Guess what’s coming soon? Christmas!! Even though it’s the same date every year, it sure can sneak up on us! Christmas is a wonderful time, full of joy and celebration. We give gifts to each other in honor of God’s gift to mankind: the baby Jesus, born in Bethlehem, that we might be reconciled to God. It’s good to get carried away in the spirit of the season, but one area we must work hard not to get carried away in is our FINANCES.
Say Yes to Great Gifts
Before you call me Scrooge, let me say that I do want you to have a wonderful Christmas, to make a special time for those you love, and to elevate the day through special activities and make great memories. I just don’t want you to experience the January hangover that so many of our friends will have once the presents are all opened.
When You Are Blessed, Bless
If you are experiencing financial success this year, don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on people this year. In particular, do you know anyone who may be struggling to make ends meet this Christmas? Why not bless them with a big gift or a big check? You could even give it to them anonymously for an extra bit of fun!
Borrowing Is Not For the Wise
If, on the other hand, you didn’t experience an overflow of income this year, you may be like many across our country—facing the temptation to go big on Christmas with money you’ve borrowed on a credit card. Like many short-sighted solutions, this decision would be easy on the front end, and hard on you in the months to come.
Think of it this way: if you can’t afford to pay cash for presents now, how will you afford the full amount, plus the interest? Or, put another way, what choice will lead you to have the best gifts for your family for Christmas 2014? Racking up debt now? Debt that will deplete your resources from January through July?
Solutions Are Out There
Something funny happens when you insist your budget must balance. Your brain goes to work. Once you’ve made the decision that you won’t go negative in December, your eyes suddenly see opportunities all around you. You notice that stack of DVDs that you haven’t watched lately and you decide to put them up for sale. You see the snow fall outside and take a few hours to shovel driveways in the neighborhood. You eat peanut butter and jelly instead of fast food on your lunch break. All these things may seem small, but when you add them together, you’ll be amazed: you really can make things balance.
Another funny thing happens when you make a commitment to keep your budget in balance, particularly when you commit to prayer for the Lord’s help. God loves to reward those who trust in Him, who rely on Him, and who live His way. Call on the Lord, and keep your eyes open—you will find Him when you earnestly seek Him, and He is more loving and gracious than you can possibly imagine.