Intentional Money Management We talk a lot about the five essentials of an intentional life. Well, Finances is one of those five areas. Dr. Randy answers questions and teaches us how to be intentional with the resources God has entrusted to us, on today’s Intentional Living. How about you? How has God worked on your to become intentional with your money? Or what are you struggling with? Call the program at 1-888-888-1717.
A Thought From the Intentional Living Centerby Dr. Randy Carlson In 1995, just a year after my dad’s death, I decided that I wanted to complete something that I had set out to do when I was a teenager. I always wanted to get advance training in the area of counseling and psychology. My original intention was to do it after I got out of high school. Get married, go to college, and finish my degree. Well, life happened, and all of a sudden I was 43 years old and had not completed something I set out to do. I made completing my degree in psychology and pursuit of my doctorate a priority. Over the next five years, I invested my time and resources towards this goal. I was willing to sacrifice less important things in my life because this was important to me. Don’t you do that same thing? You sacrifice certain things because something else is more important to you.
Here are four ways to keep it intentional when it comes to your finances.1. Focus on what’s important.
One example of this in Jesus’ words is, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-56 NKJV The Pareto principle applies to almost everything in life. If 20% of the effort you give provides 80 percent of your return, what should become your top priorities in life? Eighty percent of how money will contribute to happiness, security and joy in life comes from how you spend the first portion of it.2. Don’t allow your wants to exceed your means.
When we look back over our lives, most of us don’t remember a whole lot of what we’ve done. But if you make a timeline of your life, there might be eight or ten things on that line that jump off the page. You can point to that and say, that decision right there, and the way I spent money at that moment in time gave me a huge return for the investment. It comes down to making a decision about what the priorities are going to be in our life and following through with that decision. In Mark 10, verse 19, Jesus reminds the young man of the commandments and the young man says, I’ve obeyed those since I was a child. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:21-22 NKJV). Jesus knew this young man wanted a quick way to get eternal life, and pointed out his roadblock—he wanted to hang onto his stuff. It was his priority.3. Tithe
If we’re to be followers of Jesus Christ, and it’s true that I’m going to get 80 percent of the joy in my life from 20 percent of the investment, then it’s important to realize God’s intention for us to give a tithe of our income, ten percent. God’s desire for us to tithe is because it’s an act of worship for us. It’s a realization that everything belongs to him in the first place. The reason we have trouble with finances is often not about how much we make but our attitude toward money. Do you believe everything belongs to God? Do you trust that He will provide for you when you follow His intentions for your life and your finances?4. Save
Paying ourselves the ten percent is good stewardship to take care of our family and prepare for the future. It’s a decision and we all have a certain amount of resources that go through our lives. We each have to decide how we are going to distribute it.
The One Thing to take away from this lesson is to be good stewards with everything that God brings through your hands. God’s given us a wonderful opportunity in living in this country.
Today’s Intentional Living Center Resource
- Stewardship of God’s resources is vital to success
- A plan of action is important and
- Your priorities matter.