One of the boldest adventures is to climb Mount Everest. The altitude, skills and effort required, extreme weather and remoteness make it a big-time challenge.
Those who make it to the top wear tough protective clothing, have crampons on their boots, use ice-axes, and trudge forward with intense focus because every step is critical. A major wrong step can cost them the summit and maybe ruin the rest of their life.
Successfully managing and winning with money can feel like climbing purposefully up a jagged icy slope under challenging conditions. We sort of know what we should do. But, often, we don’t learn early enough, or well enough, what we should not do.
Are You Making These 3 Financial Mistakes?
1. Giving into temptation.
When we allow ourselves to believe we can’t be content unless we have the latest, biggest, shiniest or whatever-est, right now, we are giving Satan an effective weapon to tempt us with. Envy and discontent can start us down a series of bad financial decisions. In an effort to satisfy our longing, we will spend money wildly, and worse, borrow foolishly to spend wildly.
God has a plan for us that is better than our plan. Maybe His plan includes a new car or a bigger house or a college degree. But maybe not right now. When we borrow to have today what He might want for us later, we are saying to God, “I know better than You what is best for me,” and we can end up enslaved to debt which leads to serious regrets.
A life of abundance, joy and fulfillment feels terribly far away when we are living to feed the desires of a lender; having traded some of our meaningful future for something meaningless in our past (Proverbs 22:7).
2. Focusing on getting instead of giving.
We live in a consumer culture where the goal is to get as much as we can as fast as we can. God’s economy is based on giving not receiving.
In Luke 6:38, Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
What if we took Jesus at His word and set our budget accordingly? This means instead of setting our budget and giving what we have left, we would determine how much God has called us to give and set our budget with the rest. When giving is at the top of a balanced budget, by definition, everything else below has to come into line. Giving like this creates a joy in us unlike anything else (Acts 20:35).
3. Believing the situation is hopeless.
If Satan makes us tired, fearful, or hopeless, he has worldly victory over us. Jesus died, was resurrected and now lives for and through us so that we have life. Being in a financial mess is not as difficult a problem as being dead. With Jesus’ help, we can overcome anything (Philippians 4:13).
Keep climbing, or start climbing. Dig in. Decide to make a change, just a small change, right now. Write it down. Tell somebody. Add another small positive change tomorrow. Build on and live the positive change list every day. In life there are no permanent problems, only problems we have not let Jesus fully take charge of ... yet.