Has anyone noticed that as Christians we are in a cultural warfare? These days are illustrating it more than ever before, at least so it seems. We are clashing on every level of life.
In this article I will touch on the clash of Cultural Warfare vs. Christian Lifestyle.
In our culture today, it encourages us to spend all that we make. It aggressively teaches us to be needy and it attaches our self–worth to our net worth. I hope I am not saying anything that is startling here, but just like all other areas in life, God wants us to use our money differently than the world does.
What does a Christian lifestyle look like?
Well, let me share a little about what I mean as far as lifestyle and spending.
1) Lifestyle spending is a sum total of all financial spending and is not related to other uses of money.
2) It is typically the most significant use of money.
3) It is the primary determinate of “How much is enough?”
4) It is always money “after taxes”.
5) Lifestyles typically drive debt decisions.
In other words, we are to have different priorities than our neighbors. Maybe we do not need all the “things” and still be happy. There is no reason to go into real debt just for “stuff” and/or “things to do”. The Bible clearly tells us to be different from the world in every way, BUT it does not tell us how. Stay balanced in life and don’t overdo things that can cause it to become lopsided.
For us to adopt these principles, let me give you some of the Why’s and How’s with Biblical principles.
1) Financial “contentment” is a choice, not a function of lifestyle.
2) We are commanded to “provide” for the “needs” of our family.
3) I must understand that I cannot accumulate enough money to protect my family against all contingencies.
4) I can learn to be “content”.
5) What lifestyle I choose, I should live with joy.
6) The Bible does not define a Christian lifestyle. Here are a couple of Bible references: 1 Tim 5:8, 1 Tim 6:6-8, 1 Tim 6:17-18, Phil 4:11-13, and Heb 13:5-6.
Dr. David Jeremiah defines contentment this way:
1) No regrets of the past
2) No fear of the future
3) No envy in the present
So how do I change my habits, behaviors and thought processes?
Here are 7 Principles of Lifestyle change:
1) Prov. 3:5-6 Prayfully seek God’s direction regarding your lifestyle.
2) Phil. 4:11 Learn to be continent.
3) Ex. 20:17 Learn to avoid coveting.
4) 1 John 2:15-17 Your lifestyle should not be determined by comparing it to others.
5) 1 Tim. 4:4 Freely enjoy whatever you spend in the “Spirit”.
6) 1 Thess. 4:11-12 Make an effort to live more simply.
7) Rom. 12:2 Do not conform to the world.
Finally, here are a couple of key points: Spend less than you make, contentment, delayed gratifications, every spending decision is a spiritual decision.
I hope you find this helpful and hopeful.
Caring for you and yours,
P.S. Why not meet with me and we can discuss the 1st steps to a happier lifestyle. Give me a call at 813-948-9109.