money is what makes the difference.
Several years ago after having enough to survive and helping others as best we could, Ronnie and I found ourselves in a “cut back the hours” situation on his job. His then side business was over for the season but the bills kept coming. It didn’t take long until we found ourselves sinking. We didn’t want anyone to know how bad it really was so we really didn’t talk about it. Ronnie didn’t really want to talk to me about it after all, he was doing his best and putting the check in the bank so I could pay the bills.
It was prayer meeting night and when requests were being taken I just said, “we need a financial miracle”. A few minutes into prayer time I heard Earline White call our name. I stopped praying because I wanted to hear what she was asking for because I had no doubt we would get what she prayed for. I was devastated when I heard her thank God for our good jobs and asked God to give us wisdom to handle what He had given us. I NEEDED A MIRACLE NOT WISDOM! Well, so I thought. There were some days and some real slaps in the face for us until one evening God helped me use wisdom and make out a simple budget.
Then deceitfulness of riches told me that writing down a budget wasn’t necessary because there wasn’t enough money and there was no way to ever catch up. I wrote it down anyway. It was simple and involved setting aside money in envelopes. (I could have been rich I had known what Dave Ramsey figured out.). I was stunned to see on paper that if we stuck to what I had written down we would “caught up” in just a few short months. Months seemed long but nearly as long as never!
If riches are deceiving you, I challenge you to fix the money thing! It may not be as hard as you think.
Deceitfulness of riches, I always read that part and felt pretty good about myself. I had no “riches” so surely I was winning in that part of the game.
Ronnie and I both worked and we tried to be smart about our money. We were both taught about the importance of tithing. We never doubted that God would provide for our needs but really thought things we wanted were unattainable fantasies. We started dreaming about how we would spend our income tax refund before Christmas. The reality of something is going to break and require that refund struck annually. Getting a little ahead only to have extra expense take the extra money plus some seemed to be our norm.
The constant nagging in those times convinced us that more money would solve it all. The felt need would surely be met if we could somehow make more money. If we made as much money as this one or that one our troubles would be over.
There are so many stories I could share but it would take far more than moments. The moment that changed our world happened after I requested prayer for a financial miracle. Earline White, a precious woman of God, was praying beside me and I heard her call my name. I started listening closely as I was certain that whatever she asked God for I would get. Much to my disappointment she prayed, “God, thank you for blessing Ronnie and Melba with good jobs. Give them wisdom to handle the money you’ve provided for them”.
God began a work in us that night that He is still working in us. We had to fix the money thing. Having money doesn’t fix it. That’s part of the deceitfulness. The money thing has to be fixed in our heart before it will ever be fixed in our wallet.
I’m certainly no expert in financial planning, but I will share over a few posts the things I’ve learned that has been life changing for us.
Jesus told a parable about sowing seeds in different types of soils and the results produced. In His explanation He referenced “the deceitfulness of riches”. He noted this deceitfulness as being something that choked out the seed .
I’ve heard, read, and taught this parable as long as I can remember. Only recently I had a moment when it occurred to me that Jesus was not saying riches were deceitful. He was not saying that having riches made one deceitful. “The deceitfulness OF riches” speaks to the perspective. Worries about the lack of money is as damaging to our relationship with God as the arrogance of much money.
Because too many words on a post uses too many moments to read, I’m going to leave it with this: Do I have…
Just barely enough?
Enough and none to spare?
More than enough?
Regardless of which answer fits, is it a a subject that causes stress? If the answer is “yes”, then the deceitfulness of riches is a care of this world that is adversely affecting your productivity and relationship with God.
Sometimes they’re random, other times completely methodical but there are times I have these moments of thought download that I would like to share. Some of these thoughts are “preachy”, some are basic, some out of nowhere, some out of experience, and some I know are truly Holy Spirit inspired. So…not because I consider myself a writer but because I just need to express my thoughts, welcome to Melba Moments.
I am honored that you would visit this page and share moments of real life with me. I count myself to be an expert of nothing. I am, however, real. I’m like you, I’ve walked through some stuff – real, fun, hard, hurtful, easy breezy, and everything in between. I’ve learned the hard way to take the moments and make them a life of faith. If I can share my moment with someone else’s moment better, I consider that a really good day! I give you fair warning, Jesus will be lifted up here. He alone is why I want to share these moments with you. If He brought me through, He can and desires to bring you through too. I want everyone to know Him the way I do!