I once read somewhere that it is better to have something of little value in your hands than something of great value in your dreams.
God observes what we do with the little that He has given to us to see how much more He can add us. He greatly resents it when people have no control over themselves or those that do not observe governance, rules ordinances and principles that have been laid out to instruct us on how to live.
What usually need control are the tongue, our gifts and talents, our conduct and our spending; these for Him determine where to place us and how much more to bless us with. Adam and Eve lost control of themselves and consequently lost the status that had been accorded to them in what came to be the fall of man and the beginning of sin. In most instances, it becomes apparent that it is better not to be blessed at all if it is going to blow up when it comes.
We have heard of marriages that were wrecked after a promotion or pay hike; we have seen women who lose control of themselves and start bingeing on food immediately after being shooed into the marriage nest with little regard for their health. Our God expects us to also be in control of what we eat for gluttony remains one of the seven deadly sins. What we usually have behind us is not as important as what lies ahead of us and although we might be greatly shaped by the former, the latter is what we obsess about and which determines our present actions. From a Pastor who graced our women's conference one cold morning were pointers shared on how to live a controlled life.
Firstly is the prerequisite to wage war against wastage. In the biblical book of Exodus 16:4, God asked the Israelites in the desert to only gather what they needed for the day. Those that disobeyed this rule and gathered stores for the next day had maggots to contend with. Most of us have clothes we bought but never quite got around to wearing; shoes and suits that do not even fit us stacked high in our homes; cars that we do not drive parked in garages. I was recently enlightened on the consumer madness in America that saw people shop for food stuffs they would eventually dispose of to pave way for others yet! Around us in Africa are people in dire need of help but we fail to see them. Yet amongst us are people who cannot enjoy the beauty of a beach unless they own it! We are defined by the weight of our character and not by what we have. Furthermore wastage brings curses on us. It is really is worth pondering over how much more of a stench we would emit if we were blessed with more.
Secondly is the need to observe prudence by controlling ourselves from spending money as if it were our last day on earth. In getting promotions and increments, most people will disproportionately double their expenditure. There are those that even feel the need and urge to buy a new dress for every wedding invite, office party or any other such occasion that warrants showing off oftentimes disregarding earlier promises not to be carried away. This is vanity and is discouraged.
Thirdly we should avoid living in the 'not enough' avenue where we never seem to have enough. Mostly we are the main culprits of creating such an environment as we continue living beyond our means. For those seeking for wives is the advice to discard any woman who expects a man's worth to be proved by his expenditure. Saving money is important for the future and this is enhanced by bulk buying. This can be done in conjunction with neighbors because the bulkier the foodstuff, the less expensive it is per unit of measure. Spending money on hairstyles that cover a third of one's income, competing with the neighbors or frequenting restaurants that charge an arm and a leg for food that could be whipped up in our homes are a financial drain as are cravings and acquisitions that are purely for feeding the ego. Every acquisition should be accompanied by a good reason for it. Ultimately as we struggle through, it becomes obvious that it is not the money that we do not have enough of but rather wisdom to manage it.
The fourth point is to avoid shopping without a well thought out budget. We should not just cruise around the supermarket with a trolley in impulse buying because we will be the ones who will eventually have to pay for every item in it.
Lastly is the advice to give Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is His as we pay our taxes and give our tithes respectively. Tithes tie us to the tithe of humanity through Christ who makes intercession for us so that when the wind blows; there will be our 10% to bring in the 90% blessing because of our unselfish giving.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.
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