For more budgeting articles in this series, click HERE.
Budgeting Step Ten: A Lifestyle of Discipline and Self-Control
The final step in this series on budgeting brings us to Step Ten: A Lifestyle of Discipline and Self-Control. As difficult as that first step was, just getting started with a budget, this final step may be the one that tries to trip you up. For me, this step is the one that I have to keep going back to. Long after the budget was established and finding great deals because a habit, I still struggle with being patient and maintaining a lifestyle of discipline, self-control, and really, just being content.
We have the blessing of having Dave Ramsey as a member of our church body, which allows us unique opportunities. We often get to sit under his teaching, and one week he made a special trip to speak to our Moms Together group (a group of mommies all with children ages 5 and under). His topic? The last “fruit” in the listing of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, self-control.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23)
Dave said something that really stuck with me. He said that what he talks to people about every day on his radio show isn’t anything more than self-control. And I realized, that is so true! The biggest obstacle in establishing a budget and getting rid of or even preventing further debt is your own self-control.
He made another point that hit home too. Referencing Malachi 3:10, he said that many people mistake the meaning of the Hebrew word “blessing” in the verse for financial or material blessings. Actually, it is better interpreted as “peace.” Makes you see it in a whole new light, doesn’t it?
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Malachi 3:10)
The Best Use of Money
I also really liked Dave’s overview of the best use of money: Giving it away! Dave says don’t just give money away, but take your children with you so they can see how being generous with money changes other people’s lives. Let your kids be a part of the blessings you will receive (the peace!) in giving with a cheerful heart.
In addition to what I gleaned from Dave’s talk, below are some snippets from what others in attendance appreciated most, that I thought you would like:
- My favorite quote: If you leave your kids money and no character, they will lose the money. If you leave your kids character and no money, they will find their way to money. If you leave them both, you have built an empire.
- Impulsiveness: The lack of self-control in spending is known as folly, and folly is a verb for a fool in action. Watch out, don’t be a fool! I believe after this, Dave discussed how “fool” is very derogatory word throughout Scripture.
- In order to succeed in any area of life (dieting, exercise, financial goals, business goals), self- control is the key.builds the foundation for success in every area of life. Dave discussed how the #1 cause of death in America is obesity. People with a lack of self control seem to attract all kinds of additional problems. However, if you have self- control, it provides a firm foundation to eventual financial success.
(Thanks to my friends Christina & Melinda!)
ACTION STEP: Where do you need more self-control in your life? Take action now by finding an accountability partner. Commit to help each other by being a safe place to confide hopes, failures, and prayer requests.
What is it about us that thinks the way to happiness and peace is through a fatter wallet? How do you feel about it?