Living Within Your Income
By Rick Warren
— May 11, 2009
“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 NLT).
When you spend more than you earn, you end up in tremendous stress. The Bible says, “Stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it” (Proverbs 21:20 TEV).
What motivates us to live beyond our means? Why do we spend ourselves into debt? Why are we rarely satisfied with what we have?
There are three myths that drive us into debt: MYTH: Having more things will make me happier. FACT:
“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!...So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 NLT). MYTH: Having more things will make me more important. FACT:
“Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be” (Luke 12:15 TEV). MYTH: Having more things will make me more secure. FACT:
“The Lord is like a strong tower, where the righteous can go and be safe. Rich people, however, imagine that their wealth protects them like high, strong walls around a city” (Proverbs 18:10-11 TEV).
When we buy into these myths, we always overspend. So, here’s how to enjoy life more on less:
• Find happiness in helping others.
Jesus said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35 TEV). Just look around you and you’ll see this is true. The happiest people are those who help the most, not those who have the most. Misers are always miserable.
• Find self-worth by getting to know God.
God says, “…you are precious to me…” (Isaiah 43:4 TEV). You matter to God. He made you for a purpose. Genuine self-esteem comes from establishing a relationship with God and becoming all he meant for you to be.
• Find security in trusting God, not a bank balance.
The Bible says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you’” (Hebrews 13:5 TEV). Real security must be found in something that can never be taken from you. While there are many ways to lose your possessions, Jesus said God will take care of you if you trust him.