Temptations Turn To Fickle Finances

Everything in this world requires money. We need money to cover our daily living expenses, prepare for the future or free ourselves from debt. And unfortunately we often plan our finances month by month or paycheck by paycheck, just surviving rather than getting ahead. We can struggle financially or we can be victorious in this aspect of our life.

Setting ourselves up for success can be a challenge - we take on new ways of thinking about money, we pray and read about what the Bible says about our money, and we step forward into new actions and responsibilities.

So what happens when we finally get settled into our new fiscal decisions? Temptation. I've been cracking down on extra spending for weeks now and thought I had a pretty good handle on it. Then came...the post card. A coupon for a really great discount at my favorite clothing store innocently found its way into our mailbox.

Now normally I would have been there before the week was out, whether we could afford it or not. How can you pass up a really great deal on something you're planning on buying anyway? Sounds pretty fiscally responsible to me!

But this time, I had already decided that I have plenty of great clothes and we need that money for other things right now. I have prayerfully decided to be more structured in my spending, which doesn't include new skirts on a whim or chocolate at the checkout counter. Impulse buys are my particular temptation, and I'm learning to work around them, avoid them, or beat them into a pulp, whichever is necessary.

What are your financial temptations? Are they impulse buys or going over on your phone minutes every month? Do you rack up bills on your credit card or do you shop for entertainment? Maybe you've told yourself that a little spending here and there won't hurt anything, when in reality it's breaking the bank.

Scripture tells us that for every temptation we face in life, God gives us a means of escape. That may be as simple as tearing up a coupon, like I did this week. The shopping would have been great and I would have brought a couple of new pieces home with me, but how important would those experiences have been compared to reaching our financial goals a little sooner.

Denying myself the chance to overdraw our bank account doesn't seem like a toughie to me. But there are other times when financial temptation can be overwhelming. My husband and I hate to tell each other that we can't afford something, because we despise hurting each other's feelings. But we're in the new mindset that our financial stability is more important right now. That's the means of escape for us personally for this particular temptation.

What do you have planned for the future? You'll probably need money to accomplish those goals, and temptation can strike at any moment. Be strong, surround yourself with comforting Scripture, and know that the Christ living inside you is stronger than any force out in the world. Rely on Him to set your budget, give you clarity of thought when it comes to money and direct you to the proper ways to spend what He has already blessed you with. As a team, you and your family can resist financial temptation and live a victorious life the way God has planned.

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