Saturday, February 11, 2012
Living the Truth - Part 4
(Be sure to see the previous posts to get the context of this article.)
I'd like to take these principles and apply them to some situations in order to explain the idea in more detail. I won't be covering all possible issues and so if your struggle is in a different area, you'll need to take the concept and apply it to your situation. Also, I will be oversimplifying these concepts. Each scenario could be the topic for a book but we're going to discuss them in less than one printed page.
For the first example, let's take personal finance. I know of many people who find themselves in a financial bind. The scenario I'm visualizing involves a normal working family who have a job, but find themselves struggling with their finances.
First we need to know the truths involved in this situation. A few of them are 1) Man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15); 2) My God will supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19); 3) He who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 2:9); 4) You can't continually spend more than you take in; 5) You can't spend the same money twice; etc. etc.
As we accumulate truths related to money, we need to embrace those truths and accept them as operational even for us in our own personal circumstances.
Now comes the hard part. We need to live life accordingly. If life does not consist of the abundance of my possessions, I don't need to accumulate stuff just because I want to. I might want the latest flat screen TV or electronic gadget, but since my life does not consist of these things, I don't have to purchase them. But here's where the battle comes in. Something inside me wants stuff. Why should I have to use an old analog TV when all of my friends have the cool digital kind?
Another truth is that I can't spend the same money twice. If I buy the TV, I can't use that money to buy shoes. I can't put it in the bank to save for a rainy day fund. I can't use it on my family vacation. I might wish with all of my heart that I could do it all, but I can't and I have to accept that fact. I need to learn to live within the bounds of the truth.
I kind of look at it somewhat similarly to a football game. The players can have a great time giving their all on the field. But suppose some kids are playing a pick up game and as they play the guy with the ball decides to run outside of the bounds and through the area where fans would be seated in a real game. He runs way out of bounds and around a couple of trees to avoid being tackled. Obviously that's not going to work well. We have rules for games so that participants can enjoy the game within certain bounds. Reality shows up when someone runs up against one of the rules. Life can be going along pretty well and we can be fairly contented, but when we begin to want something which lies outside the rules or outside the realities of life, that's when we get bent out of shape. If we learn to live within the bounds and be to contented with reality, life goes much better.
In explaining these things, I'm not saying that it is easy or that trying to do this will make all of life's pain and sorrow go away. That's not going to happen, but I am saying that you will find that you are able to maintain a much better spirit if you will think and accept the truth. When it comes to personal finance, you have to accept the fact that certain truths are in force. Acknowledging that and then basing your decisions accordingly is much more productive than either fretting about past decisions or worrying about future ones.
...to be continued...