Spiritual Disciplines // STUDY & SELF EXAMINATION
By Chris Bowlby
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”Luke 16:13 (NASB)
There is a competing idol to God in all of our lives. It is Mammon (the God of Money). Money is an incredibly powerful tool. If left unattended, it can wreak havoc in our lives, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The way in which we handle money reveals much about our heart. It has been said that the quickest way to see the priorities of someone is to look at their calendar and their bank account. Today we are going to participate with some self examination by looking at our expenses. For some this might be a difficult topic to address; however, I would encourage us to remember that Jesus gets to be Lord over ALL of our lives, including our finances.
Below is our practice for the day:
Navigate to your banking website (or grab your last statement) and pull a record of the past 30 days. We are going to total up three different categories.
- Money Spent on Essential Items (Gas, Grocery Store, Housing, etc.).
- Money spent on Non-Essential Items (Restaurants, Lunches out, Travel, Cable or subscriptions, etc.)
- Money Spent in generosity towards God and others (Tithe, gifts, etc.).
Take your list and sit with it for a few moments. Don’t try to justify your expenses or try to correct any misspending right now; ask God to speak to you about your finances over the past month. What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you?
Is God asking you to curtail some non-essential spending in order to be more generous? Is God asking you to clean up some debt in order to bless others. Your money is a tool – how are you utilizing it to serve God and your neighbor?
As you sense clarity for a next step make a commitment to follow through.