I need to write an article for The Edge newsletter, so I figured I'd write it here and then give it over to Pat for publication/inclusion, since I usually write that sort of stuff here as well.
How to live in God's provision
God promises us in the bible repeatedly to take care of us. Why then, in tough economic times, do we struggle with provision? I have recently gone through this in my life, when we recently had a child. We made the decision to cut back on a lot of things in our life so my wife could be a stay at home mom, sacrificing her salary. We were living happily and in abundance before, and I am glad to say we are also living in that abundance after little Judah has joined our lives. It really comes down to the definition of abundance, and what we do with what God has given us. You see, God provides. He gives us what we have, and how we use it is up to us. Yes, we have signifigantly less money now. Are we any less happy? Absolutely not. Eating out, spending more money, having nicer things does not lead to happiness- what leads to happiness is having eachother, serving God, being a giving family with what we do have. Often times people find themselves in situations of less provision, but instead of restructuring their lives to enjoy what they do have, they continue to live an old lifestyle that is unsupportable by their finances, or is only sustainable for a short time- something our society has taught us to do, with credit cards, the ease of getting loans, and so on. It is perfectly acceptable in this society to rely heavily on credit, instead of on what God has given you.
I'll make this challenge- if you see your finances getting squeezed, or you feel light headed at the prospect of making due with less, find things that bring you happiness, and ask yourself if it's really the money or spending that makes you happy, or the people you are with- the time you spend, the sights you see. Give more. Giving is probably the easiest thing you can do to enjoy your life- it sounds a little backwards, recieving sounds more fun sometimes, but blessing others with what little you have is more rewarding by many multiples, even if all you have to give is hugs and smiles. And, the end all be all of enjoying and using your finances the Godly way: Live within your means.
Have a great month The Edge!
I hope that inspires someone...