Financial Discipline and Spiritual Discipline

Friday morning I looked up from my computer at the coffee shop and told the barista, “I’m much poorer this morning than I was yesterday.”

Thanks to the results of the “Brexit” vote in Great Britain, worldwide stock markets were dropping like leaves in the fall. The New York Stock Exchange Dow Jones Index was down some 500 points at the time. I’m a global thinker, so I’m invested globally. Didn’t help. All the markets were down.

The barista, a young woman newly married, asked the question on the minds of many, “Does anyone understand the stock market?” I told her no, but that there are very few places to invest money for any kind of return.

I’m not a financial advisor, and I have a lot of difficulty understanding how it is that these people rush off and get that certification and yet know little more than us commoners.

But that is not the point.

The point is making financial discipline part of my spiritual discipline. Financially, I invest in long-term quality. It has been a discipline for more than 30 years to set aside part of our money and invest it in the future. Before too long, I’ll have to start living on those investments.

Spiritual discipline in financial matters entails realizing the source of income and who ultimately owns it.

Not a trick question on this blog. It’s God. Recognizing that, we think about our finances. When money comes in, 10% goes to God. As we achieve and have more, we can increase that percentage and give more.

At least 10% goes to the future. When the kids are gone and expenses are down (way down), then that 10% can increase, as well.

Then we live on the rest.

It is a spiritual discipline, because it starts from the perspective of God. And just like the spiritual disciplines of study and prayer which should be done daily, financial discipline should be done regularly. With intention, not as an afterthought.

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