Saturday, 13 April 2013
Confessions of a Shopaholic
I was going through my finances today and stressing about my non-existent savings and emergency funds! After years of financially irresponsible living, I have spent the last two years trying to make ends meet and literally just scraping by (through God’s grace and miraculous provision!). I am learning my lessons and am continuously reforming to have a healthy balance financially, but it is a long, hard road for a reformed shopaholic! (seriously, I feel Rebecca Bloomwood’s pain in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic!).
I am quite content not to buy clothes and bags and shoes, etc now, but the biggest pitfall as I look back through my finances over the past year has been gifts and charity. Now, that is where I get a bit stuck… it really may not seem like a problem, after all it is good to be generous to those you love and to those in need, right? YES! Always yes! BUT herein lies the issue: is it right to spend money you do not have and to put yourself further and further into debt.. EVEN IF it is for a good cause..? Truth be told, I’m not sure!
On the one hand: my heart is for people and for doing good. On the other hand, I know that God does not want us to live beyond our means, to be irresponsible with our money. He calls us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted us with and He wants us to be prepared and able to live and to keep ourselves and our families (depends on what stage of life you are in). For me, God has challenged me to get out of debt and to live within my means. He is also preparing my heart for a hopeful future (one that includes a husband and a family), but I know that if I can’t be a faithful steward of my own finances, I won’t be able to manage a family and the financial responsibilities that go with it.
I also know that God has challenged me to be more generous. Up until recently, I really did not see how these two challenges could work together, as they seem mutually exclusive, but they can! God is showing me how to prioritise my spending, how to give more of myself and my time (generosity is not just giving financially!) and how to be prayerful in my giving.
Today, I read a post by Joyce Meyer Ministries online entitled Be Prepared! and it really challenged me: 1) about the kind of woman I want to be and 2) about how you can’t give of yourself if you are not stable and prepared enough to do so. I hope you find it useful too.
by Joyce Meyer - posted April 13, 2013
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! —Proverbs 31:25
This woman’s strength and dignity are her clothing, and her position is strong and secure. This certainly must have increased her confidence. She isn’t afraid of losing her position or something bad happening. She boldly faces the future because she knows she and her family are prepared for it.
Proverbs 27:23 tells us: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds.” Lack of preparation is one of the major causes for low confidence. Being prepared requires working ahead of time instead of putting things off until the last minute. Matthew 25 tells us of the five wise virgins who took extra oil with them as they waited for the bridegroom to come, but the five foolish virgins didn’t do anything to prepare. When the bridegroom was delayed, the foolish lost their opportunity to meet the bridegroom.
This same scenario happens to many people in life. They procrastinate until it is too late to take advantage of an opportunity that could have been a tremendous blessing to them. Knowing you are prepared for whatever comes will increase your confidence in an amazing way.
Lord, help me to be diligent and prepared for the opportunities You will bring my way. I want to walk in the confidence that I am always ready to go. Amen.
From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.