As a young man in the 1970's it seemed like everything in my world was focused on bigger and better. Bigger engines in cars and the "big cadillac" were all the rage. The 80's and 90's seem to have been a building on those excesses and desires to accumulate for much of the culture. In the 2000's we found ourselves living high on credit and the vapors of several decades of increase and excess in our standard of living (at least in much of the West).
Now we find ourselves trying to unwind a mountain of debt personally and, as usual, with a government that learns decades later, who is "here to help" (which is a phrase that concerns all rational men and women). We couldn't borrow our way into happiness and contentment and the governments of the world cannot borrow their way out of this crisis.
So how do we live free financially and emotionally, once and for all, in the midst of the unbalanced and fallen world we find ourselves in? I certainly don't have all the answers but I do have a few suggestions to get us started.
1. Get a plan. It has been said over and over again "if you don't know where your going...". If you don't know where to start begin by asking yourself where you would like to be financially, physically, spiritually, familially three years from today and write it down.
2. Answer the three year question in light of what you believe God is calling you to be and do. Try to block out what 'the world' and it's system of thought are pulling you towards. This is a difficult task, but once you can describe who God is calling you to be and what He desires for you to do, courage to act comes more freely. If you find this difficult you are not alone. Yet it is attainable with time in Gods word and a biblically based community of friends.
3. Consider where you will be or what will happen three years from today if you don't go through this exercise? It is true that it is difficult to expect a different outcome in life if you don't change what you are doing.
This is not written to be a "ra-ra" learn to live better self-help post. It's just a reminder to me first and others reading that we need to examine our lives - often - and utilize tools and discipline to live as we are 'called' by God as an antidote to being pulled by the world into a system of thought and way of life that is counter to what we see in scripture. Had many of us done this my guess is our economic and emotional well being would not be so challenged as it is today.
Being transformed has more to do with looking deeply into scripture and living by it's precepts in all areas of life than it does 'keeping all the rules'. I'm first to admit "balance" is unattainable this side of heaven, yet striving for a more whole being takes work and a commitment to living with others who can help us now. I'm so glad I don't have to do this alone!