I’m aware I may get hammered for this post; however, this is the journey I have been on and I think it may speak to some of you as well. I am talking about budgeting. Specifically, making a “zero based budget” has become popular in recent years. I’m referring to the concept of taking the amount of money you make each month and line-by-line budgeting all your expenses to the dollar until you reach zero.
Now please don’t mistake me, I FULLY BELIEVE IN ZERO BASED BUDGETING. America is on the verge of financial collapse (in my opinion) because we haven’t figured out how to “zero base budget”. Since the financial collapse in 2008, budgeting tools, obsessive use of coupons, and overall saving tips are on the rise. Let’s face it budgeting is super popular. And all this is great and needed and super Biblical. So hear me loud and clear: I am not saying don’t have a budget in place.
What I am saying is budgeting began to take over me. The budget began to take the place of God.
I began to listen and watch and wait on the budget, instead of listening and watching and waiting for the Holy Spirit’s voice.
I have always been pretty good at financial budgeting. I’ve always paid my bills on time, know how much money is in my account, and I am overall careful with my purchases. But I also have a tendency to believe in myself and the budget (or “the list”-you know, the mom list of things to do) rather than believing and having faith in God.
So maybe you think that’s not a big deal. Maybe you’re like me; you get things done. Because if you don’t get it done, no one else will, right? You work hard, put your nose to the grind and work yourself silly until the task is complete.
The problem with the “get it done” mentality is we take the need for God out of the equation. We believe in some other source to provide for our every need. Essentially, that is worshipping another god. The god of budgeting, the god of “lists”, the god of “hard work”. Really anything can be a god in our life if we have faith in “it” rather than the one true God. But even more, we rob God of the opportunity to show Himself in our life. We are robbed of an opportunity for God to show love for His kids with a miracle in our life.
Essentially that’s what I started to do with my budget. If there was a month where the budget wasn’t zero-ing out I began to worry or play with the numbers obsessively until they panned out. The budget became like a noose around my neck sucking the life right out of me. Finally, I felt like God said “enough”.
So, that was the day I cut the budget out of our life.
Don’t misunderstand me, I still pay our bills on time and balance our checkbook and don’t spend more than we have. But the envelopes, the zero based budget, the categories, all gone, at least for this season of our life.Finally, I felt like God said 'enough'. So, that was the day I cut the budget out of our life. Click To Tweet
Instead, I began to seek God about our finances. I mean really press into Him for guidance and believe that what His word says is true. Matthew 6:25-34 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I wondered, “Do I really believe the Word of God or do I believe in my budget and my list. Do I believe in my own ability to get things done?”
When I let go of the budget I began to experience a lot more freedom in the area of finances. I allowed God to be in control of my life instead of the budget. And I can truly say I feel so much more free. Of course it’s always a journey and everyday I experience new challenges. And maybe at some point I will go back to the zero-based budget system, but for now I’m just letting God be my Budgeter. I try to listen for the “still small voice” regarding purchases and financial decisions and let go of the rest.
My challenge to you is to listen to His voice regarding your finances. Don’t stop your budgeting system if it is working for you and is bringing freedom to you in the area of finances. However, if you are feeling the “noose” like I was, press into God and ask Him how you can grow in this area.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in the area of finances? Has a zero-based budget helped you in this season of life? Do feel like you need to let go of the budget a little bit to experience freedom?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, Please comment, share, post, pin and tweet! Thanks.
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