“I will give you…right desires.” Eze 36:26 TLB
The Millionaire Next Door is a bestselling book about two people living on the same street, in comparable homes, working at similar jobs. But by age fifty, one is financially secure while the other is drowning in debt. Their problem isn’t money; it’s unwillingness to defer gratification. We want what we want now! Many times we associate happiness with spending, so when we feel down we go shopping. Think about it: When you got your last bonus or tax refund, was your first thought—“What can I buy?” Be honest! Paul says, “Do not conform to…this [world’s value system]…be transformed by…renewing your mind” (Ro 12:2 NIV). When it comes to money, you must ask God to give you “right desires.” Robert Orben said, “Every morning I read the Forbes magazine list of the richest people in America and if my name isn’t on it, I get up and go to work!” The Bible says, “Do not despise…small beginnings” (Zec 4:10 NLT). Big things are a culmination of small ones. So: Give God the first tenth of your income, save 10 percent, and live on the rest (See Pr 3:9). As your earnings grow, invest 50 percent of the increase in a “financial freedom account.” Once you stop spending every penny you earn and start saving, an interesting dynamic comes into play. The act of disciplining yourself to save even modest amounts will empower you financially, spiritually, and emotionally. One theologian said, “Self-respect is the root of discipline. Your sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to yourself.” In addition to helping you achieve financial freedom, self-control enriches every area of your life.