Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Principle of Contentment

In third session of The Legacy Journey titled, "The Law of Great Gain", Dave Ramsey tells us that the most powerful financial principle is contentment.  This principle is able to do many things in our lives:
  • It is what allows us to get out of debt. 
  • It allows us to live on less than we make. 
  • It allows us to save and invest.
  • It allows us to change our whole view of generosity to be able to give like no one else. 
  • It opens up everything about God's way of handling money to us.
Contentment is not a reaction of circumstances but is part of our character.  Content people don't always have the best of everything, but they do make the best of everything they have. Dave shared four warning signs of spiritual discontentment:
  1. Always be trying to "get rich quick".
  2. Trying to appear wealthy. 
  3. Feeling anxiety about what you don't have.
  4. Allowing jealousy and envy to creep into your mind. 
We need to create a balance in our lives between intensity and enjoyment after getting out of debt.  God
tells us to take care of our own household and if he has blessed you it is Biblical to spend some of your money on your life style, but we need to have a balance.  The spirit of poverty in which wealth is evil is not biblical and neither is the spirit of pride that your wealth came from your hard work.  We need to trust in God with a spirit of gratitude knowing that our wealth comes from God and be in conversations with him on how to manage it.

Dave Ramsey recommends setting a lifestyle budget based on your income that would take care of your family at a reasonable level that God helps you decide.  Then continue to be in conversation with God about how to manage the rest using ratios.  For everything God blesses you with over your base budget you should give your tithe (10%) off the top and pay your taxes.  After these two, you need to set the percentage of your increased income that would go toward increased giving, increased lifestyle and increased investing.  These percentages will not be the same for everyone because God has different plans and purposes for each of us so we need to be in constant prayer to find out what God wants our percentages to be.

The key is to be content is to be grateful where you are.  As a warning, we should not be lazy or take God's blessings for granted.  Are you traveling on your road with contentment?  If not, what would make you content?

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