I used to worry about not having enough money. And it didn’t matter how much money I had, I worried that it would never be enough or I would lose it.
I wish this could be a post with 5 short steps to financial peace, but it’s not that easy. I can tell you how it happened for me.
I grew up with a desire to save money. I always had money in my savings account, because to me that was better than spending it on something short-lived. I based a lot of security in having money in the bank. I was also a bit stingy. (I wish I could think of a nicer word, but there it is.)
When I was in college, I started following Jesus, and each part of my life changed from that. I began tithing, which is based on the belief that God gives us everything we have, so we give back ten percent to him. I felt a new freedom to give and not hold on to money so tightly.
One day I was sitting on the back steps of my apartment, and it occurred to me in that moment that I was perfectly and completely content. My small student budget was only a few hundred dollars a month at the time, and I realized that if I never had more, I could be content. Contentment isn’t based on circumstances the way happiness is. Contentment is bigger.
For me, the freedom I have now regarding money doesn’t come from our income or even an emergency savings account.
I find it in:
- Trusting that God provides for us in every situation.
- Living below our means.
- Knowing that all our stuff is temporary anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I still follow good financial advice and plan for the future, but I no longer find my security there.